Here we are then in Chumphon on the east cost of Thailand, after a great 3 nights in Bangkok! When we arrived in Bangkok we headed straight to the same hostel Clare has stayed in 3 years ago - which was nice as it meant we knew kind of where we were headed…but by this point we were walking zombies after our long flight from Dubai via Sri Lanka.
After crashing out for few hours we headed to the main backpacker area called Khao San Rd, which is full of amazing clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, DVDs and anything else you could want! We were very good and didn't go shopping crazy as we knew whatever we got we'd be carrying for the next 3/4 months!
Then heading back we sampled our first Bangkok street food, from a lovely man selling chicken noodle soup! It was amazing and only 20p! We also ran into some American guys who were over in Bangkok for 3 weeks of intense Thai Boxing or Mai Thai Training. They all do it back home in the US, but wanted to see how it was done here. We ended up hanging out with them for the rest of the night. They don't usually drink….so we showed them how it was done, which ended up with Shane getting drunk and getting a tattoo on his wrist saying Mai Thai in Thai! Random indeed! Needless to say they blamed the British girls, but to our relief Shane actually really loves it!!!
The next day we headed off to Wot Pho, where we saw the famous Reclining Buddha all in gold. Was huge! Here you could put money into 180 pots running along the wall and make a wish (which we did - but ran short of about 4 coins!). We also bought a tile for the roof repair of the temple that the Reclining Buddha is in - we wrote our names etc on it, which is a nice touch.
That night was spent with the American thai boxing guys, eating more street food, and dancing the night away in some very hot and sweaty bar/club (see photos for evidence of sweat!!)! And yep Sam showed everyone some of her amazing dance moves!!!!
The following day, we went to the Grand Palace, and had the sweetest taxi man, Mr Vallop. He was telling us how he used to be a monk, and then became a taxi driver (slightly random job change!!). He was so keen to practice all his English. Once in the palace, we got a guide to show us around. This was great, because although Clare had been round it once before, it was so nice having someone telling you all the random facts about the place…like how the Kings sisters is 'lying in wake' for 10 months, so thai people could come and morn her death. We also saw the emerald Buddha (wearing his rainy season outfit), and Clare practiced some yoga/meditation with the tour guide!
The guide then took us off to catch a fishtail boat round to see the floating markets around Bangkok. It was so nice to be on the water seeing all the little villages, the children playing/fishing/swimming - everyone would wave and shout hello! The water villages (houses on stilts) even had post boxes….wonder if they have a water version of postman pat!
For our last night we decided to have a chilled one…hanging about at our hostel with Greg and Shane.
We got up very early, to try and catch a train south. But after getting there (with the help of another one of our favorite taxi drivers Mr Jumlong), all the seats were taken so we had to buy a ticket for the train leaving at 1pm!! And it was only 7am by this point….and as we had already check out of our room, the only option left was to wake Shane and Grey (the America boys) up, and dump our stuff in their room for the morning! Luckily they hadn't left for training and left us use the room til 12 when again with the help of Mr Jumlong we went to the station and started our 9 hr train journey…..
….this was, although long, amazing! Seeing all the paddy fields, mountains, people selling all types of food on the train, and a gorgeous sun set! The train ended up being 1hr late, but time seemed to pass and we arrived in Chumphon. And again we have ended up staying in the same hostel (and room) that Clare did!
Today we head south west on a mini van for 7 hrs. We're going to Ko Lanta a small island south of Phuket...near the Malaysian boarder (kinda). We plan to stay here a few nights, head north via another island and then to a national park on the main land!!!
That's all for now….sorry it's a little long.
Much love to you all,
Clare and Sam x