Thursday, 5 September 2013

Bangkok part une

After travelling for 24 hours to get to Bangkok, me and my cold finally made it to the Lub D hostel in Silom for a well deserved shower.

Lub d is a pay on the Thai for sleep well and so far I have slept very well there! It's a very funky and modern hostel with dorms, twin and double rooms, a great lobby social area with bar and very friendly and useful staff - I lub it!

So that morning I ventured into Bangkok's historic centre with Meghan, we went by river - why not?! Faster than taxis on Bangkok's hectic roads! 

Unfortunately we got persuaded to take a private boat rather than the (10x) cheaper express boat... Oh well we knew for the return journey!

Meghan on the private boat... 

Speeding long tail boat passing us.

On the way we passed Wat Arun - the temple of the dawn:

We got off on the opposite side of the river from Wat Arun to check out the Grand Palace.

And then we walked up to the Khao San road so I could attempt to sort out my bus pass for the rest of the South East Asia trip.

So for the return journey via 'express boat' for 15 baht we also got the experience of a maniac capitan - this guy was very similar to the carriage drivers depicted in Mark Twain's A Tramp Abroad. I shall attempt a description in homage to him (aka plagiarism?!)

The capitan of the long tail boat was King of the River - he and he alone owned the river with all it's floating water hyacinths. He was the ultimate driver - heading full speed up to each pier only to slam the engines in reverse when the boarding end of the boat was within 2 meters and then reverse straight back into the side of the pier. The resulting impact left those on the pier staggering and those on the boat holding on for dear life! 

But like the honey badger he don't care (gone off the Mark Twain influence there - whoops!), only waiting the brief time his crew could communicate through whistles whilst tying up and letting passengers disembark and board, before slamming full steam ahead into the river, only pausing for the large barges 3 times the size of his long craft (size does have something!).

The noble gentlemen when caught out at the pier by police closing off the river did the typical alpha male reaction - arms behind his head he leant back in his chair and attempted a nap - safe in the knowledge that the boat and the rest of us on it, would go nowhere without him - and it would be him and not the police that decided when they went!

Needless to say after 15 mins sweating in the sun we decided not to leave our lives in the hands of the King and headed to the safety of the pier to walk back on solid land....

After all that I was wiped out and had an early night - missing the festivities at the hostel that evening.

The next morning I got up early to do what comes naturally to all Brits - queue - at the Myanmar embassy. As I was waiting for an hour or so I ended up chatting to people in the queue also heading to Myanmar. Alvaro was a Chilean working in Paris and over to Thailand and Myanmar for work. 

After a day out with Meghan and Courtney - visiting Wat Pho - the temple of the reclining budda and its 108 donation tins (108 being a sacred number for Buddhists) and the Grand Palace with its many beautifully ornate buildings and the temple of the emerald Buddha - the Buddha made out of one solid piece of emerald, I met up with Alvaro for a beer in Sukhumvit on one of the Sois where there were go-go bars, but also happy hour! Unfortunately after one beer I was ready for bed...

Outside decoration of the temple of the emerald Buddha - no cameras allowed inside

Murals on the cloister walls

Feet of the reclining Buddha 

Me with my sexy cover up! Note the hair - styled by 35 degree heat and too much humidity!

Thursday I spent the day hanging out with Kal - we went to the Patpong night market and checked out some to the bars - but not the ping pong shows - I'm saving that for when Cat gets here lol! 

Friday I had a quiet day by the local hotel pool, and collected my passport with visa - all ready for Myanmar on Saturday!

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