Buddhas, crazy Tuk Tuks and a painful Thai Massage

Trip Start Jan 20, 2007
Trip End May 06, 2007

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

On touchdown at Bangkok airport it was a bit of a wake up call as we step out and are immediately swarmed by locals begging and grabbing our arm, offering us rides or places to stay. The heat and muggyness was pretty overwhelming as well but we managed to barge our way through and onto a bus to take us into the city.

Made it to our booked hotel (that's right, hotel. yes we are backpacking but this was so ridiculously dirt cheap we couldnt resist!) and on the way had a glimpse at the madness of Bangkok. Loads of tuk tuks, cars, mopeds and colourful taxis, pick up trucks with 10 people squashed hanging on the back of them, all speedily weaving in and out of one another beeping their horns. I would hate to attempt to drive in all the chaos. We also spotted some 'thai brides' and plenty or market stalls lining the streets.

The breakfast at our hotel was interesting. A lovely buffet of help yourself to an assortment of noodles, curries, salads and syrup dumplings. Just what I needed at 7 in the morning! It does have an outdoor swimming pool though which we went in during a tropical thunderstorm!! That was great as it was still very warm and there were huge drops of rain battering down and big rumblings of thunder. Our first night at the hotel we were peckish in the night so had a look at the room service list... ended up ordering a massive plate of noodles which got delivered to our door. The damage? 10p!!!!! :D

We got a tuk tuk ride around the city which was actually pretty scary. There don't appear to be any road rules or anything, just lots of beeping and everyone racing whizzing between each other like on some sort of kamikazee mission. We were holding on for dear life but brilliant fun, a definite highlight and the breeze was lovely!

So we visited all sorts of templey places, very golden and exquisite with intricate details and jewels so quite impressive. There seems to be a Buddha obsession here as there are tons of random mini shrines everywhere as well as the huge big monuments and temple ones. The Reclining Buddha was probably the most impressive as it was 46 metres long, gold and with mother of pearls in his feet. Pretty grand. We climbed up to the Golden Mount too which had some worthwhile views over the city and some more temply shrine things.

Had an explore round Khao San Road the evenings we were there aswell. Its a pretty legendary night market which is bustling with people and stalls selling lots of very cheap and tacky stuff. A few pimps wondering in the throngs informing you of the infamous ping pong shows and the like. Plenty of food stalls dotted about offering a variety of eats, some of which looking fairly dodgy. We did go for a sample of one where they fried up some vegetable noodles in their little cart while you wait. Ingenious.

On our last morning we decided to fit in a traditional Thai Massage (well, you've got to experience the local stuff!) with the thinking that a lovely relaxing pamper will do us good after the madness of Bangkok. Oh what a mistake. It was SOOOOOO painful! After dressing us in ridiculously ugly baggy pyjamas, I was then contorted into positions I am fairly certain the human body is not capable of, while the sadistic thai bitch trod around on my back prodding me and pulling my toes out the sockets. Giggling all the way I might add while I was wincing and close to screaming in pain. Oh yes, not discomfort. PAIN! I do have to say that once I had left the building running afterwards, I did feel strangely nice (sort of relaxed if a little bruised).

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