Once back on the mainland we caught an overnight bus to Bangkok . We had to change bus several times throughout the trip but we managed to arrive safely to bangkok bus station at 5am. We got a taxi into the city with a few other friends and stayed at a well known area close to Khoa San road. This area was packed tightly with hotels, guest houses, markets and is home to most to Bangkok's nightlife. Our hotel had 2 roof top pools whih looked out over bangkok city.
Our first day here we fell for one of the many bangkok tuktuk scams. The men told us we were getting a tour of the city and that he would take us to tourist info centres to find out what tours we could do in bangkok. We thought this was a great idea as it was so cheap and needed more info! Of course he took us to all the wrong places and collected his tip from the local shop owners for bringing us there. In the end we were dropped and left at a shopping mall in the city and had to make our own way home.
We booked a trip to the floating markets, River kwai and the tiger temple for the following day. The floating market was a lot smaller than we imagined. We paid to go around the market by boat. But so did everyone else. So it was bumber to bumber the whole way round. You can walk around on foot as there are only a few stalls which can only be accessed by water but we found that most stalls were selling the same thing anyway and the boat just took a lot longer.
Next we went to see the River Kwai Bridge which was constructed during world war 2 by the japanese and was meant to transport cargo to india. The bridge is now a tourist destination and the track is developed into a walkway so you can ross by foot. There was also a war museum here but unfortunately didn't have time to go in.
The Tiger temple was left for last. It is located about 2.5 hours drive from bangkok and when we arrived it was honestly over 40degrees. As a forest monastery appropriate clothing must be worn by women, covering their shoulders and knees so as not to offend the celibate monks. So I put on my jeans, my only longsleeve top and drenched with sweat all afternoon. The area was huge and there were animals everywhere. The tigers were in the canyon all chained up under the trees. We were told that the tigers were not sedated and that they lie down all day because of the heat. They are only chained up so we don't get eaten alive. One by one we lined up and got taken around to all the tigers for individual photos. This was very exciting, we got right up close for a big cuddle. Due to it being so late in the afternoon the baby cubs were put away so unfortunately I didnt get to feed them!!
We caught the public ferry to China town. This was a little different to the other china towns we had previously visited as it was all wholesale so if I wanted a certain pair of shoes I had to buy 10 of them which completely stuffed up my daily budget.
Next on our to see list was the Bangkok weekend market. This wasn't like any street market we had seen before. This was a little bigger... Apparently 10,000+ stalls. Every weekend, rain or shine the locals are there selling it all! We spent a full day here running around trying to see it all. Our favourite section was filled with pets! Cats, dogs, rats, bunnies, squirells and birds. So so cute and so cheap! We were told this market had snakes and spiders but we didn't manage to find them! Thank goodness!
That afternoon we got on a bus to Chiang Mai. Another 12 hour bus trip.