Published: September 15th 2006September 14th 2006
Welcome to Thailand
Land of a million golden Buddha
Firstly i must announce that i write this blog with no hair as i have shaved it all off !!! My attempts to get Carla to do the same have yet been unsuccessful, but watch this space.
We arrived in Bangkok after 2 flights from Japan and after easily finding our taxi and a 100mph trip thru rush hour which reminded me of playing Outrun (remember that??) we arrived at our hotel base close to Siam Sq late on Sunday evening. The 4 stars awarded to this place prob were given in 1986 and the decor hasn't changed since - very retro but at 20quid a night it has 2 pools, air con and ESPN !!!!!
The following morning, our first in BKK we took our free breakfast in the hotel lobby and its quite strange to see loads of fat Americans bringing their pre paid Thai Conquests down to Brk fast and attempting to make conversation (something i doubt they did little of the night before) over bad coffee and hash browns.
Our bus journey to the first sight of the day took us past a fire in a building in the centre of China town with a Thai
China Town Bangkok
like the M25 but hotter, smellier and a whole lot more interesting
man stood on a 5th floor balcony with a smoking room behind him and a fire crew holding one of those trampoline type saving devices down on the ground ???? we hope he made the jump OK as we passed before he plucked up the courage!
Wat Poh is the temple complex which has the Huge reclining buddha but the rest of the site is a little busy and not that well kept (also full of Germans) so after a 50p Thai curry each we headed to what was a much better site of the Grand Palace. This is where the king spends some of his time and because of that is much more awe inspiring and well kept, with solid gold buddhas around every corner and emerald encrusted guards at every gate post. The Kings picture is everywhere in BKK and he looks remarkably like the little bloke in glasses out of the carry on films and there was rumours that he was making an appearance at the palace today but we were shifted on by security before he got there.
That night we hit the hussle and bustle of Patpong night market and here the difference
Matts new Monk Cut in celebration of the current host country !!!
between Japan & Thailand is evident with Geishas being replaced by Lady Boys and Tea Houses replaced by Strip clubs and Ping Pong Shows. After fighting thru the madness we rewarded ourselves with a meal at the Mango Tree, which is a place we have ate at in London - the 10quid bill some what of a splurge in BKK!!!
Aware of our not yet true travellers life style (4 star hotels, trendy bars, air con and ESPN) we decided to challenge ourselves to day 2 in BK with a 1,000 baht challenge (13quid) the results of our spending were as follows
*47bht - internet usage
*116bht - public transport
*40bht - lunch in china town
*10 bht - ice cream (its 35plus here)
*80bht - on water and drinks throughout the day
*110bht - coffee
*170 bht - evening meal
*360BHT - 2 loads of washing (we were starting to smell)
we made it with 66 bht to spare (69bht to the pound) and had a great day so it can be done!!!
Do The Baht Man
as i have now worked out how to add bold headings mid
Bob Monks, House
the puns continue whilst i take a sneeky shot of a Monk at Wat Po (he was actually doing a crossword)
blog i thought i would give it a go, hence the above. It also provides a good break in what since day 3 has been a very different BKK.....
After checking out of our 4 star 1980's home we headed for the Khao San road, a well known travellers meeting point and hive for cheap accommodation and guest houses. We had briefly visited the day before on a reccy and i must admit i had liked the vibe (what am i doing using that word??). Its a 100 mph slower and but for a beach, has a very similar pace to a beach resort with the main road being music, markets and bars and the roads adjoining being quiet and peaceful with tree lined streets and laid back guest houses. Today we also made a drastic traveller type decision and completely changed our plans opting to cancel flying to Cambodia, but stay in Thailand and book a overnight train to the northern mountains and Chang Mai (first class sleeper carriage of course, but at 14quid each we can't complain) on Saturday.
It's close to 2 weeks since we left the UK now and the holiday feeling is starting
Wat Po reclining Buddha
note Matt still has hair at this point !!!
to wear off and a desire to chill out realising we ain't back in blighty for 10 months is starting kick in, so a cheap guest house (fiver a night) with basic rooms and laid back communal area is choosen and off we go in search of grub.
The food in Thailand is fantastic, it beats Japan hands down!!! there is nowhere else in the world that could provide as good a plate of food for a quid, and i am certain of that! we sit on grubby plastic tables on the pavements, point at a menu and await the fabulous food they bring us - Green/red curries, fish soups, noodles, lemon grass chicken etc.......Its great !!!!
Day 4 we explore BKK by boat on the public water taxis and return to Khoa San in the evening where we just drink Chang beer and fall asleep in our guest house bar, thats it !!!! Fantastic!!!
So Tommorow our adventure continues in the Golden triangle of northern Thailand! Bangkok has been a city of 2 halves, both fantastic but different paced and equally as memorable!!! but the lower temps and slower pace of the North promise Jungles, elephants and
The Grand Palace
The carry on Kings place in Bangkok
Mountain temples !!! cant wait !!!!
There are more photos below