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Published: November 9th 2010
Heading into the last few weeks of our journey, we spent a few days resting in Pattaya before we embarked on a long weekend in Bangkok. On Saturday 23rd October, we waved goodbye to Dad at Bangkok Airport as he started a well deserved week of R & R, before we were dropped off at the famous backpacker's mecca of Koah San Road in central Bangkok.
It was swelteringly hot and the smog and pollution of this giant city added to the humidity and cloying feeling of the weather. We were soon checked into our guesthouse, The Green House, on a road parallel to Koah San Road and having climbed four flights of stairs with our bags, were dismayed to find that our room was rubbish. Resembling a smelly prison cell, it was stuffy and the bed might as well not had a mattress as it felt like a bag of springs laid on top of the rusty springs that made up the bed. As we had paid up front we couldn't leave but they did let us change rooms to a slightly comfier bag of springs! We then decided to grab a bite to eat in the guesthouse cafe.
I thoroughly enjoyed my undercooked and cold spaghetti meatballs and Rachel was thrilled with her nature meets hygeine fusion meal of Club Sandwich with pubic hair and live insect. Yummy!!!
Saturday evening consisted of watching Spurs vs Everton in an Irish Bar and then spent an hour or so walking up and down Koah San Road taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the buzz. To describe the road is very difficult; it's a varied mix of market stalls selling cheap clothes, to tour offices, to tailors and souveneir shops interspersed with streetside massages, food carts and bars and restaurants. It was a heady mix of revellers, families and street entrepeneurs which left us wanting more. Music was blaring from various bars and from a small area at one end where a dj was playing and kids were breakdancing. We left at midnight and it felt like the night was just getting started!
What followed was a distinctly average and uncomfortable nights sleep and no sooner were we up and showered were we lugging our bags down the stairs and across the road to a nicer looking (and 3 quid a night more expensive) hotel called the Sawasadee (Hello
in Thai) Guesthouse, which after our two nights there we would recommend to anyone. After a late breakfast we clambered into a fetching pink taxi and were driven across the city to the Chatuchak Market. This market is a very large weekend market and although many tourists visit, it is primarily for locals. Inside the market it was sweltering and the stalls seemed to be endless. What was for sale was actually respectable and a lot less tat than the other markets we have been to in Asia. There were clothes, homeware items, shoes, jewellery, ornaments and pets. Yes pets! It was heartbreaking to see tiny puppies all crammed together in little cages with no food or water in the hot weather. Part of me wanted to be the hero and run along opening all the cages and freeing the puppies, but if I had of that then the stall owners would probably have made me into that nights Stu Yum Spicy Soup! I did make one particularly pleasing purchase. Do you remember the old Casio digital watches from when the late 80's, early 90's? Well they had some in a few colours and I bought a lovely blue one
for 2 quid! Not only is it a classic in the watch industry but it lights up and bleeps on the hour! Bargain!
After freshening up back at the hotel we went back to Koah San Road for some dinner and for me to keep an eye on the football. After again strolling along the street and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells, Rachel went to have her feet pampered with a fish massage and then foot and ankle massage whilst I decamped to a bar to watch the football. Rachel emerged an hour or so later with sparkly feet and we enjoyed an other drink before heading home for bed.
At about 3am, just after I had managed to drop off to sleep I was awoken by the sound of a truly bloodcurdling scream from Rachel. I am not exagerrating when I say that it was the worst sound I have ever heard. I gradually managed to wake her up and comfort her as she explained that she had been having a nightmare. I was shaken up by the horrible scream and Rach was terrified to turn the light off after her dream. I was awake until
around 6am making sure she was ok and trying to put the horrible sound of that scream out of my head. Needless to say the following day was a bit of a wipe out as I could barely lift my head off the pillow! We made up for the non event of a day by spending the evening at the Patampong Night Market. This market is a lot more touristy and is situated in the red light district. We purchased quite few items, including a genuine fake Spurs shirt, a genuine fake Ralph Lauren shirt for Rachel and a few other bits and pieces. We also purchased FOUR more colourful Casio watches for my collection and a couple of natty vests for us both from Koah San Road.
The following morning, it was time to head back to Pattaya and we were picked up and soon on our way after a whirlwind and very enjoyable trip to the capital.
The next blog should be up soon and should be an entertaining mix of laziness and scandal!
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