So, here we are, leaving Thailand and suddenly thinking; crikey, we haven't started our blog yet. Call it lazy, but we've just been trying to survive in this mental place!
Well our trip got off to a good start. We booked a place before we left that was £7.50 each, per night. It looked 4 star, had free mini-bar, nice pool and to top it off we got upgraded to a deluxe room for free! The area (Latkrabang) wasn't popular with the tourists so for the first week we lived mainly amongst the locals. After a few days of playing it safe we managed to ween ourselves off of the packet noodles and started training our stomachs with some of the local food.
Thanks to the floods our initial plan of going Chiang Mai had to be aborted as that was the worst hit area at the time, so we spent about 1 week in Bangkok.
That week pretty much felt like eternity, we managed to get scammed within the first week with two nights in a hostel that had 'added extras' in the room, including mould, flies, a swinging air-con system, a shower that looked like it would do more harm than good and a much-used toilet. It was nice.
Our polite 'no thank you's' to Tuk Tuk drivers and their street accomplices turned into angry ' w*** off. We know your game!' responses, but we'd probably blame this on the intense, constant humidity which apparently means you've got 'troppo'. The pollution didn't help either. If you think London's bad get yourselves to Bangkok.
It wasn't all bad though, our bartering skills with taxi drivers and shop keepers were improving and we managed to see some of the big sites.
The Grand Palace and Wat Po Temples were a lot more impressive than we initially thought they were going to be. After a massive trek across Bangkok we were turned away from the Grand Palace entrance because Mel's 3/4 trousers were too inappropriate. (even though the locals were allowed in with skirts...) This was fine as we just joined the rest of the skint travellers and took photos from the free area just outside. To put it bluntly, people that paid the 400baht to just get a bit closer were suckers. 5 minutes down the road we went to the Wat Po Temples and they were just as beautiful and only 50 baht to get in.
To be honest, as beautiful as they are, when you've seen one temple you've seen them all.
For 2 nights we stayed in a pretty decent place. We don't know what was more surreal: our ladyboy receptionist/manager who looked like she/he/it wanted us dead or ending up in the same hostel as a 2nd cousin from Leighton Buzzard! On our 1st night we experienced one of the most violent storms. The rumbles were constant and Mel was convinced the lightening bolts were going to find their way through our tiny window and through her! We should have been more worried about the loose electricity cables dangling outside our balcony.
We needed our 3rd rabies jab before leaving Bangkok, we looked for a hospital but ended up finding a Private Clinic. It was a 3rd of the price compared to the UK. Our doctor was a legend he wouldn't let us leave until he went online to show us all the tropical islands and how to get there etc. So we went straight to the central train station, booked our tickets and headed south for the winter...