It’s been a fun two weeks here in the Land Of Smiles, but honestly, it was enough – anymore and violence was very likely. Bangkok is something you have to do over a few days, and not a whole week. If it was just a few days, I would’ve been less likely to realise just how much everyone is trying to make a quick buck. When I say everyone is in on it, I mean it – from the security, to the cab drivers, to the hotel staff and the guy on the street, no-one is innocent. Instead of taking you to the best place or the cheapest place, they will take you to a place where they get a cut and if you don’t know the places, you’re likely to be getting screwed over. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome place and I would come back sometime if I could, but next time, I’ll be way better prepared and armed with this knowledge.
But enough of that, I don’t want to be naysayer, because this place is really cool and since my last post, we have been checking out the Siam Centre(s) and last night we went out to a “discotheque”, as the cab driver called it.
First off, the Siam Centre; its three rather big centres linked to each other and we didn’t even get through the whole place, it was just too much. They’re definitely better than anything back home and better laid out. The Siam Paragon is a smaller one with the Paragon Department store spanning 5 floors surrounded by a lot more stores and has a oceanarium in the basement. The main Siam Centre is four floors with a relatively new Madame Toussards on the 6th floor. Then lastly, is the Siam Discovery which is about the same size.
Afterwards we headed back to relax a bit before going out last night to a place called the Bossy Pub. It was a good one with some awesome tunes being played by the DJs and we got back to the hotel at about 3am. I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the Jack & Cokes though…
Anyway, as it stands now, I’m pretty broke and ready to head home. I’m gonna miss this place a bit, but there is no place like home. So till Monday when we’re back, this is goodbye from me.
Was a busy day yesterday, so didn’t really have time to blog at all, but was exact opposite today. Yesterday we were going to go to the Floating Market, but the idea of travelling for an hour to float in a boat in a market seemed crazy. That’s all Bangkok is, a big shopping mall, so to travel all that way for the same stuff seemed a bit mad. Instead we took a 30 minute trip with our limo driver I mentioned, Tony, to Bangkok’s amusement park called Dream World. It was pretty awesome to embrace my inner child for a day. We got there at about 10:30 and only left at about four in the afternoon; we did almost every single ride (except the ones that are kids only.)
Then we went back to the hotel and chilled before Tony took us out at about 7ish, to go watch what he called “boom boom show.” Now this is where I think the whole sex scene in Bangkok is just one big tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong, it was something you had to see, but I prefer going to places like Candy’s and Golden Curtain – the beers dont cost R50 and you don’t pay more than R200 to go in. Maybe we went to the wrong place, although it was recommended to us, but to be honest don’t feel like wasting more money on seriously freaky strip shows, think razor blades and ping pong balls. Before we went out though, we ate at an seriously impressive restaurant called Kuang’s Seafood and ate like kings!
The night did improve as we managed to find a kick-ass rock club nearby called The Rock Pub, Bangkok’s House of Rock. There was a band that I can’t pronounce or even spell, but they were doing awesome covers of everything from The Beatles to Metallica and were damn good at it as well! We decided to head back on Saturday, since it was a pretty quiet night and the band had finished playing at close to midnight.
Today we attempted to go catch some sun by the pool, but inbetween the sun being blocked by the hotel for about an hour or so and clouds appearing just as it was coming out again, it didn’t work really well. Just before 6pm local time, we headed out to the tailor we went to a few days back and did the final fit on our suits. Alex’s was perfect, but my pants were a bit tight, so he said to come back at 7:30pm again to collect them. To say I am satisfied with it though, is a major understatement, it is beyond awesome. So in less than an hour I will go collect my English cashmere suit and five egyptian cotton shirts. The best part is the guy said he can send us suits to South Africa if we want to get more later. He will send them to us whenever we want. At Just over R1500 for a suit and five shirts, it will be very tempting!
Until next time!
We left Koh Phangan early this morning and caught the ferry back to Koh Samui and then the flight here. Yesterday was a very chilled day, which we spent kayaking to the island nearby and followed by a bit of shopping.
Since we’ve arrived in Bangkok, we spent the day exploring a little bit. The hotel has pretty much everything you would need, including a swimming pool, a driving range on the 18th floor, a fitness centre, an observation deck on the 77th floor (hotel has 84 floors I think) and way too much stuff to list here.
