We have not really mentioned our journeys so far in Southeast Asia and that's because they have all been fairly easy, until this one. It was a long one, over 24 hours in total including a taxi to the ferry jetty, a ferry across to Saturn in southern Thailand and then a 14 hour bus journey up to Bangkok. Everything was ok until the bus journey. The bus was in a lot better state than the onces in India, and it was air conditioned. The bus did stop for a couple of toilet breaks at actual toilets, not just 'find a corner' as in India, but i think they expected you to starve yourself. They didn't really stop long enough to get food and water and until Matthew said something i don't think they were going to stop at all! We both felt we could of done with a camel each because at least we would'nt of been thirsty.
Anyway we arrived in Bangkok at 6.00am and got a taxi to Khao San road (which is a mini Veronicas in Tenerife where people don't seem to venture off from. You know the crowd "We've been to Thailand" no you have'nt you've been to Khao San road, now get a life!) to look for somewhere to stay. This was a bit of a nightmare as so was everyone else. It was a case of waiting to see if anyone checked out before we knew if we had a room. We did finally get one though after Matthew went on a hunt!
After a few hours rest, into Bangkok we went. It reminded us of a tamer version of India, Matthew was back in his element bartering for Tuk Tuk's etc. We went to the Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew first of all to see the Emerald Buddha which was an amazing spectacle(although he is made of Jade). This took all afternoon, so we headed back, had some street food and an early night so we could feel refreshed for the next day.
Our second day was a Saturday and apparently a public holiday, which meant that all the Tuk Tuks that were government run charged hardly anything to take you round the city. Our driver was only charging us 25p for about 4 hours. Bargain! all we had to do was go to a few places such as tourist information and a few export centres so he could pick up some gas vouchers for his Tuk Tuk. Easy! He first took us to the standing Buddha, then the lucky Buddha, to black Buddha and to the Marble Temple with a few export centres on the way. He was obviously a bit pissed off that we hadn't bought anything at any of these places so by the time he dropped us off at the Marble Temple, he just left us. When we got out, no driver to be seen anywhere! We hadn't paid him so we hadn't lost out and we had a free ride around the city, we found it funny, but were obviously a bit annoyed as it meant we had to walk in the red hot sun for miles, as we refused to go to anymore bloody export centres which is what all the Tuk Tuk drivers wanted to do. We later found out that these vouchers were worth about 200 bhat each and our driver got 5, which should last him at least 2 weeks!!!!! WHAT A SCAM!
We therefore had to walk to the other sites we wanted to see, that were the Golden Mountain and the Lying Buddha, these were at the other side of the city, so it took us a while to get there, but Matthew did really well in navigating us, we didn't get lost once! He even managed to get involved in a game of street chess with the locals, although to be fair he didn't really play as the locals kept taking over while Matthew was thinking of his next move, he was far too slow for them.
The last site of the day was the reclining Buddha and this was amazing, i couldn't get over how big it was, it gave me goose bumps at the size of it! After all that walking we went for a well deserved curry and plenty of drinks on Khao San road, including some more Singapore slings. Turned into a very late night, so up late the next day with a hang over, we didn't really do much apart from go to Lumphini Park to sit and watch the joggers, if thats what you can call them, we could walk faster than some of them (Matthew even walked next to a few to prove the point). It was there we met a nice young man called Ek who wanted to practice his English on us. He had just left the monkhood and was selling carved Elephants that his dad had carved to support himself through university to learn English so he could be a teacher in his home town of Surat thani and teach the poor children and English for free after school. We thought it was a nice story so we bought an elephant.
Overall we both loved Bangkok, even though we did get stranded! It reminded us of the good parts of India.
We also had a few laughs playing bird or bloke like vic and bob!
Up early the next day, next stop the old capital, Ayuthaya.