Published: September 14th 2011September 6th 2011
Orn, our teacher.
A lack of internet and time means weve been a bit restricted when it has come to the blog, in fact we are over half way through our time in Cambodia. Now we have reached the beach we might have a little more time to catch up however, so here is where we left off last time....
....Its official, Bangkok is mental, five days was more than enough to explore the warren of tightly packed avenues. After being quite adventurous in the first two days we took it a little easier in the last couple starting with a cooking lesson at a vegetarian restaurant run by an excentric local lady called Mai Kadeei. The lesson was run by her assistant, a small Thai women called Orn who guided us through 15 authentic dishes, taking it in turns to rustle up meal after meal, we cooked, chatted and ate for about 3 hours in total, picking up a bit of the local language in the process before heading back to our hostel with full stomachs and a doggy bag full of the food we could save for later.
In the afternoon we wandered down to Th Khoa San, one of
the main tourist areas in Bangkok. The road sums up the city pretty well, hectic, noisy, bustling and just crazy. Lined with street stalls selling Pad Thai (noodles with chicken/prawn/pork) and larger shops with I LOVE BANGKOK t-shirts this is also the place to come to buy back your camera or phone the next day if you become a victim of one of the many pic pockets in operation around the city. Th Koh San is also the place to go for a Thai massage. Spoilt for choice we plumped first for a fish massage, for 150 Thai Bat (about £3), you dangle your feet in a tank of small fish that suck all the dirt and nibble the hard skin, it tickled like crazy and they seemed to love my feet alot more than Rachael's, she had to get into the adjacent tank to get some of the action. After sipping down a cocktail we returned early evening for some rest.
On Monday we decided to venture a little further afield and so went for a day trip to the Bridge over the River Kwai. We set off early, around 7am and took a small mini bus about
two hours West of the city. Our first stop was to a POW cemetary that held around 3,500 graves of British, Dutch and Australian men. They died at the hands of the Japanese as they were used to help build a train line from Bangkok to the Burmese border.
After that sombering visit we headed to the Bridge itself. The part wood part metal structure was very impressive, we walked along it and back before heading to the station to wait for our train that would take us over the bridge and through the Thai countryside along the 'Death Railway'. For around an hour and a half we journeyed through lush, green rice fields, passing farmers hard at work in the fields. The last stretch took us high above the river on the only remaining origional section of the railway. We slowed to go over it, weather this was so we could take pictures or because it was old and creaked under the weight of the train i dont know but it was a nice end to the journey.
From there we drove downstream and had lunch on a floating platform before heading to the final stop of
the day at a beautiful waterfall set back in the forest. Had we known we would have brought swimming costumes but instead we had to settle for admiring the falls from a distance. From there our tour finished and we just had to endure the 3 hour ride back to Bangkok. The trip was well worth it though and gave us a little taste of what the Intrepid tour was going to be like.
The following day was to be our last full one in Bangkok. After having a bit of a lie in (the next few would be very early starts) we checked out of our first guesthouse and headed to our hotel for the final night and meeting place for the Intrepid trip. The rooms were air conditioned which was a big relief and as soon as Rachael caught sight of a poster advertising the pool we were there! We spent an hour or two just relaxing, it was so nice to get out of the heat. Before we knew it it was early evening and time to go and meet with our group and travel companions for the next two weeks, through Cambodia and onto Vietnam.
There are more photos below