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Published: January 1st 2020
610am. That's the time I was sitting outside my hotel room ready to be picked up at 615am.
I let the hotel reception know, on the off chance they turned up and I had gone inside. I popped in to go for a squirt, heard some tooting outside. Thought that was my ride. Sprinted out faster than Cool Runnings, only to find no-one there. Thought they might've driven off without me. Called the number I had, they didn't answer. Thought I'd been set up, so called again. The lady answered and told me they are on the way. An hour and 4 calls later, just when I was about to accept I'd lost my money, they rock up.
Strangely, everyone on my tour speaks Spanish - given it's not specially Spanish - just worked out that way.
We drive around the city and pick more people up. Stop randomly, tell people to change to another van, then load them back into ours. This things so fucking disorganised, you wonder if this utter muppets know how to tie their shoe laces.
We get to the floating markets and I pay 150 baht ($7.50) for a half hour boat ride. So the floating market is just that. People with boat in the river selling their goods to people who turn up in boats. Now, I just wanna say that this was fucking hectic and an experience in itself. First off, it breaks all sorts of safety laws. No life jackets. No speed limits. Hundreds of boats, thousands of people in a small confined space. Not even kidding. There were traffic jams on the water. Boats crashing into everyone. Motor boats charging through. Like, the possibility of falling out of the boat and having someone run you over was incredibly high.
A boat comes past with a beer, so I get amongst that. 50 bhat at 9am for a beer, why not!
We go around to the many stalls. I want to prove to myself that I can haggle, so decide to get a gift for someone. The merchant wants 850 bhat ($42), I drive a hard haggling game and we end up settling on 300 bhat ($15). Being a stubborn fuck makes haggling so much easier.
The people in front of me are impressed and when they go to buy something, they phone a friend and ask the pro haggler behind them what they should pay.
The merchant wants 2000 ($100), I help them settle on 800 bhat ($40). Every day I'm Hustlin!
We finish up that tour and go to the market next door. I try my hand at haggling again and end up walking away from a deal I probably should've taken, (You win some, you lose some) then take a speed boat up the river. This is more terrifying then fun. Like I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of boats on this river. The only difference is now, instead of being pushed along by an old Thai lady, we're diving at SPEED towards them!
We change into another van, then next stop is the Train Market. On the way there, we see things that are typical of Thailand - shit road safety.
- Green means go. Orange means go. Red means go.
- People walking in the middle of the road hawking goods while you're at the lights
- Utes / open back tucks overloaded with people
- Vehicles blocking others from moving forward at
intersections, cutting each other off.
It's quite fascinating and certainly makes you appreciate how NZ roads operate.
The Train Market is a market with train tracks running through it. You browse, then next thing you know a big fucking train turns up and all the vendors rush frantically top pull back their goods and roof covers, the proceed to shout at the tourists who are trying to take selfies on the impending train charging towards them. Like me.. less the selfie.
We start heading back to town. I notice there are a lot of man made field canals and lakes for fresh water seafood. What I found really great, was they utilised all the land. Around all these man made canals and lakes, they have planted banana trees, so their investment generates additional income. It's so fascinating.
We get back to town, I go for a swim at my pool hotel and head off to get food. Found this place called Broccoli Revolution that honestly, may have been the best vegan food I've ever eaten. It was SO delicious.
Spicy Cauliflower, Gaeng Kiew Wan, Vegan Eggnog - $23. This was a REALLY expensive meal compared to my usual spending, but hey, I'd pay circa $50 for that in NZ and it was fucking amazing.
Went and got beat up by and old Thai lady for an hour after that. It was a such a good massage - especially because it only cost me $13. I wanted to go to another place for a 2hr massage which was known as "The fancy place", but ran outta time as I had to be at my tour logistics meeting at 6.
Met up with my Intrepid group. There's 10 of us: 4x Mad Cuntz, 2x Swiss, 1x Murican, 1x German, 1x Belgian, 1x ridiculously good looking and the greatest gift to the world Kiwi. I happen to know the last one well (here's a clue, it's me).
Our tour guy Vanny is Cambodian from Siem Raep which is really cool, as it means we've got someone who properly knows Cambodia taking us around.
We went out for a quiet meal then myself and one of the Mad Cuntz couple went up to the Sky Bar. It's ridiculous. Level 65 and you can see everything. They have strict dress code regulations- which don't really make sense. You have to wear closed shoes and dress Smart - yet, we rocked up in jeans and t-shirts and they were turning away people who were wearing expensive Dresses, all because they were wedding jandals or shorts etc because their toes/knees were exposed.
They tried to turn away one gourmet looking guy with several beautiful woman around him, he objected then another lady realised he was "Mr Antonio" - apologised profusely and let them in.
The place was designed for rich people, like, the cheapest drink was $40. It was mental.
We went up, took our photos and left before buying anything haha.
Anyway 11hr drive crossing into Cambodia tomorrow. Toodles!
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