Bangkok round 2 was different to the first time we visited. We decided that as the place we stayed in last time was so 'in your face' we would stay on the other side of town in a place called Sukhumvit. After taking the ultra modern subway there, we soon realised that this was the more expensive side of town but not wanting to lug our bags anymore, we settled on a travel-lodge kind of hotel. Sukhumvit is a lot more swanky than the other side of town but also can be quite seedy (from the amount of ladyboys we saw, I don't think the red light district was far away!). We decided to catch the skytrain giving us a great view of the city as we descended upon Bangkok's shopping area. It's full of the biggest and most modern shopping malls I've seen in my life, all with marble floors. designer shops and plush restaurants at every turn! It was such a shock to be in such a clean place in Bangkok! I decided that after loosing the ginger beard, I needed a haircut to smarten up my act up a little. I walked in to the hairdressers feeling pretty nervous about what he was going to do, and as soon as he started cutting, I knew he had no idea what I asked for! He did seem to take pleasure in dropping his scissors in my lap and eagerly grabbing them though! I came out with a completely different style so I'll wait for the messages to see what you guys think!
Up early the next morning, we decided to head to Kanchanaburi to see the bridge over the river kwai. After a nightmare taxi journey spending 2 hours driving round Bangkok in rush hour, we missed our train and had to get the bus. We finally made it though and checked into a guesthouse by the river. Our first stop was the museum to learn a little more history about the railway which was really interesting as I know nothing about it. The bridge itself wasn't anything too spectacular...just a bridge! But we were lucky enough to be on it when the train went past. It was full of Japanese tourists though and market stalls blaring out hip hop music which kinda ruined the atmosphere. The town of Kanchanaburi itself was a lot more built up and bigger than I expected and it didn't really have much charm about it. The following morning we took a taxi to the floating market which was really cool. We hired a long boat and were taken down the packed canals to see all the floating stalls. Was really bustling with lots of people shouting and selling their goods and we finished the tour with some traditional thai soup made on a long boat. In the afternoon, we decided to go to the tiger temple even though it has a lot of controversy around it. It's basically a sanctuary for tigers and you can get up close to them and stroke them as they have been raised by monks so they are used to human contact. However, lots of people believe they have been drugged, and it wasn't very buddhist to charge an entrance fee. There are tons of western helpers and there is no temple there so we were unsure about the whole thing. But the tigers seemed to be in healthy condition and it was amazing to get so close up to the animals!
We headed back to Bangkok for one final day where we stayed in near the Khao San Road again for convience and to save money! I much prefered it this time around as I knew what to expect and how everything works there. We spent our last day visiting the Thai house of the american entrepeneur who brought Thai silk to the western world before heading back to Khao San road for some cheap bargains! That evening we set off on our 15 hour overnight journey to Koh Tao where I am at the moment. Is awesome here but will update in a few days.