THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
Back on the road again. Our bus to Bangkok left a lot to be desired. Judging from the
number of parts that were missing from it someone had already sold it for scrap before someone else, in their infinite wisdom, decided it had at least another couple of hundred miles left in it. The
marriage of mini-bus and road is not a happy one when the road in question is the type of terrain usually reserved for 4x4's and tanks. (Rumour has it that an airline is bribing officials to delay
repair to the road that links Siem Reap with the Thai border in order to encourage more people to fly to Thailand instead.) There was a large in gap in the window next us where part of the frame was
missing and in an attempt to keep out some of the dust the couple behind us stuffed a shirt into the gap. Despite their best efforts we arrived at the Thai border a bone-shaking 6 hours later only
slightly less bruised and dusty than if we had been dragged behind the bus rather sat in it. Still, we were relieved to have arrived in one piece, especially when you added into the equation that it
was 50/50 as to whether the bus driver was going to be knocked unconscious by the precarious avalanche in-waiting of bags that were piled up next to him. The alternative was that he would just fall
asleep at the wheel - it was quite terrifying watching him nodding off in the rear view mirror. The border crossing itself was chaos. We had to wait hours for our connecting bus to Bangkok. Luckily
we talked our way on to a mini-van and didn't have to wait a further two hours for the coach. Three hours later we finally arrived. We are staying in the infamous Khao San area - renowned for its
backpacker population. I'm surprised to say that I quite like it here - despite the hordes of Westerners and occasional sprinkling of chavy blokes with their shirts off and bottles of larger in hand.
There is a nice atmosphere here; lots of market stalls and street vendors selling smoothies, pancakes and Phat Thai. We've visited Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho which has an amazing 46m long reclining
gold Buddha. The only downside to Thailand is that it is the most expensive place we've been so far, with the obvious exception of Japan.
Next stop Hua Hin….