Our Final Hours in Bangkok

Trip Start Jul 09, 2013
Trip End Feb 15, 2014

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

After the long journey back to Bangkok we were one step closer getting Rachel back to the UK. We had successfully managed to book a last minute flight to the UK on Wednesday evening so we had just 24 hours left in Thailand. Rachel was given a good supply of pain killers at the hospital, and although she was in some discomfort she was just about managing to cope with the heat and stress of Asia. 

Bangkok is an odd place. At present many of the major city streets have been blocked by anti- government protestors. Unlike many worldwide protests which can often be hostile; tourists are perfectly welcome to wander on foot easily around the protest zone. In fact the protestors have started capitalising on the sheer volume of western tourists by setting up market stalls selling souvenirs to help raise money; they even sell t-shirts which state the slogan ‘shutdown Bangkok, restart Thailand’. 

Bangkok is famously known for having some odd nightlife which is specifically confined to several streets around the city. We happened to be staying near the nightlife street of Soi Cowboy so we decided to go for an evening drink here. As you walk down the street you notice lots of Thai women wearing skimpy costumes trying to invite you in for a drink; this is rather off-putting but as a couple we were not really harassed compared to other groups of western men. We managed to grab some drinks in a quieter bar and occupied some seats outside. As people walk along the street you distinctly notice many old western men walking along with very young Thai women – the age difference is pretty disgusting really. Behind us there was a curtain where many people kept on disappearing and reappearing sometime later, we went in to have a look around and found several Thai women not wearing very much dancing around poles on a stage. 

Not far from us was a noticeable bar named ‘Cockatoo’ – you guessed it, a Ladyboy bar. Sat outside the bar are numerous ladies which almost look attractive, you just know there is something odd about them! We went into this bar to have a look around and also had a quick drink here. It was certainly funny and one of the things you just have to do whilst in Bangkok. 

During the next day we went to have a look at the Grand Palace and Khaosan Road (the main backpacker area). These places are quite hard to access so we took a free ferry along the river to get there. We think you are probably meant to pay for this ferry but it was so busy it was quite hard to tell. It was a little challenging getting around with Rachel’s arm in a cast, but she did very well! Both of these sights were unfortunately a little disappointing; outside the Palace some man was very persistent in trying to get us taking a photo of his snake, while in Khaosan Road the vast number of fake suit tailors started to annoy us.
So that is our time in Bangkok; and on the whole we do not really think much of Thailand. To be perfectly honest we thought this would be the case before we even entered the country, but Bangkok is a big Asian transport hub almost impossible to avoid. There are too many western people and too many bars selling drinks which are overpriced for Asia. It also feels quite fake; not like the real country we saw out of the train window when we first arrived, but instead more focused on tourists.
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