Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Where I stayed
Sam Sen Sam Place Bangkok
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
May Kaidee's Cooking School Bangkok
Read my review - 5/5 stars

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why are we going Backpacking/Flashpacking for 3 months in Asia? Well there are tons of reasons but one is that it takes so terribly long to fly here that you might as well just stay for a while. We got to the airport in SF many hours too early then it took a total of 24 hours to get from SF to Bangkok with layovers. That's a long time, but to us, well worth it. For the food alone it's worth it. 

Bangkok is muggy, the pollution is dreadful and the traffic is horrendous but the food, temples, messages, shopping and cooking classes make up for it's downfalls. We are staying at the Sam Sen Sam guesthouse and we love it. It's only $30 a night for Chris and I, we have an excellent location, private bath, deck and a TV. It's perfect. The guest house is located a 10 minute walk to Kho San Road, the most touristy area we have seen so far. This area is filled with tourists, bars, restaurants and street vendors selling food, electronics and clothing. Our first night walking in the Kho San Road area we went to eat at an Indian restaurant called Santi located upstairs so you can look down from your table and people watch. Santi is the best Indian food I have ever had. It was fatty and I'm sure there was enough ghee/butter in the dishes to carve a small sculpture out of but if I would eat there everyday I could. Enough said.
For my birthday we took a vegan Thai cooking class with May Kaidee and it was fantastic. We almost went with her competitor, Chef LeeZ, but the Canadian guy working there was unprofessional and trash talked May Kaidee so much it turned us off to him, his bad attitude and Chef LeeZ cooking school, and I am so glad he did because May Kaidee was awesome! We were in a group of 9 vegetarians from around the world, the food was delicious, the teacher very knowledgable and it was a blast. If you ever take May Kaidees cooking class don't forget to show up starving because she taught us 15 dishes and we ate all of them and could barely walk afterwards.

I have had a terrible cold and Chris has been nursing me back to health. Yesterday he went to the pharmacy for me, pretended he was sick and got prescribed the antibiotics and penicillin I needed. I wish that pharmacists could do that for people back in the states. So much easier then calling your doctor, that is if you even have one. Anyway I'm feeling a little better today and tomorrow we finally leave Bangkok for the beaches in the Krabi Province, which is south of Bangkok. I'm looking forward to leaving this city because even though I'm so glad we came here and there is a ton of things to do and experience, it's just not very relaxing and I'm ready for some clean air. -Sarah 

Bangkok. What could be said about this city that hasn't been said before without lying. The amount of busy activity in this town, regardless of legalities, is exhausting. I'm pretty sure that the sweltering humidity in this city is generated completely from the calories burnt by the population itself and not its geographic orientation. There are 6 to 13 million people in this city depending on who really thinks they know. The movement in Bangkok can be an anxiety attack, so if you have a nice and relaxing job, then this is your escape. Upon our arrival I found the street that our guest house is located to be busy, but after three days I honestly find that the cars and motorcycles that pass buy every 4 or 5 seconds to be quite an escape compared to the road 200 meters away.

 Getting around is not as easy as I was expecting. Bangkok has a very complex layout which leaves many places accessible by public transit and many not. The first day we checked in, our guest house desk said not to use tuk-tuks because they overcharge and often give fares the run-around or use some wily ripoff scheme. For those who don't know a tuk tuk is best described as a gas powered golf cart in the theme of "The Road Warrior." Not to say that people are not mostly honest but overcharging and scams are my two big bugaboos, and advice from guest house owners supersedes many others. We went for our usual foreign urban hike that involves us walking through areas that I'm sure many locals new nothing about. It is a mildly fun way to explore a major city's industrial warehouse sector, if you are in to that. Sarcasm aside I had a great experience and always enjoy a good all day cross city walk... during the day.

 Sarah and I just got a massage near our guest house. They tried to sell me the complete Thai massage but I really only like my back rubbed, and so I told her. She accommodated me, of course, and was escorted back to a room with Sarah. I'll first say that I never get massages back home and the only one I've ever had was in Peru (the Inka massage made me feel like I was in prison). This Thai massage... in this dirty chaotic city... was simply tremendous. For 6 dollars each Sarah and I experienced basically a full body massage that was peacefully and soothing. Deep tissue without feeling that I lost tissue. Two days later we went again and I got a different person who may have induced some internal bleeding. I am still disappointed... And in pain. Oh well.

Today Sarah and I went to the floating markets an hour west of the city. It was the most touristic experience I can think of, but it came with a unique surprise. These floating markets get so backed up with paddle boats and James Bond boats that there was a point in the tour when they all jammed together in the canal without a way to quickly fix. The only way we could get out of this accidental game of boat Tetris was to jump from boat to boat in order to retreat to the pier. It was so much fun but in order to catch this amazing experience you have to book with a tour so that you get there when all the other tours get there at the same time. If you take a bus at an off hour (if that exists) then you may miss out on a this interactive game called "abandon ship." Seriously though, the tour was 6 dollars, hassle free and worth it. The travel agency is called Canary, so if interested, they are legitimate.

I have to stop for a moment because a sewage truck is 10 feet from me and is now pumping god's mistake out of the ground. I can no longer think strait.

Well we are ready to move on to a new setting but have to wait another day. We are taking a train to the southern beaches for some sun and clean air. I'm sure we forgot to do some things here but no worries because we will be back at least two more times on this trip because we are using Bangkok as a travel hub. -Chris

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