Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Thailand week one (A blurry beginning)

I guess I should start off from where I left off in my brief opening post... I'll try to go into detail but not so much that it deters you from reading on!

Leaving my house for the last time for a while, I set off with my parents to Robs house to pick him up and say farewell to Kelly (probably more emotional for Rob than myself). With Rob holding back the tears we were on our way to Heathrow. Once at Heathrow, parked and in the terminal (3) we met Tom and his parents and got our bags checked in, giving the parents some time to chat and discuss worries no doubt... Soon followed the sad goodbye to mine and Toms parents and the boring process of waiting to actually board our BA 747 plane. A cheeky couple of pints while watching the football helped this time fly by, a little too quickly perhaps leading us to quicken our pace to the departure gate (which happened to be the furthest away). The flight itself was relatively uneventful and gave us some time to watch a few films/read/eat/drink/sleep. I say uneventful but a lady did happen to pass out and fall flat on her face right next to Tom, causing a slight stir and it didn't help I was watching a comedy at the time as we couldn't help but let out a little chuckle. She was fine in the end after given some oxygen and rest, for those that were worried....

We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand, at around half 3-4ish and worked our way through customs to pick up our bags and head to the nearest taxi rank. My bag had been slightly tricky as I had wrapped it up at Heathrow in shrink wrap so ripping that off proved to be some issue..(eventually helped by Toms scissors..)
Taking a 30 minute taxi ride to Khao San road, very jet lagged, we ended up being chatted to for a while by a couple of Thai locals about where we should stay and what we should be wary of. Needless to say we ignored exactly what they said and headed down Khao San road to find a Hostel. Booked into one which looked quite nice with a good bar/restaurant, Robs telling me it was called Khao San Holiday Inn, proved safe enough for the one night in Bangkok. After dinner in the Hostel we headed out to check out what the road was like. Lots of Bars and lots of stalls to buy things with lots of Thais vying for your attention/money. After a few beers in an Irish bar Rob decided to take us on a wild goose chase around a few of the back alleys and empty streets until we eventually ended up back on Khao San Road. A few more beers (which all turn out to not actually be that much cheaper than in England), in a few more bars and we ended up taking a tuk tuk ride with a guy named "Tony Montana". This guy was pretty wild with his driving, scaring the life out of us and losing one of Robs flip flops, he also pulled out an air punch whilst driving which is now our signature move... I know we are cool. After watching a local talent show we took a ride back with Tony to the bars and headed into a club.. from here on its a little fuzzy but we did make some new Scottish and Irish friends (for the night), staying up till gone 6 chatting and eating local Phad Thai.

The next morning was a little bit hazy but once we woke ourselves and repacked our bags, leaving them at reception, we got ourselves some breakfast/lunch. (Rob is taking over writing the blog from this point on, due to the fact we need money to pay for our boat tomorrow, and I am being sent on a mo-ped from this internet cafe for free to get money, feel like they might be doing this to rip us off, but I have been asking to go on a bike ride since we got here, and so far none - so here goes)

After eating we decided to take a walk and see if we could be cultural for at least some part of the trip. So we decided to walk right and see what happened. After about 10 mins walking we were approached by a local and asked if we wanted to be taken around a number of the buddhist temples for only 30 bht each (about 60p) and we jumped at it. So on we got and headed around a number of temples, which if we are honest we cannot remember the names of. There was a lot of gold statues and impressive marble work which we did have on record but that camera has been lost as you will find out if you read on. We soon found out why the price of our tuk tuk was cheap as we suddenly stopped outside a suit shop and were told if we bought a suit he would get a ticket for free petrol. So with no intention of buying a suit in we went. 10 minutes later we came without a suit as even though we managed to get the suits down from 11,000 bht to 6,000 we decided it was not worth it. So we went outside and disappointed out tuk tuk driver and thought that would be the last of it as he took us to another temple. However it was not.

We then left the last temple thinking we had 1 more to go to but again pulled up in front of a further suit place (this time it looked a lot smarter and professional) so in we went. However I at that point was adamant that I wasn't going to get a suit where as Chris and Tom were pretty sure but would ask a few questions. So as i sat down waiting to see what happened and time was ticking by I thought I would go and check they were still not going to, only to find them haggling a final price, which is where I stepped in said if I got one as well what deal with they give to given the offer of 5,000 bht which the other 2 jumped at and I quickly followed 'suit'. After choosing our suit linings we then left and gave the taxi driver what he had been waiting for, his free petrol voucher.

(chris is still alive and taking over again)
That was quite a fun ride by myself in the dark. Luckily no crash.
After ordering our tailor made suits, which will be sent to our homes back in England so we don't have to go and pick them up and lose them along the way, we headed back to our hostel. Here we had a bite to eat then headed to a middle of a roundabout with our bags to wait for our bus that we thought we take us to Koh Phanang....
This blog will resume once we have a bit more time in the next couple of days....

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