Sep 24 2011

What is a bucket?

Published by at 8:28 pm under Andaman Sea islands


You know what a bucket is right? Generally plastic, comes in hues of for instance pink, red, blue, green and purple. Little white handle. Useful for sand. Kids like them right? Wrong. Or, well, not quite. Well sure, that’s a bucket, but it’s not a bucket. At least not a Thai island bucket.

I'll have a tower bucket with side servings of mayhem and vomit please.

I'll have a tower bucket with side servings of mayhem and vomit please.

Buckets were first popularised on the southern Thai islands — especially on Ko Phi Phi. You get one bucket as described above, then you add to it ice, a half bottle of spirits, a mixer and a pick-me-up like Redbull or Lipo and a half dozen straws. Mix the lot up and slurp it down — till you fall down.

Now back in the day, buckets came in two flavours — Mekong and Sangsom. These were the two predominant local whiskeys and both were dirt cheap, making the path to abject messiness both smooth and affordable to everyone.

Today matters have changed considerably and there are all manner of cosmopolitan versions on offer. Sure the cheap Thai whiskeys are still on hand, but vodka, gin and rum are just as common. Recently when on Ko Phi Phi, we saw one English guy buy a vodka bucket, dispense with the mixer and Lipo, instead loading it up with vodka and a half litre of thickened cream … yummo.

The main problem with these buckets is they’re incredibly easy to drink and if you’re not a seasoned bucketter, you’ll end up faceless in no time. By faceless, we mean a blathering, stumbling mess. You will remember little if anything, but chances are you’ll have a reminder, say a dayglo bus drawn on your chest and a head full of sand.

Buckets in moderation can be fun. They’re certainly a very cheap way to get plastered (assuming that’s the end goal), but here are a few tips to help you bucket in relative safety.

Afterall, nobody likes a train wreck, and no matter how cool you may have thought it was at the time, vomiting all over your girlfriend at the restaurant really isn’t very cool at all.

Buckets from new buddies
It’s a judgment call, but travellers should be very cautious about accepting buckets from “new friends”. Druggings and assaults are a serious problem. Don’t ever bucket alone.

Hang on to your bucket
Buckets have a handle for a reason — so you can hang on to them. Don’t leave your bucket unattended.

A bucket a day…
Booze-filled buckets can really knock you around and you will get very, very, drunk very, very quickly. Stay in control and don’t bucket on an empty belly. More than one bucket in a session is really pushing the friendship.

Please don't make me get back into the ring

Please don't make me get back into the ring.

Buckets and boxing
Need we even say this? Drinking a bucket then getting into a boxing ring is really stupid.

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