Banglampu and Khao San Road
When we were on the TEFL course we met a lot of people from all over the English speaking world - America, New Zealand, Australia…and of course, the UK. Many of them now live in and around Bangkok. So on the weekends we often go into Bangkok to meet up with them for a few beverages and lots of discussions on teaching. The meeting place is usually the area of Banglampu, home of Khao San Road, the famous backpackers ‘ghetto’. It’s where most backpackers to South East Asia congregate during their travels, and is thus an area of cheap hostels/guesthouses, internet cafes, travel agents, tour guides, restaurants and bars. You can get any food you fancy, loads of Thai as well as Indian, Middle Eastern, pizza, pasta, steak…. The streets are lined with stalls selling a whole host of gear: hippy traveler style clothing, bags and shoes, t-shirts with a variety of different slogans advertising bands, beer and other stuff, bootleg cds, dvds and games, juggling balls and clubs, typical Thai wooden souvenirs, second hand books and travel guides for every country in the world, sleeping bags, rucksacks and hammocks. You can get your
hair braided or dreadlocked, get any part of your anatomy pierced or tattooed, get a massage, hair cut, facial or wax. Many of the restaurants are showing films all night so you can catch up on the new releases. Little carts travel up and down selling noodles, chicken, fruit and spring rolls. There are people by the side of the road with fridges full of beer, water and soft drinks for sale. You can sit down on a plastic chair by the side of the road and someone will cook you fried rice or omelet on rice. There is so much to look at and see, and it changes every week, not to mention the amount of people watching there is to do. Those of you who know how much we like people watching will understand how we never get bored! A weekend with Kate and Kris
On Friday nights we check into a cheap guesthouse, into a double room with air con, cable tv, en suite bathroom and a window for about 5 quid a night. It’s abit away from the main area so quieter and cheaper. We drop off our bags and head out to get some
food and a much deserved beer. We usually arrange to meet friends there, and also regularly bump into other people we know from the course accidentally. Friday night we usually stay up a lot later than we intend to, and crawl into bed way after midnight. On Saturdays we do the usual thing people do on Saturdays all over the world. Sleep in, have a late breakfast/lunch combination and then do some shopping. We spend a while using the internet to catch up with everyone and everything that is going on. Then it’s just about time to head off out again to meet people. On Sundays we sometimes go to the cinema. There are a lot of films here with English soundtracks and Thai subtitles, and it only costs about 1-2 quid to go and see them. There are cinemas on the top floors of loads of the big shopping centers in Bangkok. You can watch films in your normal common a garden cinema, or in a VIP cinema where you get food and drink and a massage and share the cinema with only about 12 other people. They also show lots of films on the IMAX screen. We recently
saw Shrek the Third, 28 Weeks Later and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. This weekend Transformers comes out and we want to see that.
The other weekend a friend of ours from Liverpool flew into Bangkok, so we met up with her and showed her around. Sarah Yeates used to live with Kris in a shared house in Liverpool and worked with both of us at Liverpool Uni. We haven’t seen her for 5 years! She has been traveling in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia in between jobs, and flew into Bangkok from Malaysia. We showed her around the area and then sent her on her way touring the country as we went back to our flat. We are meeting up with her again on Friday on her way to the islands in the South of Thailand.
We don’t always go to Bangkok at the weekend. There are lots of places to see in Thailand and it would be a shame to get into a rut!! Last weekend we went back to Pattaya to visit our friends from the elephant camp. We didn’t get out to the camp to see the elephants but had a really lovely time
catching up with people we lived with. We spent Sunday chilling out on the beach eating food and drinking beer in the sunshine. While I was sat there a woman came around to give me a pedicure and a manicure. Perfect.
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