Published: December 9th 2003December 9th 2003
I returned to Bangkok, this time for five nights. Initially I had great difficulty finding the enthusiasm to do anything other than sleep or read, knowing that my time here was really just to fill in before I left for Singapore and my flight to Australia. However the day after I arrived was the King's Birthday, and in Thailand they really love their king. Around 2 million people had converged on the small park in front of the Grand Palace to hear the speech by the Prime Minister, watch the fireworks and enjoy - if that word can be applied - the Thai boxing. Not willing to look cowardly in front of two guys from my hostel, I joined them in making my way into the crowd. There were literally peoplecrushed against you in all directions, and you were forced this way and that by one enormous mass of bodies. The Thais would form 'trains' by placing their arms on each others shoulders just to stay together in their groups and not lose anyone on the way. Surprisingly their were no Westerners there - in my opinion is that they took one look at the crowds and turned straight back to the safety of the Khoa San Road, and the bars, discos and restaurants. It was probably the single scariest moment of my life so far, a claustrophobic nightmare that you couldn't quite believe had happened once you were out.
During my first visit to Bangkok I saw very little of the major sights - instead spending the afternoon with two crazy Germans in a quest to search for pancakes - so this time I was determined to see what I had missed. The Grand Palace and (FORGOTTEN nAME!!!!)were amazing and contained more gold than I had ever seen anywhere - even in films! The National Museum was also pretty interesting, as it gave an in depth view of Thai history, which I am ashamed to say I knew very little of. Other than that I spent my time talking to travellers, before I headed to the train station for my journey back to Singapore.