The battle of Bangkok

Trip Start Jul 11, 2010
Trip End Apr 22, 2011

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Monday, November 8, 2010

So, here we are now back in Bangkok after a few days in Kanchanaburi (river Kwai)...more about that later.  Bangkok so far has been a bit of battle at get anywhere, do anything, not be scammed or just to be left alone! Khao San Road and that whole area is a Mecca for westerners wanting drink, shopping, noise and other's good for people watching but that's about it, the majority of the food we've had over there has been more expensive and not anything like the authentic Thai food you would expect...definitely no unami there...wander down the road a bit and you can find quieter spots with homemade food and no bucket cocktails or tat sellers in fact some of the best food we have had so far has been the breakfasts at our hotel, green and red curries, eggs, rice, salad...

We have been out and about on the tuk tuks which can be a bit hairy but that's part of the fun, still in Bangkok it's just a constant case of trying not to be scammed...or if not, trying to be scammed as little as possible

After a bit of research we made our way over to Rommani Nart Park to go to the  'Corrections Museum' which is based in an old prison and shows different types of Thai punishment...supposedly will keep any foreigner in check after being there, it was closed for refurb or something when we got there but the park was probably a better place to be anyway; away from all the noise and traffic for a change and we found out it was an exercise park so had all different things to get fit with if you so a giant gym in the park! (we have pics to prove we did a bit of exercise!) 

After that we wandered across the road to Wat Suthat temple, this was only 20 baht each for foreigners (free for Thai people) it works out less than a pound for both of us and was well worth a visit, not one of the tourist temples so was very quiet and peaceful, there was a meditation walk around the temple with different statues - apparently a holy man spent a week walking around and meditating, I must say we were both very peaceful and quiet when we were there but I think it had a lot to do with the heat!! Surrounding the temple, there are rows of gold and black Buddha's quite an amazing sight the buildings are adorned with tiny sparkly mosaic tiles that look like glitter in the sunlight and the sound of the wind chimes tinkling in the wind adds to the atmoshphere, in the main temple, a huge gold sitting Buddha the size of the building - an incredible sight, I first saw it through the window and was taken aback by how huge it was.  We'd also visited the Lucky Buddha and huge standing Buddha the days before but they did not seem quite authentic...and since as we have found every tuk tuk driver wants to take you to them..'special deal, one day only' we don't believe they really are that authentic.

On the evening we took a wander to China town, a busy mix of food, Chinese medicine, bright lights and tiny back alley ways, we wandered around getting lost and sat with the locals having a Singha and some food, which Rob got us by pointing as I was too scared to go! Some areas felt a bit scary around China town if I am honest, especially the areas where people are selling old mobile phones which I said to Rob 'have been stolen from people like us' and when I saw a woman selling a big machete...that was a bit scary, however, it was just a case of walking around another corner to get back on track.

The next day we started out on foot towards the Rattana Kosin area near the river, we walked towards the Grand Palace which is the old residence of the king and queen and from the looks of it a tourist hot spot.  We didn't go in in the end as it was expensive and too busy and to be honest after seeing the Wat Suthat, I didn't really think it would top that.  We wandered down the road further to the Amulet Market which is rows and rows of stalls selling all sorts of trinkets, coins, jewelery and lots of other strange bits and bobs...really a bit weird all of the stuff that was being sold...I can't imagine who and why they are buying those little things! After a day of walking we made our way back to Rambuttri road - next to Khao San for a foot massage, this was heaven after all the walking and for 100 baht for half an hour each (2 pound) it was a bargain, Rob had an old man who looked to be the 'master' but what he nor Rob hadn't realised was how ticklish Rob would be so I just heard constant giggles coming from next to me, we both left after though with huge smiles on our faces feeling so relaxed and ready for a coffee shake...which has become one of our favourite drinks...definitely something to re-create when we get home!

Bangkok is busy, noisy, dirty and the sun has hardly ever shone - we think because of all the pollution so we took a few days out to visit Kanchanaburi - which is the area next to the River Kwai and the famous 'Bridge over the River Kwai' - this was about a two and a half hour trip from Bangkok...plenty of time for snoozing and daydreaming.......
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chantal williams on

Love coffee shakes!!!!! best thing ever!!! xx

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