Sawatdi Ka from Thailand!!
From Jo'burg to Perth for a week! Here we were instantly shocked by how expensive everything was and became worried about the 2months we will be spending in Australia after Thailand... we have now accepted we will be on a 2month diet! We took to the free CAT buses to explore Perth and spent an afternoon in Kings Park overlooking the city. As it was bank holiday weekend we took on Oz tradition and bought ourselves a box of goon (boxed wine) and managed to lose all memory of our night out after just 3 mugs of the stuff. We were however reminded of an eating competition we had agreed to with the guys staying in the hostel... A loaf of bread and 4 cans of beans! Apparently we had been so sure of ourselves! Luckily with prior knowledge of the hangover we would wake up with we had spent the day before hunting out a cheap all you can eat chinese!! woo! Following our failed attempt at the "all you can eat' part of the chinese we stumbled back to declare we were pulling out of the bread and beans competition! Spent most of the weekend watching DVDs and finished up our Oz West Coast experience with a trip to Freemantle... Got to go on a submarine and ate the voted best fish and chips :)
So after leaving the winters of Perth and the long flight via Singapore we landed in Bangkok and was suddenly hit by the extreme heat and humidity at 6AM!! We made our way to Rainbow Guest House near Khosan Rd where we were to stay for the next week. Got straight into the tourist action and got into a Tuk Tuk to have a look round and see the first of many many temples.... turns out most Tuk Tuk drivers just want to take you to the Tourist Authorities or Gems Gallery, as they get commision, and if you don't want to go they just leave you in the middle of nowhere!!
With a new found hate for Tuk Tuk drivers we took our first Thai bus to Chatachuk Weekend Market.... incredibly big and lots and lots of people! With no bartering allowed we were dissapointed and headed back to Khosan Rd for some cheap retail therapy which has resulted in the purchase of an extra bag :) Khosan Rd also became the venue for the viewing of the first England game. After drinking a rather large amount of vodka and coke we took our places on the floor of a very large crowd in front of the big screen. The next 90 minutes were spent 'arguing' about David Beckham and other football topics we quite clearly know nothing about! Game over and the big Ronald McDonald sign became a magnet to our eyes... this happened to cause another 'discussion' about the double Big Mac purchased!
So being lazy we booked a day tour... got picked up from the guest house at 7am and taken to Saduak Damneon Floating Market via long tail boat. Spent an hour being literally dragged into many boat stalls and sampled some new fruits.... one which turned out to be balls of sugar and not fruit! From here we got taken to a Cobra Show where crazy guys played with poisonous snakes and caught them in their teeth and next to the Kwai River Bridge. Final stop was Tiger Temple in Kanchanburi where we played with baby tigers, which were so cute!!
Time to sample Thailands 3rd class railway transport so we ventured to Ayutthaya for the day where we hired some bikes and took in the ruins of the old capital city before Bangkok. In the final days of Bangkok a night market and fun fair came to town :) became the new evening entertainment!
From Bangkok we moved to Sukothai for a few days. In between getting there and leaving Hannah managed to literally destroy the bathroom starting with the slight issue of a blocked toilet and the use of her whole arm (lots of antibacterial gel required after) and ending in the sink actually falling off the wall in her hands!! We took a day trip to the Old Sukothai City and loving the bike hire we started out at the museum... which would have been pretty boring except the 100's of Thai kids on a school trip for the day decided to make us the main exhibition! Literally cornered by them firing questions like "how old are you?" and "what football team do you support?". After our escape we took to the bikes to visit the ruins along with what seemed like every school child in Thailand.... made our day very entertaining!
So we then left Sukothai and made our way to Chiang Mai. So began our 2days of trekking through the jungle :) First stop elephant riding, which is alot more bumpy than imagined! After walking a few hours in the heat the sight of a waterfall and pool was heaven. After a nice chilling swim and play we began the walk to base camp, the heavens opened and Thailands rainy season became apparent! Finally made it and after washing in the waterfall spent the evening around the campfire contending with the mosquitos. Second day we walked to a remote village in the mountains and then began the slow walk down to finish the day with an hours bamboo rafting through the forest.
Today we ventured up to Doi Suthep, a temple on top of the mountain north of Chiang Mai, here we walked into one of the small temples got told to "sit" by a monk and so surrounded by many other people we got blessed and had a whole lot of holy water splashed all over us!
So now blessed and coming round to the idea of Buddhism we shall leave you until our next blog post :)