Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Briefly in Bangkok

I haven't seen The Hangover II yet, though I'll wager that my 2 days in Bangkok were pretty different: a couple of beers at most, no ping-pong shows, no seedy bars or brothels, no Sikh fortune tellers, walked down Khao San Rd just once.

I spent most of the day travelling from Ayutthaya (80km away, don't ask) and was going to meet Rene, a guy from Cameroon I could couchsurf with, a contact I got via Brian in Khon Kaen.

Very nice guy, he lived fairly close to Sukhumvit and told me of a couple of crazy stories in which he literally picked crying tourists off the street after a party night where they'd lost everything, being drugged and robbed around the trendy bars and clubs of the area.

So we went to the cinema instead, saw Thor. Pretty good in a bad and cheesy way, or something like that. The weirdest part was to stand up during the 2 min film to the glory of the king of Thailand before the movie.

Being far from the main tourist sights, I decided to move closer the following morning. Took the river bus, found a cheap hostel a couple of streets away from Khao San, walked around ChinaTown, Little India, to the train station to buy my onward ticket and walked back, visited Wat Pho and the big (really big!) laying Buddha statue before it closed for the day. I found a nice little quiet bar playing live jazz for the evening which was perfect.

I visited the Grand Palace the following morning, really loved the murals in the temple, that's really what I spent most time looking at. The Palace itself looks nice, though I'm pretty sure it served as inspiration for Disneyland - I think the entrance of Disneyland Paris looks extremely similar.

I then walked over to the Vinmanmek mansion, I think that was my favourite sight, gorgeous all wooden mansion. No photos allowed as well, so I really paid attention and wanted to remember as much as I could.

Then on the way back to the hostel, I was pulling my iPod Touch out of my pocket to check the time, someone bumped into me at the same time. The iPod fell to the ground in slo mo. Screen shattered.

That was Bangkok.

I left early to get my train to Surat Thani the following morning.

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