Arrived in Bangkok the next morning to the hustle and bustle of thai life. The journey had been somehwat eventful with Si, Steve and Zoe needing money half way to bangkok so when the train stopped the little thai man who had been serving us food and drinks all night basically shoved the three of them off the train and pointed to the ATM - shouting as they ran "very far ha ha ha" this made everyone burst into fits of giggles - they actually held up the train as everyone who was getting on at that stop had settled down but Round was hanging out the side of the carriage making sure we couldn't go anywhere without them. :)
Anyway, as we got off the train the next day we headed to Koh San Road - the main strip in Bangkok. We got ushered outside to await what the thai men described as a mini van. It came and we all looked on in absolute surprise - the mini van for the nine of us was no mini van - it looked like a cattle van with no seat bealts and nothing to stop you from falling out the sides lol! - we sat facing eachother on benches but as the van pulled off Round wasnt even in the van properly so nearly fell out backwards as the van jerked forwards - thank god for chris who pulled her back in - very funny moment! On the way to Koh San Road the sights and sounds of Bangkok were quite overwhelming - its a very smoggy place but this does not detract from the complete ramdomness and charm of the city - we had all been warned that Bangkok was not a nice place but we were already loving the crazy feel it had! So many bad drivers taking tourists around on tuk tuks (small three wheeled vehicles that seat 2- 10 ppl in and the thais will squash you in), and random mass aerobic sessions taking place on the side of the roads and beautiful temples rising from inbetween the hustle and bustle of street markets and shops - yep its a very random place.
We arrived on Koh San Road and after checking into out hotel went for some food - think our food came to 14.00 pounds for nine of us and that was nine main meals and drinks - beer here is something stupid like 50 pence for a two pint bottle! We all wandered around the market, we went for a starbucks and ended up having a lazy afternoon by the pool on the roof of our hotel. That evening everyone was more than up for a night out and the novelty with Bangkok is that the bars along Koh San Road are no more than a few chairs and some alcohol on a stall. We all went for the cocktail bucket and watched the world go by as we soaked up the night life of Bangkok.
The next day Holly, Lex. Bennet, Round, D and Chris set off for the Palace but got scammed by the tuk tuk drivers - we asked them where it was and they told us it was closed - found out later that this was not the case and that they do it all the time to get you into their tuk tuks and take you around all their shops! It was however very well priced and very interesting - we looked around the temple of the lucky buddha and the tallest one in Bangkok and got to see the tailors and gem stone places - most of the gemstones we were warned are glass trying to be sold as gemstones so we were very careful and didnt buy any of it - but Bennett, Round and Lex got tailor made suits for bargain prices. Steve, Zoe and Si spent the afternoon by the pool and looking around the markets again. That evening we ended up going to a ping pong show - very interesting - will tell you all more if you want to know details when we get home :).The drive from Koh san road to the ping pong show really was hilarious - the label for that journey should have been - life or death situation! The thai people are so friendly to you and they think nothing of making sure you can all be together for your tuk tuk journey - so they piled four of us in one tuk tuk and five in another so we were all a tangle of arms and legs - the journey was a fast one with the tuk tuks frequently going around corners on two wheels rather than the safer option of the full three wheels - very funny and a great way to travel he he - fully recommend you put your life in your hands and take a tuk tuk!
One thing that made our time in Bangkok even better was meeting up randomly with a friend of ours from new zeland - Jacko AKA Spoon Man - if you have forgotten who he is go to the photos in new zealand labelled lake Mahinapua - hes a guy from holland who is very funny and a great person to have around! Im sure there will be more to tell on Bangkok as we will be coming back before heading home so after all this we decided the next day to head out to the country of Laos to really get into the heart of rural south east asia and experience what you expect asia to be like - we were not dissapointed once there - read our next journal entry to get a taste!