Bangkok 16th - 18th November & 23rd - 26th November 2010
It took 6 hours door to door to get from the tree house in Railey to the hostel in Bangkok which I didn't think was too bad all in all. It had entailed accosting a German guy who didn't speak a word of English into helping me lift my back pack down the wooden ladder from the tree house, a long boat ride, a taxi, a plane ride, 3 trains and a short walk, where I arrived at a complete oasis in the hot, busy, noisy and dusty Bangkok.
I stayed in Bangkok for a total of 6 nights and pretty much just used it as a base to explore the rest of this region. It's also a good hub for air travel to other countries in SE Asia, so I envisage I'll come back here again when travelling to Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
So I was very, very busy whilst in Bangkok. I'm not going to write everything in here, because quite frankly I'd be writing another 4 pages and I just don't have the time! In traditional Project Manager style I had written a list and booked as much as possible in advance to use my time here wisely.
Bangkok itself is noisy, polluted, crowded and completely chaotic, but then that tends to be quite normal in developing countries. The hostel I stayed in was brand new and it was a complete oasis in the insanity that is Bangkok. It was also very centrally located so getting around was really easy, and there was of course a never ending supply of energetic Tuk Tuk drivers, who would take you anywhere your heart desired all for the modest tourist price.
During my time here I did a Thai cooking class and enjoyed myself so much I think I may have found a new calling! We made a Royal curry, rice crackers with a Thai topping, a Pomelo salad, and a chicken satay dish. I cannot wait to try them out when I get home! :) I also got recipe cards for some other dishes I want to try out when I get home like Tom Yum soup and Lemongrass tea. Legal disclaimer: I definitely cannot be held responsible for giving any tasting volunteers food related conditions such as food poisoning, or stomach cramps from eating too much! lol :)
Whilst here I also did some day trips to the Floating Markets & The Bridge over River Kwai. This day trip was rather strange as I expected both of them to be much less touristy. When I mentioned this at the floating market, the tour guide just said some days there's more tourists and other days more vendors. It was interesting to see though and pretty freaky when you were sailing past and all of a sudden they would hook two sticks to the boat you were in and pull you over. The Bridge over River Kwai was very sad, especially as I'd just finished reading the book 2 weeks ago. We also went to the cemetery where the majority of the Allied forces who died there are buried and I was amazed at the number of workers tending to the grounds and keeping it in absolutely immaculate condition.
I went to Ayutthaya, which was Thailand's Capital until 400 years when the Burmese invaded Thailand, destroyed it and burnt it down. Here I saw every kind of Buddha image available, gold ones, reclining ones, Cambodian ones, you name it, I saw it. I also had a very interesting episode when 2 school girls came up to me and asked if they could shake my hand. I was obviously very dubious and thought they were going to try and nick my camera or something, but the tour guide asked them what they were doing and when they answered he just laughed. He said they wanted to shake my hand because I had big boobs and they hoped my 'luck' would rub off on them! Lol. I figured they needed all the luck they could get as quite frankly I've never seen a Thai girl with big boobs, and once we'd shaken hands they ran off back to the group who were all giggling. :)
I also went to the Grand Palace, found the Emerald Buddha, negotiated my way through rush hour, twice, ate some really good street food and did some shopping in an insane shopping mall (seriously 5 stories in a rabbit warren layout is actually wayyyy too much).
And so in a nutshell that's it. That is honestly all I'm going to write on Bangkok as I've just got to Cambodia and need to plan what we're going to be getting up to over the coming week, plus as always I've taken a tonne of pics and they will always speak better than words.
Wow, I think that may be the shortest ever Blog?! hahaha