Hi everyone. I am back in Bangkok at the moment. I have added a couple of photos to the blog, but it takes absolutely ages to upload them...so I got a fed up and gave up!!! But I will try to add some more when I get a chance. Also, I have managed to lose my phone on my travels...so sorry if anyone has tried to call or text, but I will try to sort out a replacement soon.
I have been back in Bangkok a few days now....it is sooo different to the totally chilled atmosphere of Koh Phangan, but still good. As you walk down the Khoa San road, all the stall holders are chatting to you, trying to get you to look at their stalls, and if you even look at something for a second, they are asking how much you would pay for it!!! I do love it though, it's such fun to barter and joke with them, you just have to be firm, and walk away if you don't get the price you want. It is funny how quickly you get used to everything being so cheap though, and find yourself thinking i'm not paying 3 pounds for a top...that's far too much, you can get a dress for that!!!! The food is cheap and great too...the spring rolls on the street stalls are the best I have tasted, and they only cost about 40p for 3...and you can get a bag of fresh pineapple for about 30p! The sad thing is there are children up all night trying to sell flowers to you...they are really cheeky and cute, and it is fun to joke with them, but just sad to think their parents have to use them and send them out working all night just to make enough money to live.
I went to the floating market a couple of days ago, it is about an 1.5hours from the center of Bangkok. It was a brilliant experience, you get to see a bit more of the traditional side of Thailand, and how the locals live...there are houses all alongside the river, and many of them are just shacks built from sheets of corrugated steel, and any other scrap metal or plastic they have found. The people all seem so happy though, and wave to you and say hello as you float past. We had an hour on a long boat being paddled by 2 old Thai ladies, and all wore wide rimmed straw hats. We were floating amongst the boats selling everything from fruit, sticky rice, to photo albums and childrens toys. It was great to see all the bright colours, and experience all the sights and smells (not so good!!!). It was just like I have seen so many times on the movies. We then had some more time to wander round all the stalls on the banks alongside the river.
I am travelling north to Chiang Mai on the overnight train this evening. I am really looking forward to going there, we are going to do a 3 day Hill Tribe trek, then a cookery course, and I hope to go to the flight of the Gibbon' which is a place with zip wires and rope bridges set in the rainforest...it looks really cool!! I am hoping to detox a bit while I am there as well... I have had so much alcohol the last few weeks...it's not good for me at my age!! But I have heard the nightlife is good there....so we wil see.
Hope you are all well....I'll be in touch again soon.