Temples, crickets and ping pong
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
138Trip End May 01, 2013
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We took the opportunity to speak to the lovely lady who ran the hostel about our onward travel and quickly realised that the small matter of the reveered King of Thailands birthday falling on the 5th of December may disrupt our plans a little (lot!). The Thai people love their king and his birthday is a national celebration and recognised as Fathers Day across the country. This is perhaps something we should have investigated beforehand since it meant all trains in and out of Bangkok were full to the gunnels! Oops!
Not to be deterred, we thought it might be nice to celebrate the birthday in style with the Bangkokians (source: Vikki Kirkwood) and so adapted our plans accordingly
Following breakfast we walked to the infamous Khaosan Road wondering if it was too early for a sex show and a beer...and found ourselves in a bar/travel agents booking excursions. We opted for a combined day trip to see the floating market, River Kwai (and the bridge over...), and the Tiger Temple (a big cat sanctuary ran by monks - as you may well have suspected...).
Having enquired about Thai boxing at the local stadium we came close to booking the most expensive/ring side tickets only to discover that their was no guarantee of getting ring side seats even if we paid the higher price. Right...so we changed our minds.
We walked about the city and down to the Grand Palace via an ATM (which felt like it may as well have been in another province). When we finally arrived it transpired that the dress code for the temple does not include leggings so we had to rent a lovely sarong for Vikki and she had to put her long sleeved shirt on....so in 39 degrees celsius the intrepid pair entered the temple looking like bag ladies with sweat running like water from back to crack...or should I say, we were 'glowing'
We entered the most marvelous temple to view the Emerald Buddha (which is actually made of Jade - useless fact for the day) and were expecting to see a towering figurine - what we were greeted with was a two foot statue forming the pinnacle of a huge gold phallis with many Thai people bowed in silent prayer before it.
In order to enter the temple we were, of course, required to remove our shoes. The green mist rising from Vikki's feet only added to the ethereal atmosphere and pretty soon we had plenty of space around us to take in the scene.
After our spiritual experience in the Grand Palace complex we went in search of a nice establishment for a cold beer. What we found was a can of beer, plucked from a rattling fridge at the end of an old river pier where the water smelt like 'fish guts and poo' (source: Vikki Kirkwood). So we kicked back and sucked in the Thai culture...mmmn...ten minutes later we left.
We decided that a Tuk-Tuk was the only way to travel - but not any Tuk-Tuk, oh no. Vikki had spied a beautiful vehicle sporting American diner style pink and lime green upholstery and nothing less would do
We alighted our psychadelic carriage at the Khaosan Road and we pin-pointed a bar perfect for people watching - a first floor balcony overlooking the unfolding spectacle of the craziest street in town.
After some wine, tequila shots and some gin the opportunity to eat some deep fried crickets was relished. So was the clever marketing of a street tout for a 'ping pong show' and we soon found ourselves in a Tuk-Tuk speeding across town expecting some light-hearted fun and 'Benidorm style' giggles but it was much more seedy than that so we left quickly and headed home.