Well, we're all in one piece and loving every second! Thailand is amazing, a little bit crazy and overwhelming at first but amazing all the same. We've managed to meet some really nice people so far, it must the blessed Saint Christophers that have been watching down over us! Whilst having a celebration 'pre-travel' drink in the airport bar we met an Irish lady who was lovely. She was off to Argentina to see her son who owns a restaurant out there (networking, making contacts for when we arrive!!). We ended up chatting to her for at least a couple of hours and she gave us a Virgin Mary locket which had been blessed by the Bishop in Cork to keep us safe. Although I'm not religious myself, its still lovely and quite strangely comforting to have something blessed with you, karma and all that jazz.
The flight was OK as far as 10 hour flights go but mine and Claire-Lou's plan to get drunk on the flight only lasted for two bottles of wine (small) and then we passed out - what lightweights! Arrived in Bangkok about 4 in the afternoon and was met by the hundreds of men and women trying to get you into their taxi's. We must have looked like deers caught in the headlights as a lad took pity on us and came over to see if we were going to the same place. Thankfully we were and we could tag along with him. Chester turned out to be a godsend, spoke fluent Thai, had been travelling Asia for about 5 years and knew Thailand inside out so gave us loads of tips on where to go and what not to do.
He dropped us off in the taxi at Khao San Road, crazy backpacker area of Bangkok which is just heaving with people (think the begining scenes of the Beach film), our hostel turned out to be harder to find and once again we looked like lost sheeps walking the Khao San streets and alleys trying to find it. In the end, the luck of St Christopher again perhaps, a police man came over and sorted us out, put us in a tuk tuk (crazy crazy drivers, every man for himself!) and found our hostel for us. The Thai Cozy House was lovely, clean (apart from one cockroach which presented itself later on) and actually on the street next to Khao San Road so we probably walked past it a few times! Oops!
We quickly put our gladrags on and headed out to the market...but soon got waylaid by all the bars selling buckets of vodka-redbull for ridiculous prices like 190baht (about 2quid)...I think you all know where this night led! Went to a really nice bar called Gazibo which was open rooftop and looked out on Bangkok...Bangkok seems to love bars with live bands doing bad English covers..when we walked in this particular bar a Thai man with a ponytail was singing 'You Look Wonderful Tonight'...So funny...not as funny as when a small cute Thai girl started singing Tom Jones 'I Love You Baby' and all the Thai people were singing along and dancing!!! Anyway we befriended a German girl who was on her last night of a three month travelling trip, who also wasnt drinking, poor girl...we adopted her, made her come out and drink lots of buckets she didnt want, took her back to our hostel and wrecked out room the only way we know how when looking for stuff. That was the first time we got told off for being noisy by the scary silent Thai security guard. Then went back out and ended up in some techno club which could have literally been Dirty Disco- Thai style! Completely defeating the object of being away from home!!! Had loads of fun all the same...more so when Clue decided fall in a big group of Thai girls and then just squirmed all arms and legs on the floor trying to get up, so funny. Bad English girl...
Woke up the following morning with BAD hangovers...turns out that Thai whisky somsung or whatever is not the best thing to wake up to...gross...Once again later on we found ourselves looking lost and someone pointed us to an information building where an amazing Thai man called Mon gave us a map of Bangkok and told us all the places we should go and then got us a TukTuk and told him to take us to the Temples to see the Budda then to a TAT to book the rest of our trip and then to a swimming pool to sunbathe (hangover cure). He told the driver to wait for us at each place, which he did and which took about 2 and half hours all in all and only cost us 50 baht which about 90p!!!! Unbelievable, can you imagine how much that would cost in a taxi back home?!!
Later on, walking down Khao San Road we randomly bumped into the Taylors cousien Jonny who had been travelling for the past six months! Such a small world! Then stayed out with him all night, having drinks and going for a curry etc and seeing some more Thai bands doing amusing English covers. Couldnt sleep at all that night from jet lag, its 6 hours in front of English time so felt like we should be awake and so we all had the frustrating body being knackered but mind doing overtime - awful!
Yesteday we shopped and sent some amazing presents home, you lucky people you, then had a Thai massage and headed to the train station for our overnight train to Chiang Mai. The train station was crazy, there were so many people everywhere. Clue went to the toilet and said it was disgusting, just literally a hole in the floor! In the train station!! The train itself was great, it had beds that pulled down. The only bad thing was the food, the "soup" we had was literally water with floating celary or something - weird! This is how Thai people stay so thin me thinks! One of the guards on the train took a shine to us and sat with us for a while, he let us paint his nails and drank some of our beer...which we actually bought off him - how cheeky in retrospect?! All in all it was a 12 hour journey from Bangkok to Chaing Mai but didnt feel so bad because we could sleep..well sort of sleep...the trains are not exactly smooth here, I was convinced I was going to fall out of bed! The toilets were gross as well, it was literally a toilet but with no end so everything just fell onto the tracks! They love to do that over here it seems!!
Anyway we're now in Chiang Mai and its lovely, what I imagine Thailand to be like, its really clean and the hostel we're in is cute. Our plan is to go on a three day jungle trek tomorrow morning, going on the back of elephants and bamboo rafting and staying with tribes in tree huts...crazy stuff and not sure how someone like me who has never even been camping will cope! At least its an experience! Then we're heading up North further to a place called Pai which we were told about by other travellers then down to Ko Samuri and onto Ko Phangan for lots of beachtime and partying - watch this space...!!