Friends and Family in Bangkok

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Good morning all and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The last 3 weeks have been spent with family & friends so we have refrained from writing but now we are back and raring to go!

We left our little bit of beach heaven and headed back to Bangkok to hook up with my parents and one of my best mates: Kurt. On the way there we were getting constant updates from my folks back in Brum about their flight situation as the snow had brought most of Europe to a standstill. Unfortunately, it effected them too as they had to wait on the plane for 4 hours before they were allowed to take off! Not a great start to the holiday then. 

We got to our hotel in Bangkok about 15:00 and found a gorgeous haven awaiting us. It is right on the canal and is very quiet which is a rarity in Bangkok. (Good choice Mom)! It is also walking distance to the infamous Khao San Road which is where we hooked up with Kurt. 

Kurt also flew from Brum via Dubai to Bangkok but was very lucky as he had only 1 hour delay. My folks on the other hand had sent news that they would have to spend a day and half in Dubai as all the connecting flights to Bangkok were messed up. I felt so sorry for them as this was their first long haul flight and all they'd had so far were problems. It turned out good in the end though as they really enjoyed the stop over in Dubai and Emirates put them up in a swanky hotel and wined and dined them all free of charge which was fantastically good of them..

So back to the Khao San Road. The place is mad . Imagine a long road that is jam packed with shops, vendors on the pavement, vendors on the side of the road as well as the middle of the road combined with a constant influx of backpackers and of course the traffic of Bangkok. Every time a car passes through everyone squashes to the side and then sets up their stall back in it's original place. The Thais have this 'moving-out-of-the-way routine' down to a fine art. The 'falang' or foreigners tend to be a bit more clumsy and panicked in their approach. As you walk or battle your way down the road you are constantly offered some kind of service, from Suit fittings to ping pong shows. I was actually wanting a suit fitting while watching a ping pong show but nobody seemed to do that. There were a constant stream of backpackers arriving all night as this place is a mecca for backpackers. It was a bit like being at Glastonbury! Which is probably why I liked it. After being in areas where we were the only travellers it was nice to be surrounded by people and services that made things a bit easier. Yes, the Khao San Road is tourist trap central but you need that now and again.

We had a good dinner with my mukka Kurt and had a few buckets of the very naughty Sam Song. Kurt always seems to be first on the scene. When I moved to Malta in 1991 he walked into the bar I was working in. Then he was the first to come down to London when I moved there and now he is the first to meet us on our travels. Hopefully some more of you will be joining us at some point.

We spent the following day with Kurt too. We went to one restaurant called "Cabbages & Condoms". It is a non-profit restaurant that encourages safe sex in Thailand. It has been going since the 1970's and they have various social projects going on all around the country. The restaurant itself was amazing. They had a Christmas Tree, Father Christmas and even the light shades made from condoms! Brilliant, even the food was nice! ha ha. The name of the restaurant comes from the fact that Thai's in rural areas buy vegetables on a daily basis and it is second nature for them and the guy who set up the project wanted them to feel the same way about safe sex. He wanted it to become second nature for them to buy condoms. Hence the name" Cabbages & Condoms". It was a top night with Kurt and hopefully we will meet up for New Year's in Ko Lanta.

The following morning my Parents arrived. Yipeee! It was so so good to see them.  They were very tired bless them. We went back to the hotel for a few hours so they could wash and get changed. We then threw them in at the deep end and took them down to the Khao San Road. Talk about sensation overload! Then after that introduction we whisked them off to the train station for an overnight train to Trang. Talk about living life in the fast lane and they thought they came to Thailand for a rest! Not with Karen & I about. We had a special surprise awaiting them though at the other end. Until then........

Bye bye,

Paul & Karen xxx   
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mom on

Love the Tuk Tuk xxxxxxxxxx

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