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Published: November 6th 2012
The evening before we left Kuala Lumpur I decided the shave off my beard as it was beginning to annoy me. I shaved the right side off, then my beard trimmer died on me – the blades seized up completely. I had to get the monorail to the KLCC Mall, with half a beard, to find a replacement. I got a few strange looks – maybe they thought I was some kind of hipster starting a new trend. More likely a complete dick. Ah well. I managed to get a replacement and finish the job. Bangkok
I love BKK, it’s like a home away from home. Yes it’s loud and a little crazy, but this is why we probably like it so much. We’ve done all the ‘sights’ before, so we’ve spent our time getting drunk fairly regularly. We went back to the backpacker ghetto around Khao San Rd (we actually prefer Soi Rambuttri, just round the corner). Much has changed in two years. Khao San Road used to be the crazy party road, but no more. There’s only a few bars left – the road is now full of stalls selling ‘same same’ tourist tat. The next road
up, Rambuttri Road, has now taken over as the place to go out – not just for westerners, but for young Thais too. A couple of years ago it was much quieter, now it’s full of bars and restaurants. Things move quickly here.
We’ve spent a fair bit of time with some friends - Michelle who we met on our last trip and Greg & Clare our friends from London who’ve just moved to BKK. Hence the reason for multiple boozy nights out. It’s one thing Bangkok does well. We did ‘attempt’ to see some Muay Thai boxing, but when we arrived at the stadium the cheapest ticket was 1500 baht (£30). Balls to that we thought, let’s just go and get pissed. Kanchanaburi
This is the town infamous for the Bridge over the River Kwai, part of the Thai-Burma railway (also known as the Death Railway). During WW2 the Japanese planned to connect Thailand and Burma with a railway using forced labour. 60,000 Allied prisoners and 180,000 Asian labourers were put to work in appalling conditions. Of these, around 90,000 Asian labourers and 16,000 POW’s died.
It was interesting to visit the bridge, which is
actually a replacement constructed after the original was destroyed by the Allied advance during the war. People from many countries were there. It was a solemn affair, apart from a few Asian tourists who decided to take lots of ‘smiley’ photos like they were at Disneyland. Made me more than angry, but I’ve seen it in worse places (i.e. the Killing Fields genocide memorial in Cambodia). We also visited the Thai-Burma Railway Centre, which is a museum plotting the history of the railway. We both thought the museum was excellent and worth the small admission fee. Back to BKK
We came back to get our Vietnam visa, so I suppose we’re killing some time. Not a bad place to do this, but we’re eager to move on. Of course we’ve kept ourselves occupied with more boozy nights. We’re actually looking forward to a period of abstinence – need to give the liver a rest – and to getting back to some actual travelling. We are flying to Vietnam on Wednesday and there should be plenty to see and do as we haven’t been there before.
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