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Published: October 18th 2012
Bangkok is hot, you can smell the drains and it takes a long time to get anywhere as not everything is near the famous skytrain (a metro on stilts above the road) or the underground or the boat. we showered at least twice a day sometimes three times as the sweat just drips off of you, you can eat here for 70p and you can eat for extemely expensive prices and both are good. There is poverty amonst the riches, there are massive skyscrapers with shacks built inbetween as shops or homes and there are little stalls selling food and fruit juices everywhere. "Tuk Tuk, Taxi, Tailored Suit?" these are what you are asked every few seconds. The lady boys that Thailand is so famous for? we didnt see a show but we did spot them out and about - if you ever find yourself in Thailand being chatted up by a lady check her hands and side burns first ... dead give aways.
We took it easy we visited shopping centres, the first one being Terminal 21, you are greeted at the door by cabin crew and the information desk looks like a check in desk,
each floor is named after a different country and there are flight information boards telling you about the store sales, it was fascinating to explore the Carribean food, Rome’s statues, London’s buses and tubes, San Franciscos bridge and Hollywood that had a cinema! We got to Tokyo and I needed a loo, a public toilet in a foreign country is a scary prospect so I was worried but I saw a remote control with options for a shower, bidet and blow dry (oo er!) I thought wow the toilets in Thailand are cool – errr no I was soon to be disappointed.
After some bizarre sign language with some local people we managed to buy tickets for the skytrain and we headed for the MBK centre where there was a Halloween festival, many people were dressed up in amazing costumes and there was a stage competition to see who could be scariest it looked a bit like a Japanese comicon festival.
We ate at Bolan which is one of Bangkoks Trendiest restaurants, the food came out looking like works of art rather than food! It tasted good as well! http://www.bolan.co.th/wordpress/?page_id=12
We took the
Chao Phraya river boat to Wat Pho, when we arrived at the pier we had no idea where we were going so we decided to tag onto a Japanese tour group, we walked behind them trying to blend in. When leaving the pier we walked through a market selling food, spices and fish, the smell was amazing, luckily the spices drowned out the fishy smell. Each stall had a big sign up saying “NO PHOTO UNDERSTAND” so I didn’t take any pictures.
The Japanese tour group took us to the entrance of Wat pho which was great, as a woman I must cover up my arms and legs in a temple so I wore my cardigan and was wearing trousers – it was very hot, but the trip there was so worthwhile, the recling Buddha was bigger than we expected and was just beautiful, it was surrounded not just by tourists but also by those there to pray to Buddha which was fascinating to watch, there are over 1000 buddhas on site here and they are all covered by gold leaf, when we left we were both very hot and it was lunchtime so we headed for the Thai
Navy café for Phad thai and cold drinks before moving on to the Grand Palace which is huge with a lot of grounds, we watched the changing of the guards, the royal family used to live here but they have moved to another residence but the building is still guarded, we visited the emerald Buddha which was a lot smaller than I expected. We headed back to the Navy café for another cold drink before hitting the market alongside the palace whch sold amulets, fake watches and jewellery. We bought my dads fake Rolex here.
Covered in sweat we decided to head back to the hotel for a shower, before going out for a meal, we had booked a meal on a rice barge with traditional thai dancing, while the barge floated down the river and we saw Bangkok lit up at night. On the boat they gave us a card that explained all the sights we would see, Joe said “put it in your bag” luckily they came by and told us later that we could keep it!
we had three guns laid in front of us a 35mm, 9mm and a
45mm and we were asked which one do you want to use? We were at Bangkok Shooting Range at the Thai Army Base. Joe picked the 9mm as seen in all his favourite movies and cop shows as I felt drawn to the 35mm the cowboy gun. I suddenly felt scared, I have only ever used an air rifle whereas Joe was confident, his experience in the TA helped. We had 25 rounds each and got to fire each others guns too, I got a bullseye! But it scared me I couldn’t stop shaking.
They then came out with the biggest gun I have even seen and said “You try this?” Joe looked at me and said “its an M16” I told him to go ahead but I didn’t want to do it, but he convinced me, Joe was a natural but the guy had to hold on to me and I gave the gun back after a few rounds, I was shaking and I found the gun too heavy so Joe finished to rest of the rounds off.
Tonight we are heading to the Banyan tree’s Vertigo restaurant, it has a strict dress code so we had
to go out and buy me closed two shoes and Joe some smart shoes, while buying my shoes we met a couple of lesbian ladies who introduced us to their dog Barbie (a poodle), Barbie was wearing a pink dress with pink ribbon around her ears and was sitting in a pram!
Banyan tree’s Vertigo restaurant is up on the 61st
floor, it had been raining so there was a worry that it would be closed, when we arrived we were directed to the 59th
floor – the 61st
floor – the roof had been closed but the view from the restaurant on the 59th
floor was still amazing so we staying and had the most wonderful steak. At the end of our meal they told us that they had dried the roof and that we could have our tea and coffee on the 61st
Floor if we would like to. We agreed. As we went up we noticed that it was harder to breath because we were so high up, it was like being in a plane and looking down! The lit up view of the city was amazing there is no way to describe it – it
has to be seen, if you find yourself in Bangkok you must go to the Banyan Tree, it is expensive, very expensive but worth every penny for the best food and the best views.
Today we visited Pantip Plaza the mothership for all IT fans, as you probably know this was not a trip for me but for Joe. You could buy anything here to build a mega PC or have a PC built or buy counterfeit or real software - but who knows which is which here? Some shops were selling laptops with windows 8 on them – win8 is not yet out!
We went to the Lumphini Muay Thai boxing, I wasn’t really that bothered about going but Joe wanted to go. When the first fight started and a kid got knocked out cold I felt awful but then as the fights progressed into adults and the audience started to shout and place bets we found the audience electric and got into the excitement ourselves.
Afterwards we visited Khao San road, the backpacker area of Bangkok made famous in “The Beach” and “Hangover 2” it was filled with bars, clubs,
street food and t-shirt markets, we had some street food here which was incredibly spicy, I had to ban Joe from eating anymore when he started to go red and his eyes were watering.
We headed to China Town, where we visited the golden Buddha, the huge golden Buddha is solid gold (apparently) and to me it looks like it has mocking eyes, this Buddha was quiet when it comes to tourists except for the Americans who decided that standing in front of praying people to have their photo taken in front of the Buddha was a good idea… otherwise it was a nice intimate temple with a small museum on the ground floor.
We were hot (again) so Joe used his phone to find a café, I suggested one I had seen but he insisted that the one his phone had found would be better, we arrived at the café to find a small shack with Chinese people (we are in Chinatown don’t forget) eating what looked like testicles in a soup, I went to head in to the café and said come on then. Joe said no, cant go in there so we
laughed and I laughed saying I should have brought my windows phone I bet it would have found a better place. Across the road was a tea shop which we went into and was grilled by two older ladies as to what we were doing in Thailand. We had our drinks of iced tea and we went back to the hotel to rest and pack for our flight to Phuket.
We took the metro to the airport, some music played through the tanoy and what happened next was like something out of Doctor Who... everyone stopped dead with blank expressions on their faces. We looked at each other and didnt know what to do, should we keep walking? it was freaky! the music stopped and they continued walking. Apparently it happens twice a day in Thailand at 8am and 6pm, they place the national anthem and everyone must stop what they are doing and look at a picture of the King.
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