Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bangkok has him now

While sitting in Sydney airport we decided that in preparation for Asia we needed some safety rules to protect us  from basically dying. So here they are so far:-
1 Complete discretion, what goes on tour stays on tour
2 Do not let me get drunk and jump in a Thai Kick Boxing ring
3 Under no circumstance allow either of us to willingly or unwilling shag a ladyboy

At this point I started to lag as I was hung over and working off three hours sleep. Penny played KTB while I lapped the airport. I checked the extortionate exchange rates and tried my best not to buy airport travel porn. We decided to have a few drinks on the flight which turned into the most I have ever drunk on a flight ever....they just wouldn't cut us off, bless you Thai Airways. However in doing this we broke the cardinal sin of travelling don't arrive in a new city, completely different to what you are used to pissed, it can be a recipe for disaster. In our case we got lucky, we got an airport to a hostel, checked in and chillaxed. It's exactly how my imagery of a Bangkok twin room would be with two hard mattresses, a ceiling fan and just enough room to turn around with a shared shower/toilet/living hell. We went exploring (drinking) through Khao San, meeting a few characters but the alcohol and jet lag determined an early night.

I woke early to an odd smell and found a pile of human shit behind Pennys bed. It was early and I was still drunk so figuring what it was and more importantly who dunnit was not a fast task. It had dried so it was from the night before when we were both smashed so it became Sherlock Holmes messiest mystery yet. Of course Penny denied it, even though I remember coming back and passing out while Penny can't remember getting back. So it was left to a case of Cluedo and with my humble 'guess' I would like to go with Prof Penny Plum in the Bangkok hotel room with plenty of alcohol. We took a Tuk Tuk on a tour of the city getting a  cheap breakfast and joined some locals for a customary beer at breakfast, although it was 7am. We saw a few of the temples and other sites before seeing the extortionate side of the Thai people where we were taken to several Tailors so the Tuk Tuk driver could get petrol coupons and were heavily pressured into buying suits and making rash decisions. As neither of us would be swayed by their roguish trading tactics they became rude, then as did we. The Tuk Tuk driver then turned from being a friendly and helpful guide into a crook by not giving me change after the ride. It cost next to nothing and I was actually going to tip him what he took but these little shits love a scam. In the afternoon we took another Tuk Tuk to a few other sites but by now had learnt our lesson. We checked out the red light district in the day, as it is a realistic part of tourism in the city, it was quite unnerving and the idea of prostitution has never been my cup of tea but to see it marketed to sex tourists was rather sickening. I got a hair cut and shaved off my mo before we adjourned to a fish foot massage which is one of the weirdest things I have ever done. We had a nap then watched Shane Williams' last ever game for Wales, in which Wales lost but Shane had the last say with a try of his own. It may have been because the booze was flowing or that we just witnessed one final moment of Williams brilliance but it got a little emotional. Thank you for the memories Shane!

The next day we woke at an ungodly hour to take a day trip out of bustling Bangkok. We started at the Floating markets about two hours drive away. It was a snapshot of how Bangkok used to trade with long tail engine boats and stalls on the water. It was more commercialised, aimed at the tourists but a good way to see how things used to be before the Western Bastardisation of the former simple ways. After the market we went to the Cobra show where we saw a man piss of a King Cobra my slapping it before we were allowed to touch it, a man catch snakes with his teeth as well as a Mongoose kill a bunch of snakes. There was also loads of snake exhibits as well as crocs, monitor lizards and turtles, a bit cruel but definitely worth a visit. We had lunch and then went to the Bridge over the River Kwai which was highly commercialised but and important piece of history. The guide book didn't have a lot of nice things to say about this area and I agree in terms of street sellers and stalls but the bridge was rather impressive and we took a stroll across it. We followed this up with a  final stop at the Tiger Temple, a Buddhist retreat where you can get up close and personal with Tigers, this was in short a once in a lifetime experience, sitting around stroking Bengal tigers and watching them interact with humans and other animals peacefully. We took a heavy traffic four hour trip back to Bangkok, for which Penny slept the majority of the way while I planned the rest of our Thai experience, got dinner at Silk before calling it a night.

We woke early, but not Bangkok early and spent the morning having breakfast, blogging and planning. Then after a lovely thai green curry we went to the park where they were setting up for the celebrations for the Kings birthday. There were loads of stalls and I ate deep fried bugs. We had a few beers then returned to the park to see the fireworks. After the fireworks they started setting off Chinese lanterns and a few rogue ones crashed into the crowd of trees. I saw one coming down and I tried to rescue it, but it caught on a fire and I looked like a twat trying to put it out. I bought my own and set it off with hundreds others into the Bangkok night. We went on to Lucky bar on Khao San and had some beers and due to the festivities we got free shots and free food, long live the King! We met some Aussies and some Geordies and I got incredibly drunk and autopilot set in and apparently I went home without saying anything.

I woke still pissed and as we had a day to kill I drank it away in the heat.

Feeling better but for the lack of sleep in the heat we checked out and had breakfast and prepared ourselves for the overnight bus to Koh Phangan.

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