The Land of Smiles :D)
04.06.2008 - 17.06.2008 29 °C
We left Cambodia at 8.00am and 11 hrs later we were dropped off on Khao San Road in Bangkok. The bus journey was crazy! From Siam Riep to the Thai border the road was shocking. It was a red dirt road for most of the journey with hugh potholes that you could do the backstoke in! We passed through some really poor villages along the way and plenty of buses broken down at the side of the road. When we arrived at the Thai border the place looked much more wealthy and it was a lot cleaner than Cambodia. The roads were also excellent. We changed buses at the border and the Thai bus driver was a lunantic. He hadnt a clue how to drive. We had so many near misses I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best! We had stayed on Khao San Road 5 years ago when we were in Bangkok and it was still pretty much the same place. Full of cheap hostels, bars and Thai people trying hard to sell any kind of crap to tourists and travellers. We checked out the old hostel we stayed in but it was absolutely filthy and looked like the place wasnt cleaned since we checked out the last time. Carrying our heavy backpacks we found a much cleaner place in a nice quite location of the main drag.
The following day just pure coincidence we bumped into Tom who we met on the Halong Bay trip in Vietnam. He had checked into the same place as us right next door! So we hit the town and relived some of our travels. We were out until 3am and Tom had to get up at 5.30 to catch his flight home to Ireland. Of course he missed the plane! But luckily enough the airline put him on the next flight for a 1000BHT fine (only 20euro!). Im sure he cursed us few times for keeping him out so late but at least he made it home in one piece!
The following night in the same hostel Tom was gone but another Irish guy called Matthew had checked in next door to us. We were woken up in the middle of the night by the deepest Barry White voice you could imagine! Basically, to cut a long story short after a feed of drink it took Matthew a long time to realise that he had been chatting up a ladyboy for the night. So he found out fast enough after bringing her back to his room! It was a bit of a Crying Game moment! When he kicked her out of the room she kept on banging on the door shouting "Matthew give me my shoes back"! They must have been a good pair of "Jimmy Choos" because she was pretty adamant on getting them back! After a good hour of banging on the door security gaurds came up to the room to move her a long!
I love Bangkok in a crazy kinda way. Its not a very nice city to look at and the traffic is awful but the people, the buzz and the food are fantastic.
We had been to some of the city sites before but one visit wasnt enough to do them any justice so we went back again for another look around. The Grand Palace is set in a lovely area with nice gardens and amazing looking temples (wats). The temples are all gold plated and very ornate. The king was in town so parts off the palace were closed to the public. We visited Wat Phra Kaew and saw the Emerald Buddha. Managed to get some good pictures! A short walk away is Wat Po which is home to the biggest reclining Buddha in Thailand.
After spending a few days in Bangkok we travelled further south to the island of Kho Phangan. Because of the time of year and the start of the wet season we were advised by a travel agent to head to the islands on the east coast instead ot the west coast. We were really unlucky with the weather only got 2 sunny days out of 6! We still had a nice time and because it was low season we got to stay in a fab place for peanuts! Kho Phangan is a lovely island apart from the tacky town of Hat Rin where all the full moon parties are held. We stayed on a quite beach so it was really chilled out and had the place to ourselves most days!
When we returned to Bangkok we had our last look around the city and stocked up on some clean clothes for Oz. You can shop til you drop in Bangkok!
After spending 5mths around Asia we were really sad to be leaving but time to move on to some bit of normality again! We jumped on a plane to Brisbane via Sydney to start another leg of the trip...............