logo

Sue Perkins on her wildest travel experiences from ‘taking weird drugs’ to a prison massage

Comedian Sue Perkins is heading off the beaten track as she explores three regions of Thailand. But it’s not all lazing about on beaches and looking at temples, Sue is taking a more daring approach to travelling.

During the series she tries Thai boxing, goes to Hell Garden, visits a women’s prison, and kicks off the first episode by abseiling deep into the Crazy Horse Buttress cave – but that’s not the most daring thing we’ll see her do.

“There’s worse to come,” laughs Sue, 54. “If you want to see me on a hoverboard flying across the ocean screaming, then watch episode three. With the abseiling, I don’t love heights, and it was a blistering hot day. Even going for a walk, I’m out of breath and sweating and because everyone’s whip thin and super young, I’m like somebody’s nana that’s turned up.”



Sue travels around Thailand for her brand-new travelogue
Sue travels around Thailand for her brand-new travelogue


Sue abseils into 'The Gatekeeper' at Crazy Horse Butress
Sue abseils into ‘The Gatekeeper’ at Crazy Horse Butress

Sue continued: “It was very out of my comfort zone because I was looking down this giant hole. I looked at the instructor and said, ‘Tell me I can trust you.’ She literally looked at me and said, ‘Sue, I will not let you fall.’ It went well for a while, then I smacked my knee really badly and hung there like a sack of potatoes.”

This three-part travel series isn’t the first Sue has taken on. Earlier this year, Sue travelled across Alaska where she enjoyed dog mushing, a bug out boat ride and explored the wilderness. Sue has also filmed in Mexico, America, Columbia and Bolivia and considers her ventures in Thailand fairly tame.

“I did another show where I did some really crazy stuff, got shot and took weird drugs,” she says. “So this feels actually quite sedate now by comparison. I think people are quite shocked because I was a very reluctant traveller at first. I didn’t come from a family that travelled, we didn’t really go on holiday, we’d go for day trips to Brighton. My grandparents moved to Torremolinos when I was 14, so we’d go there and sit on the beach and drink Fanta for a week.

“But then I just got the bug for it, staying in strange and sketchy places, with strange animals, strange weather conditions. Often staying with families, I’ve stayed on tables with mosquito nets hung over me, woke up with cats and rats and all sorts just pottering around. My friends and family were surprised by it all initially, but it’s almost taken for granted now, they go, ‘Oh sorry, you must be off doing something crazy.’”



Sue was thrilled to meet some of her favourite animals, elephants, and the lead conservationists, Lek
Sue was thrilled to meet some of her favourite animals, elephants, and the lead conservationists, Lek

Thai massages are famed the world over and being in Thailand, Sue decided she wanted to try one. However her salon of choice was in a women’s prison where they have a rehabilitation project giving offenders a career option post-jail.

“It’s an incredible scheme because when I think of people in prison, I think of the damage that was done to them,” says Sue. “The scheme gives them an opportunity to learn a new skill and all the money they take in tips is their nest egg for when they start their business.

“And when you’re in a massage position, you’re quite vulnerable,” continues Sue. “But as soon as she started, I knew she was a very gentle person. So I didn’t feel the need to ask her questions like, ‘What did you get banged up for?’ I knew she was a victim and I found a sincerity in her.”



Sue is dressed for a traditional boat race competition near Chaing Mai
Sue is dressed for a traditional boat race competition near Chaing Mai

During her explorations, Sue has picked up some very special souvenirs with real meaning to her.

“I’ve still got my special headgear from Thai boxing and that is next to an embroidered ornamental piece from the Nashi tribe in the Yunnan Province in China,” explains Sue. “The other side of it is a lucha libre mask, I’ve also got a picture of the Virgin Mary. I’ve got a row of things that I would never get rid of because they were given in love and often they were given in a moment of really deep sincerity, sometimes in a religious service.”

Being the well-seasoned traveller she is, Sue reveals she’s a whizz at packing. But what are her essentials?



Sue knows exactly what to pack after filming multiple travel series
Sue knows exactly what to pack after filming multiple travel series

“I am really good at packing now, and I used to be terrible,” she confesses. “The first trip I did, I took a suitcase that was so huge, and I shoved everything into it. We all have our own sort of medical peccadillos, but with flying I get terrible sinusitis, so I will always take a saline nose spray. If you are cursed with having to be next to me and the crew on the first night, you’ll hear me snorting this up my nose because then I don’t get a terrible migraine.

“A neck buff too, it keeps away moisture when it’s hot. I’ve got a UV one so that I don’t burn because my skin is really like Lithuanian, it goes blood red, then it peels, then I go back to white. Most brilliantly, the more you age, it just removes from vision all the scraggy, baggy turkey necks, sagging from my chin down to my chest bone.”

Watch Sue Perkins: Lost in Thailand on Friday 10 May, 9pm, Channel 5

View news Source: https://www.ok.co.uk/tv/sue-perkins-wildest-travel-experiences-32695702

Scroll to Top