About an hour ago, we found a tailor that we liked and arranged for him to make a suit, five shirts and a tie for a little over R1500. We go back on the 6th for our final fitting, so we will see.
Anyways, thats all Ii can fit in now, so will post another update sometime. We’re headed back to the hotel and gonna stuff our faces at the buffet…
I’m beginning to think that shaving my hair before flying here was a bad idea. Every time I have gone through a security check point, I have been called to one side and have been searched by hand. Damn profiling!
But regardless, we have arrived at Koh Samui and are waiting for the ferry to Koh Phangan. Sometime in this week we have to come back here, because there are some cool things to do like a canopy tour over the jungle and ATV tours.
But for now, the plan is to get to Koh Phangan and get rid of our bags so we can go get out and do the tourist thing.
After more than 24 hours of travel, we have arrived in Thailand, although we’re pretty tired and have to get up again at 5am to catch the next flight.
We have just had our first taste of Thai food and it was pretty awesome. The intention is to eat stuff I would never normally eat. Tonight it was “ginger fried chicken sweet”, or that’s the direct translation anyway. My taste buds are spinning outta control, but it was pretty awesome.
The one problem so far is trying to communicate, granted it’s probably better than some other countries but when I asked for a glass of Coke, I got a empty glass. Note to self: keep it simple, just ask for Coke 😛
After minimal sleep on the plane, today is just a chill out before the actual fun begins…
Since all I had was 20 Baht (20 minutes access), this is going to be a really quick update. The other hoptels have free wireless, so should be able to post more then.
That’s all for now.
That sums up my night…
My impulsive and procrastinating nature really bite me in the ass at times. Sure it may be balanced out by my need for control and chaotic organisation, but my paranoia makes it really interesting.
I know what I’m gonna pack about a week before, but leave it to the last night before I decide to pack. Then while I pack, my impulsiveness kicks in and I start changing things. Then when I’m done, I keep thinking I’ve forgotten something…
I know I’m ready; all that remains is to set my alarms and pack the last few things in the morning (toiletries and chargers, etm).
Fuck I’m excited! Did I mention that? Well I really am, I hope I sleep okay… my mind is spinning out of control!
No promises, but I’ll try put updates here if I get a chance!
1 Week 20 Hours
I’d like to say I have all my shit sorted out and that I am prepared; I’ve read all the travel sites out there: Lonely Planet (incl Thorntree), Trip Advisor, and the multitudes of other sites that you would read if you were trying to prepare yourself. It worked pretty well for my UK trip and even for trips around my own country. It’s the geek in me, that need for trying to be prepared by mining the net for information. It’s that need for control, geeks need to be in control, it’s part of who we are.
That’s how Thailand is screwing me over. Everything I’ve read and everthing I’ve been told, leads me to a conclusion that control is not a word to be used when travelling Thailand and that I’m just gonna go with it and not even try. I’ve done all I can, now it’s just a matter of getting there and making the best of it.
At first I ignored what he had suggested, but then I realised I was being a douchebag by not even looking at what it was about. I then started reading some travel journals and travel sites and while there were a lot of warnings about drugs and such, most people said it was the ultimate party experience and how awesome it was.
This was followed by the financial check. Surprisingly Thailand is super cheap for most people especially South Africans. Normally for us South Africans, travel is restrictively expensive. Thailand: really cheap… awesome!
I then realised that this trip would tick off one of my lifetime travel goals: Experience an Asian New Years Party.
When I started looking into the costs, I realised that I could actually afford it, especially if we booked ourselves.
And so began a month or 2 of planning and arranging of finances, by August we were ready to book! We managed to be able to afford a week in Koh Phangan followed by a week in Bangkok.
And we are doing it in style! On the first day, the plan is to get tailored suits sorted for when we arrive back a week later. So for a week, we will party in up like students in Koh Phangan, for the Full Moon Party, over New Years Eve. Then its back to Bangkok, to party in style and take in all the sights and culture.
We are even staying in the tallest building in Thailand – The Baiyoke Sky Hotel. I cant wait!!