Saturday 11th October
Arrived into Bangkok after 20 hour journey. Flew from Cape Town, stopped in Joberg and then a two hour stop at Doha airport. Security at Doha is interesting to put it at best. Next leg from Doha we found ourselves on a plane that must have been less than a third full...sweeettttt! Everyone on the plane had a row to themselves, although I (Curt) still didn't manage to get any sleep.
Landed at Bangkok, tired and confused. Turns out we filled in a visa application even though we could have walked straight through immigration!
Arrived to a very warm and humid Bankok and greeted by our tour guide Grace. A very kind and gentle women, strangely even inviting us to stay at her house after Bankok! Got to our hotel, which is adequate, not great but not terrible. Too tired to venture out so we ate at the restaurant at the hotel....unfortunately we arrived on karaoke night but overall the meal was good, and ideally located a couple floors from our room.
Sunday 12th October
Picked up from the hotel and visited a few temples - Wat Pho (reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Benchamabophit and the Golden Buddha. Nice to visit the temples but once was enough. Went on a water taxi for a cruise along the Chao Phraya River which was an experience itself, checking out some of the floating markets before heading to the worlds LARGEST jewellers...great! After Emily enjoyed trying on some jewellery, in particular diamonds! lol We settled for a modest necklace. Now off to the shopping mall in Bangkok, free wifi was a bonus! At the end of the trip we ended up at the Horizons bar, looking over the skyline of Bangkok. Great views, good atmosphere and enjoyed a nice cocktail and a few Changs (6%, not great for the head the morning after!).
Monday 13th October
Today we experienced the infamous Khao San Road which is about a 4 minute walk from our hotel. We went during the day just to warm up to what we will be getting ourselves into and actually got to meet a couple of Americans (Neil & Jack) who are backpacking Thailand and Cambodia over the next couple months. After the four of us had enough of the harassment to buy stuff down the road, we took refuge in one of the many bars.
After we had managed to mentally prepare ourselves for round 2, Emily and I popped into an Internet cafe to research the next leg of our journey which is now fast approaching. Hoping to check out the Erawan Waterfalls before getting to Chaing Mai to volunteer at the elephant sanctuary.
Went back to the room to cool off and have a power nap before meeting Neil & Jack for drinks at the bar. Decided to go to the night market which was great but none of us actually wanted to buy anything. Quick bite to eat (noodles again....) and back to Khao San Road where the atmosphere has intensified. Very busy and lively, everyone just having a good time and kinda made me feel like I was a fresher again where everything is so new and exciting. Found a really nice bar and clearly not satisfied with my dinner found myself bartering for a good price on a scorpion! Three scorpions purchased (Emily not so keen on the arachnids) we took a seat and ordered our drinks to help wash down our newly discovered delicacy. Decided that eating it whole was the best way to tackle this, and found it to be quite salty, and extremely crunchy with each bite and never seems to end as it just doesn't dissolve in your mouth like normal food. After washing it down with a few beers, we headed back out to the road and found ourselves bartering for tarantulas! These were much worse that the scorpion, maybe because we had nothing whatsoever to wash it down with. After chewing for what felt like 10 minutes and forcing this dry, black mulch down my throat it seemed like a good time to call it a night.
Tuesday 14th October
As we had only booked 3 nights at our current hotel we packed up and made our way to a hotel on Khao San Road some guys we've got to know are staying at for our last night in Bangkok.
Had a fairly relaxing day booking up hotels, buses and trains for the next few days and grabbed some traditional street food which was by far better than expected! The portions were huge and it only came to 80baht (about £1.60).
Up to the rooftop pool for the rest of the afternoon for a swim and to catch some rays before getting ready for what ever the evening has in store...
C & E