Published: July 26th 2012July 23rd 2012
We took the overnight train to Bangkok after a boat and bus ride to Suratani. We had to wait for 4 hours at the train station and saw rats the size of cats which made Tash scream in shock the first time she saw one - ha ha, Trace wasn't at all pleased to see the little cretines either but was able to retain some composure! The train was actually quite comfy, our seats converted into beds and we were allocated the top bunks which was a little annoying as that was closest to the air conditioning which was bloody freezing and they didn't turn the cabin lights off, so even though we had curtains it was still really light, but hey for a 12 hour trip costing £17 it wasn't to be grumbled at.
We arrived at Bangkok at 8am
and Tash directed us by tube to our hostel -etz which was ok, it was clean and fairly central. We then went in pursuit of getting our Vietnam visa, we ended up walking for an hour in the sweltering Bangkok heat, before someone asked us if we needed any help, we told him what we were looking
for and he replied saying that he was a policeman and his wife just happened to work for the embassy but it would take two weeks to get the visa, not feeling too sure about this information, we followed his advice and got in the tuk tuk he got for us and we went to the tourist visa office only to be told that it would be twice the price. Trace was not having any of it and didn't want to pay a penny more than absolutely necessary (tight northerner!) and said that we should go back and try and find the embassy. Tash was pissed off at the thought of being done by the bogus police officer but eventually agreed to spending the rest of the day finding the embassy. After many arguments with "rip off merchant tuk tuk drivers" we eventually headed off to find it and realized that we had actually walked straight past it earlier -Doh!
You will be glad to know that we got our next day visa for the correct price and felt much happier about not being ripped off!
That evening we decided to head out for food and a couple
of drinkies, trace suggested China Town, wherever you go in the world China Town is always buzzing and has great food to offer, right? Well apparently not on a Tuesday in Bangkok or so we were told when we were approaching it. We asked a guy if we were heading in the right direction as it looked like it could have been China Town but it was empty, he told us that it was some sort of festival and therefore closed but recommended a seafood restaurant and wait for it, yes he got us a cheap tuk tuk, we pulled up and the place looked good, lots of tanks with fresh sea food, but after ordering our drink and looking at the menu, realized we might have been done over again, it was about £20 each - tres expensive for Bangkok, we decided to just suck it up and eat there, which turned out to be really disappointing - boo!After dinner and after the day we were having we decided to go to Patpong to lighten our moods, some of you will have heard or visited this world renowned place, famous for its lady boys and ping pong shows! For
those of you that haven't, imagine seedy bars with Thai women performing circus like tricks, with their private parts. Having seen the caberet in Koh Samui we thought it would be similar whist slightly more riske..... Oh no, we paid for one drink and then left, not really knowing where to look, they were shooting darts in to balloons, opening bottles of water and spraying it everywhere and shooting ping pong balls out - every bloke who entered was harrassed within an inch of his life.. We soon decided that we had stayed long enough to tick that 'must do' off our list!We spend the rest of the evening having a couple of beers and looking round the market, much more our style!
The next day we decided to try and book as much as we could for our trip to Laos as we were getting tired of rocking up to places and booking things last minute (which often gets you a better deal but is much more stressful). in the evening we decided to go back to China town to see if it was open, it still looked dead, but we decided to walk further in and low
and behold, it was all open..... We were done over the night before! It's not really busy like the one in KL but does have quite a few cheap restaurants, we had a mosey around then spent about 20 minutes deciding where to eat, this happens almost every day when we have too many choices until finally we are too hungry to care anymore! After dinner we then got a tuk tuk to the night market near by which turned out to be mainly clothes so we went to the touristy area of Koh San Road and wandered along the stalls and enjoyed a few too many buckets of vodka and red bull- oops! We saw stalls selling all the fried insects you could imagine plus a bloke selling fake degree certificates, ID and driving licenses!!! Trace is now a doctor in Physics...
The next day we both woke up with very sore heads and it took all of our might to get out of bed at 11am
, we built our way up to having lunch - £2 for both of us - bargain and then went to the post office to send some of our stuff home as our rucksacks were becoming ridiculously heavy. We walked round some of the city centre, then headed back to the hostel to finish booking things for Cambodia. That night we treated ourselves to dinner at the Banyan Tree restaurant which overlooks the city and has amazing views, we had to swap our lovely flip flops for 'more suitable' shoes as they have a dress code, however we did see someone in there with a football top and trainers on.... really, because that looks smart, not! Anyway the food was delicious, we had the set menu and were absolutely stuffed and slightly inebriated yet again by the time we left.
On our final day, we did the final touristy bits, going on the tourist boat to the leaning Budda and the grand palace. afterwards we were standing in the street deciding what to do next as we had a couple of hours before we got the overnight train to Laos, a Thai bloke came over to chat to us and pointed out some temples that we had not yet seen on the map, he said that if we caught a blue tuk tuk it would be really cheap as the government supplement their fuel. We stopped a tuk tuk and he said it would cost 40b for two hours, which was ridiculously cheap. We decided to go for it, but both thought it sounded a bit dodgy and knew there had to be a catch. We went to the first temple, took a few pics. (once you've seen one, you've pretty much seen them all) we get back in the tuk tuk and end up at a clothes making shop....... I bloody knew it!
Anyway we went in to be polite, looked at a catalogue and politely declined their offer to make us anything. The tuk tuk driver was furious, apparently we hadn't stayed in there long enough to get his fuel voucher, so much for it being government funded! So that's why he was taking us around for next to nothing - it was worth 500bhat to him. An argument erupted and we finally said that we would go into one more for 10 mins and that was it. I don't think he got a voucher there because he then refused to take us back to the hostel, which left trace sitting in the tuk tuk refusing to move and Tash swearing obscenities at him, as she does best! Eventually after hitting Tash on the arm, he gives in as we can't be moved and won't give in and he drives us to the train station driving like a lunatic in anger! We get out and don't pay him, and he drives off in a rage! Quite funny really, I write this with a big smile on my face... Well we made it through Bangkok. Our advice, stick to what you have found out prior to going and.....trust no one!