When Paths Cross with the Giant Mekong Catfish

Travelling SouthEast Asia can sometimes be a bit of a tease if you are on a budget. So much blue all around, and yet, fishing charters are still rather expensive for the average backpacker. Thankfully, there have been some good fishing options that spare the huge price tag. One, in particular is a stocked fishing pond in Phuket, Thailand called Chalong Fishing Park . Stocked with many large fish including siamese and asian carp, red-tailed catfish, pacu and the giant mekong catfish.

My travel chum and I spent a solid 12 hour day at Chalong Fishing Park, and between the two of us caught about 15 fish. Apparently, some days people do better but we were more than satisfied with our success. In particular, Yogi caught a giant mekong catfish that weighed roughly 30-35 kg. Commonly fishing freshwater trout back home, this out-sized his second largest catch in Canada by about 20 kg.

The first giant mekong catfish on his line fought hard for about 25 minutes, and while Yogi’s arms were starting to tire, the smile on his face was untouched. Just as he had the catfish about a metre out, the fish snapped the line as a staff member jumped in to grab the fish. Noooooo!!!! Not uncommon to happen in fishing, but disappointing still. It was about 6PM at night, so with a few hours left of fishing we casted our lines out and were now beyond determined and excited to catch the giant mekong catfish.

Around 8PM the fish started peeling drag, and the sound of it had all of us on our feet. Yogi rapidly grabbed the line to begin the fight. He knew he had another big fish on the line and his big smile commenced. About a 30 minute battle with the second giant mekong catfish was well worth the battle, as Yogi pulled in his biggest catch to date. We quickly jumped into the water waist deep to hug his catch, and take a photo to send home bragging! Another great day wandering!

Giant Mekong Catfish
The biggest catch of the day: the Giant Mekong Catfish!


Yogi and red-tailed catfish
Yogi and red-tailed catfish


A big Pacu!
A big pacu!
My biggest catch ever! A siamese carp!
My biggest catch ever! A siamese carp.


Reeling in my first catch of the day.


Have any suggestions for budget friendly fishing in SouthEast Asia or New Zealand? Please send my way.




Turning 29 in Thailand

When beginning this blog my mind was set that writing about the people Yogi and I met was a clear and full path. One that would allow me to blog about my travels without myself always being centric to the content. However, in arriving to Thailand nearly three weeks ago things have already started to alter this direction.

During week 1 of our travels, Yogi and I each had a birthday and I turned 29. Yes, it took me until my last year of my 20s but I am now working toward achieving my goal to travel for an extended period of time! Yay! Coming into this trip, I naturally based many of my expectations on the experiences of my previous travels: single, mingling and often looking for the next party! I forgot to account for the fact that I am no longer at that stage in my life.

Nothing, up until these past couple weeks of travel has really allowed me, almost forced me, to realize how much I have changed in my 20s.

My values, new life goals and a partner who makes me truly happy have changed me…. And I am more than okay with this!

Since starting in Thailand we have met many people, but we have not joined anyone on their journey because Yogi and I are on our own. We realized that having nearly a year to travel is fantastic, but we appreciate some degree of structure and challenge in our day to day. While we did have a great time at the Full Moon Party where I met up with a friend from Germany (that I had met last year in Peru), we have been spending plenty of our time site seeing and eating as much Ko Phag Ngan street food as we can in a day.

We have recently started a Muay Thai Camp (kicking my ass by the way!), and are really enjoying the challenging and highly technical environment that the truly talented trainers foster. The first day I honestly wanted to quit, but the trainers and Yogi pushed me through. Each trainer is quite different in their coaching approach and of course, personality. What I have come to terms with is that I am hard on myself, which can lead to a bad attitude. Having a trainer that can laugh with me and stay positive (while correcting my stance possibly 50 times in a row) is the trainer for me; this kind of coach will help to keep my spirits up and attitude on point to keep challenging myself.

On top of Muay Thai training (and yoga), Yogi is giving me daily lessons on trees! He is an arborist, or what I like to call a “tree doctor” and I am happy to soak up all of his knowledge.

I guess what I am realizing is how important it is to keep learning while travelling, about yourself and the world around you. Travelling provides ample opportunity for new learning, and I intend on taking full advantage of the time we have.

So, how have my recent realizations impacted my blog? Perhaps, sharing more about not only who I meet but what I learn along the way from those people and the adventures we pursue.

A gentle reminder to keep pushing your boundaries!