One thing to add before commenting on Thailand, as I was checking in at a hostel for my last day/night in Tokyo I felt an earthquake while stood in the reception! There was a loud grumbling noise as if a large lorry was going past and the desk shook - and the receptionist didn't bat an eyelid...
Anyway, after a 7 hour flight and finally landing in Bangkok I had to queue for about an hour and a half to get baggage. In the meanwhile I got talking with a guy named Mark who'd been on the same flight as me and 2 canadian guys who had also just flown over. I ended up sharing a taxi with the two Canadians with the idea that they'd be able to stay at the hostel I had pre-booked as they hadn't arranged anything yet and none of us particularly knew where we were going. So we hopped in a taxi only to be dropped miles from the address I gave the driver and were wandering the streets of Bangkok in sweltering heat at 2 am for about an hour before finally finding my hostel. Except once we got there it turns out they were fully booked! Felt pretty bad on the two guys as I'd dragged them around half of Bangkok looking for the place...
In the morning I headed off to explore Khao San Road (the central cheapo backpacking area) and ended up at the Golden Mount Temple where weirdly enough I bumped into mark, the guy I met at the baggage queue, and his friend who lived in Bangkok. So I ended up going around some of the sites with them for part of the day as his friend was like a mini free tour guide!
Before my travels I'd arranged to meet up with a group who are doing the same route as me in SE Asia for roughly the same amount of time, and because they land 4 days after I do I didn't really want to do anything too touristy as they would want to do it too and there was no point in me seeing and paying for everything twice. So my last few days in Bangkok have been pretty relaxed. I went for dinner with two German girls from my hostel and then the following day visited the Chatuchak weekend market, the largest market in Asia. I also took a boat down the river and visited china town, an area notorious for delicious food (mainly meat) and chaotic markets! I had to change hostels at one point and as I was checking out a room in a place I ended up chatting to a guy on the stairs who was from Liverpool! He was working as a tour guide in Hanoi, Vietnam and was on a visa run so was in Bangkok with some of his work mates for a few days. He invited me over to have a few drinks with them which turned into a full blown night out with me crashing with the girls at their hotel at 4am, so didn't need to find a hostel after all!
The next day I was due to meet the group i'd arranged to travel with through Aisa and so set off in search for the hostel we'd all booked together a couple months back. After nearly 3 hours of searching and walking up and down the same street to no success I concluded that the hostel didn't actually exist and it had been a scam! At this point I'd asked 3 travel agents, numerous stall workers and paid an Internet cafe to search on google maps but to no avail. So in the end I went to a posh hotel with a pool on the roof and paid £4 to use their facilities for the day and sunbathed all afternoon!
Once the others arrived we eventually discovered that the hostel was under restoration and they had 'forgotten' to inform us but that we would be refunded our deposit, and luckily there was a hostel down the road with 8 beds free and so we headed there. We all got ready and headed out for a bit of group bonding - aka drinks. There are 8 of us together which should be interesting when sorting accommodation, but everyone seems really nice and get on which is the main thing. There are 3 guys - Ben and Matt (2 friends from guernsey, Adam (who's been travelling around NZ and OZ for past 4 months), and 4 girls, Sophie and Amy (2 friends from Harrogate), Deleydd (from Wales) and Rebecca who's from Shropshire.