Published: April 7th 2011April 7th 2011
Good afternoon from sunny Bangkok!
We left the airport on Monday night and headed for Dubai, all fairly straightforward apart from a large amount of turbulence which led to the south african kid next to be chundering...... everywhaaar. The Emirates flight had a cool front facing camera which Hevs hated as she thought the plane wasnt landing straight, but obviously it was fine. We were only in Dubai for about 30 mins before jumping onto our connecting flight to BKK. On the second flight I watched The Fighter, brilliant film, highly reccommend it! The second flight was much smoother apart from the russian guy next to me who didnt really understand designated seating areas and the concept of personal space.
We got to the airport and got our bags in minutes, it was then time to grab a cab because we were tired and couldnt be bothered with the slow bus. In the cab i learnt about Hev's new found religious tendencies, the words "oh my god" were muttered about 50 times during the 1hour taxi through heavy Bangkok traffic, i thought the guy was a legend as any time saving for me was a good thing. We did
manage to get to the hotel in one piece despite some crazy manouvers from the driver at about 8pm.
Our room at Bhiman Inn is nice and has aircon and a pool downstairs, but we decided to head out straight away to go and grab some food and a few Changs (the local strong lager). Khao San Road is only a 5 minute walk which is good but I am glad we are not staying right in the thick of it, would never get any sleep! Luckily I had read up on a few of the popular scams before arrive in Thailand so I was prepared for the ultra cheap tuk tuk scam etc, the phrase "too good to be true" is still very much applicable here and if it seems silly cheap, there will be a reason. After a quick meal and a wonder around we retired for the night and caught up on some much needed sleep.
The next day we went shopping, to pick up malaria meds, contact lenses etc. We went to the infamous MBK centre but arrived too early, straight away we met scam number two, a well dressed man speaking good english
telling us that everything is closed due to it being a public holiday, again I was well read and politely told him we were not interested in his help. Obviously everything was open but he probably wanted to take us to his mates tailors to get a dodgy suit knocked up. Because MBK was not open yet we went to a local market, which wasnt that inspiring, the heat was a killer so we went into another shopping centre which was more upmarket, it had a topshop which Hevs was naturally drawn to, the prices for western goods out here (genuine ones anyway) are mega pricey, a good 30 percent more than in the UK. We quickly left and saw a Krispy Kreme which we were naturally drawn to, this was cheaper than the in the UK but not as nice, we saw a thai guy ordering about 50 boxes, ludacris!
Having enjoyed the donut we walked over to MBK which was now open, it was mental! Like a market but indoors and air conditioned, the mobile phone section was vast with many ipad 2's on sale. I got my phone unlocked and we got our malaria pills etc
and wanted to start heading home after a long day with a lot of walking, the traffic was mad and taxi drivers wern't interested in taking us back to our hotel because it is fairly far away from MBK, so we took a tuk tuk which I thought was pretty fun, hevs had other ideas and the "oh my god" started again, driving the wrong way down a busy street was my personal highlight!
We went out again last night and had a 30 min foot massage (2 quid) which was nice after the long day we had had, until they moved onto our legs...... to say it was firm is an understatement, I also got the pleasure of having my toes cracked and a little dagger pushed into my feet, not the best...... but still fun.
After another meal we went to a shisha place and ordered some beers, we got talking to a nice couple, Justin and Natalia, they gave us some good advice about where we are heading and gave us a nice supply of sun tan cream which was sweet as we dont have that much. It was getting late and we were pretty
boozed so we wandered back to the hotel with our loot and hit the sack.
Today we went to see the grand palace, wat pho and the golden mount, all of them were pretty cool with some of the buildings being amazingly decorative, we got a water taxi first up which was pretty cheap and faster than the gridlocked streets. If water is not available, taking a metered taxi is sooo much better (and cheaper) than the dodgy tuk tuk's who greet you every 6 steps, not sure how the taxi drivers make a living, the fees are soooo low!
We head to cambodia tomorrow which will be interesting as all we keep hearing is "it's very poor!", we hope to see Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh and the killing fields etc. then move onto Sihanoukville for some sun, sea and relaxation.
Catch up with you soon!
James (and Hevs :) )
There are more photos below