15th- 18th June Bangkok
We finally made it to Thailand. We flew from Sydney on the 15th to Singapore then to Bangkok so after about 15 hrs of travelling we were pretty wrecked. At Bangkk Airport we rang our hostel as we couldn’t see a taxi for us. (that we had pre arranged) We were told to jump a metered cab to the hostel. Be warned for anyone travelling no taxi drivers speak/read english so you need to have a decent copy of the address in Thai.
We arrived at Asha Guest House, near Saphan Khawi. We were booked into a twin room for 2.50 a night each and upgraded to air con for 50p more!! The guesthouse is beautiful, the staff are so friendly and helpful, the meals are great and the rooms are airy and clean. There is no hot water but it’s so humid you don’t really need it. I was quite woried about coming to Thailand but the staff soon put all my worries to the side. I would recommend this place so much.
16th We woke up and headed to SIAM (or see-am). Siam is a huge built up shopping centre and we were in search of bargains. We went into Pizza Hut first to obviously sample Thai cuisine!! then headed to MBK a huge 7 floor store, air conditioned, that sold everything. The store is different to back home, inside are hundereds of stalls, like a big indoor market and each stall sells similar things on each floor. The whole of the 4th floor was mobile phone heaven. After buying a few things and 4 hrs of shopping we wandered around the street venders outside on the streets. The smell of stal after stall of meat, fruit and sauces is a bit grim but you kinda get used to it. The humidity and smog is what hits you most.
In the evening we met another couple in the hostel and started chatting to them. They had just started travelling so we were wisdoms of advice for them!!
17th – We jumped on the skyrail and MRT to Hua-Lamphong train station to book our onward ticket to Chiang Mai. As soon as you walk into the enterance there is a Tourist Board who writes down what tickets you need in Thai so you can take it to the kiosk to pay. We also were told about Treking in the jungle and found a great deal. Were off elephant trekking, bamboo rafting and staying in a Thai hill tribe village for a night. So can’t wait for that. As we were being so safe with our cards etc we forgot we had left them in the safe -so we had to leave a deposit and poor Darren had to travel the hour there and back to the hostel to get our money.
After that was sorted we jumped in a cab to the Emerald Buddah Palace. It is so worth a visit its very grand and decreative and really peaceful as well. You had to cover up quite a lot but they had a free hire for clothes at the entrance which was useful. We wandered around the Palace itself learning about Buddist religion and also looked in a Buddah museum and Royal Ceremony gallery. On the way back to the train station we thought we would brave a Tuk- Tuk. The driver spoke Thai all the journey too us and we just smiled back!! It’s great fun but you have to barter with them for a price as they try to scam tourists. The smog and pollution hits you though while travelling on them it’s prety bad but just to say we have done it is good – but Taxi’s are better as there about the same price and have air con.
In the evening we decided we would brave (with Laura and John- Paul who we met the night before) Bangkok at night. We ate at the hostel them headed on the sky rail to Saphan Khwai. We first entered an Irish Bar that had a Thai Beatles tribute. Then we saw a really cheap bar and went in there – once inside we realised it was a gay bar!! quite amuzing but the cocktails were less than a quid so we stayed for a couple. The 3rd bar we thought we would walk down the red light or ping pong zone just for the experience. The bar we went into just before the dodgy part was a huge bar with a live band really good atmosphere. We walked briefly down the road and me and Laura let the guys go first it was so funny to watch all this men come up trying to get them to go into ladies bars – even me and Laura were offered to go in!. It was funny walking down the rd (bit like Soho) afterwards we headed back to the hostel, having had a good night ut and spent 7 quid each for dinner, 3 cocktails and transport there and back = bargain.
18th – We jumped in a taxi in hope of finding a dance shop for me to but cheap dance gear, but the shop wasn’t there anymore!! but it only cost us a pound to drive 20 mins there and back so worth the look in case it had been there. We then headed to the Chatakua Market. The disneyland of markets seeling animals, food, clothes, furniture the works. It was so so hot though and after 3 hrs we had to give up. This is a market that you must banter for, even if you feel silly arguing over a 5p saving! After a few bargains we headed to the hostel to chill for the afternoon before heading to Chiang Mai on a 9 hr train ride tomorrow.
Bangkok was certainly not half as bad as I thought it was going to be. I feel completely safe and enjoying it so far.