Ginger boys do Bangkok
Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
99Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
My plan was to arrive into Bangkok early, investigate the process for obtaining a visa for Myanmar, getting used to the transport and local area. Last time I stayed in Bangkok, I stayed near Khao San road. In my opinion, an area over hyped from a movie where Di Caprio spent very little time at!
My first night in Bangkok was pretty interesting! It involved laying on a sofa for two hours after feeling rough from having one large beer with dinner! To then joining in the hostel Thursday night pub crawl! The owner Dave has lived in Bangkok for over ten years, his instructions were simple, only bring the cash you are willing to burn. Everything else, cell phone, camera, wallet, leave behind!! Great advice!! I won't go into specific detail but we started at Soi Cowboy and hit Suzie Wongs, Shebars, Barruca, Dundees and a street bar on the way home! The fascinating part of the evening was watching and listening to the reaction of a girl from LA called Cheryl. On entering the first gogo bar, we sat next to the stage and she walked right up to what I can only describe as a lesbian train, to confirm what was actually happening!! We hung out with a couple of Irish guys and enjoyed the banter from four young lads from Kansas.
Seeing as we were with the hostel owner, we weren't scammed, we were well looked after! Soi Cowboy is crazy, I would suggest if you visit Bangkok, spend one night checking it out! Other shows we saw included ping pong, needle removal, popping balloons, snake show, fire show and general bopping on the spot!
We left Soi Cowboy and hit a bar on the street! Basically they bring alone some home furniture, a bunch of beers and spirits, some plastic chairs and there you go, you're own street bar! I was getting a little bored at this stage, everyone else was planning on going clubbing and finding a Thai girl for the night! I did the gentlemen thing and walked the LA girl back to the hostel and enjoyed a great night sleep!
The next two days involved lots of sleeping in preparation for my brothers arrival, a quick trip to the Myanmar embassy, post office and checking out where local cheap did was!
Bangkok is constantly on the move! Well, unless you are stuck in traffic! The urban sprawls veins pump out street markets, food vendors, tuk tuk, hundreds of massage parlours and a lively local vibe! The past, present and future are all squeezed into this pressure cooker of noise, skyscrapers and temples! You are never far from a delicious meal or a suit tailor! You quickly learn the Thai way of ignoring every advance on the street, try not to look lost as they will pounce on you!
I was excited waking up on the Sunday of my brothers arrival! I have been a little anti social in preparation of eight weeks of company! I took three trains back to the airport and met my bro in a Dunkin Donuts near the train platform! His flight over was fine and it was good to see him after he dropped me off at Gatwick on august 27th.
We shared the ride in with a young British guy who is preparing to buy and run a bar in Cambodia! My only words to Dave before we left the trains were no talking to strangers! This worked well!
I found the hotel the night before and it was great to get a private room with en suite and a tv. Poor Dave was tired but he joined me for some cheap Pad Thai lunch and then walked over with me to the hostel to pick up my bags. I think he was genuinely surprised at how confortable the hostel was! Slowly, but surely, I'll have him sleeping in a dormitory.
First night was pretty chilled! We ate some great food, talked loads and got an early night for the early start at the Myanmar embassy the next morning. Well, I got an early night, poor Dave was still seven hours behind!! I'm sure he'll catch up!
Talking of food, oh wow!! You must enjoy a good Thai curry every now and then but to eat it every day for a week is bliss! I tried all sorts of curries, fried rice, pad Thai, meats, fish dishes and all sorts of spicy condiments to add! One thing about my brother visiting, as when he visited in Rio, he brought out some 'Ant' treats!! A bottle of vinegar, minstrels, twiglets, dark chocolate, mini box of roses and some parts of a selection box! Lets just say, they all needed eating before we left Bangkok!! Well, except the vinegar!!
The next few days involved successfully applying for a Myanmar visa, exploring Wat Pho and What Arun! A beer on Khao San road, a walk through Chinatown, the roof top bar used in the movie Hangover Par II, Soricco Skybar and a visit to Soi Cowboy and the Nana Entertainment Plaza!!
It took Dave a few nights to get a good night sleep! This kind of meant we both stayed up late but it's not a problem, while travelling, you get used to a lack sleep!
Our last day in Bangkok involved killing ten hours after checking out of the hotel before our night train to Chiang Mai! We had planned to take a sleeper cabin, but they were all sold ou! So a 3rd class 14 hour seat it was!! At least Dave has an itouch and can download podcasts! We had an Indian lunch, saw Contraband at the cinema and before we knew it, grabbed some quick dinner before we headed to the station. In typical gingerman fashion, we walked twenty minutes to the underground metro then ten minutes on the metro meant we had arrived into Hualamphong train station! The train was there early so we boarded and found the most confortable position to sit in! Poor Dave, his first overnight train with no sleeping birth!
I would hate to point out any negatives about any country I visit! I typically stick to the positives to encourage you as the reader to see the beauty in this world we live in. Bangkok has a few negatives! I hate the complete disrespect of women! I drives me mad! I have so much respect for young people who run their own little market stall, or who serve dinners in a restaurant. I feel for the other girls, treat like objects by fat, old and fat white Western males!! If you have a walking stick and are above the age of 65, I think you should enjoy your family life, Grandchildren etc, not sat in a go go bar walking out with two girls!! The smells in some of the streets were interesting. Dave and I every evening walked through piss street! It's where all the taxi drivers urinatw while waiting for a fare! Sweet!! It's hot, sticky, messy but it's Bangkok, you must see it, live it and try to love it!
Next stop, Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.