We arrived at Bangkok airport, you could tell that this place was chaotic, people were touting us to take their taxi by shouting 'Where you go?'. We jumped into a metered taxi outside and started the very fast and scary journey to the guesthouse. In Thailand it seems like a free for all, cars weave in and out of lanes getting extremely close to one another, plus the fact there were no seatbelts present in the back, which made the journey even more of a white knuckle ride. We were both using our imaginary brakes in the back but to no avail.
We got to our Guesthouse, first impressions were not great (we were spoiled at the Hong Kong hotel). The room was dark, stuffy and very bare. We decide to venture downstairs to the outside area and it was lovely, there was a pool, a restaurant, a pool table, tv room and internet room (after a week of staying at this guesthouse, we actually do highly recommend it!!!) The food was excellent and at a very good price and after a crazy day in the centre of Bamgkok this place was a little oasis.
In the week we
stayed in Bangkok, we ventured into the centre a few times. Our first destination was the Khoa San Rd, i think we both had a different expectation of this 'mecca' for backpackers. It is actually a small road with much the same shops as any other road in Bangkok, however there was definately a travellers atmosphere there. On our way there we saw our first road accident, our taxi driver thought it was funny and said "Many accidents in Bangkok!", we just watched in horror as a little old man that had come off his bike, sat in the road rubbing his helmet free head!
We also went to see the reclining Buddha, which was massive. If you are venturing to Bangkok, do not believe a word anybody on the street is telling you as they all seem to work for each other, even the ones that are being really friendly showing you places to go on the map. We already were aware of this but we didn't know how prevalant it would be. Basically, you will be told that the place you want to visit is closed but they can take you somewhere that is open and it
will only cost 10-20 baht, what they really are trying to do is take you to a suit shop, where they will get petrol vouchers from the shop for taking you there. No genuine trips in a tuk tuk will cost as little as this, so BEWARE! One good way to get around the main sightseeing areas is by the river taxis, they are hassle free, cheap and a pleasant way to travel.
We went to the Railway station to organise the next step of our trip to Chiang Mai, but there has been bad flooding to the North of Thailand and all trains had been cancelled. We were told that it was accessible by bus but decided that it would not be great if the area is flooded when we got there. So we opted to go the complete opposite way and head down South instead to Ko Sumui, all the trains were full so opted to take the bus rather than stay longer in Bangkok. The bus looked nice in the picture but we are imaging a clapped out old banger to pick us up! The journey will take 15 and a half hours in total.
On our last day in Bangkok we headed for Chatuchak Market, this happens every weekend and was fortunately only a 20 minute walk away from our Guesthouse. At over 15000 stalls and 200,000 visitors a day, (you could say that it was a tad busier than Wellsbourne Market!). It was a complete maze. We knew that they were going to be selling animals there , which i thought would be upsetting but they were selling them as pets and not meat - thank goodness. All the animals were Pedigrees and apart from looking really hot in their cages - did look well looked after. We saw a cute baby chick pecking around a tank, unfortunately for it there were also 3 large snakes having a snooze - poor little thing. You could see people keep returning to see if the chick had been eaten yet. We wondered round the labyrinth of stalls and can you believe it, we didn't buy a thing apart from water, it was just great taking in the sights and smells of the market.
We headed back to the Guesthouse, checked out and got a taxi to the train station where we were due to
catch our bus to Ko Sumui. We are both really enjoying ourselves, even if the weather is really hot and we can't stop sweating!! We will be sending our next blog from Ko Sumui, so bye for now,
Amy & Ollie
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