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December 24th 2005
Published: February 22nd 2006
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20 DEC 05 - 23 DEC 05

So after our flight from Siem Reap- here we are an hour later, back in the arrivals hall in Bangkok Airport and waiting for the A2 bus to the Khao San Rd (KSR)! It all feels strangely familiar- yet so foreignn at the same time! Though I've got to say, this time I'm feeling much more confident! The traffic makes the bus journey very slow and eventually we find a guest house. We wander the KSR- it's jam-packed with tourist hordes, all here for Christmas, and also travellers doing their shopping before flying home for Christmas. There are more stalls here now- which is hard to imagine as it was already squeezed full! There's even one selling bugs to eat- nice!! It's really noisy, smelly and brash. I'm a bit sad to be back here after all the amazing places we've seen around Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia- and I hope they never end up like this. (though to be fair, Bangkok does have it's charms too)

Our night's sleep is distrurbed by a strange noise outside our window- it's a repetitive noise you could imagine being used to drive someone carzy- because that's what it's doing to us!! Needless to say, we decide to move the next day- it's even too much for Luke (which is saying something as he is sooooo laid back). We have to do battle at Reception to get our money back as we had paid for three nights in advance. We walk all the way along the KSR (a looong walk when it's hot, busy and you're carrying all your worldly possesions on your back!). We decide to stay at 'At Home' GH, where Sanj has emailed us to say where he is staying. We leave a note for Sanj of our whereabouts and head off to do some shopping- buy a few t-shirts, a skirt and a couple of sarongs.

After missing each other a few times, we finally meet up with Sanj and head out for a bite to eat and then go to Shamrock Irish Bar for a drink and to see the live bands playing there tonight. It's weird- it's full of dressed-to-impress tourists and travellers, getting wasted and on the pull. A side of travelling that Luke and I have tried to steer clear of so far- we would rather go into local places and chat to the locals. Actually, we have somehow avoided meeting too many English-speakers (i.e. English, Americans) altogether. Many are just travelling to spend their time drinking all the time and not really experiencing the cultures they're in. What's the point of that? You can get drunk anytime you want at home. Some people only have photos of their nights out- no temples, markets, local people etc. What a waste!

Anyways... we have a fab nights sleep- the place we are staying in is so new it's not all been finished yet (really only finshing touches to go), but that means cheap rates. And it's clean, and spangly and new! The next morning we meet Sanj for breakfast and then head to the KSR for some more shopping- but most of the stalls are still setting up, so we have a cup of tea first and watch the world go by. I buy a top, some fisherman pants (been meaning to get them for ages), a bracelet and some flip-flops. In the evening, Luke, Sanj and I go out for a tasty Indian and then go to Shamrocks again for a beer (that's all we can afford to spend!). Walking home, there's a man sat on a stool- his body wracked with convulsive, jerky movements, begging. Along this packed street of people doing nothing but spending money, no one cares. And in the middle of this packed street, I begin to cry because of that.

We are leaving Bangkok today- so we head out to do some last-minute bits 'n pieces and post a parcel home (much easier and faster here!). We go to Prakorbs (our fave restaurant along the KSR) for a late lunch/early dinner, and afterwards have my last yummy banana and chocolate pancake from the KSR. After our goodbyes, Luke and I head for the bus- it seems everyone in Bangkok is doing the same! Our bus is a couple of hours late, but it's a luxury bus when it does come, and we get good seats so we're happy! They show a couple of movies, and Luke sleeps the best he ever has on an overnight bus.

This time, for this trip, it really is Goodbye Bangkok!

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