Hello from Bangkok! Back in the big city I guess I now call home. Just need to actually find a home in it somewhere so I can vacate Kaleys sofa, especially at the moment as there are 4 people staying in a 28ft studio apartment, cosy! Apparently it’s quite easy to flat hunt round here, you just need to go to the place you want to live and walk around. Next week I have to be in the office for 4 days of training so I’ll have lots of time afterwards to explore the area around my school and find somewhere to live. Kaleys done an amazing job of looking online for me but that’s just not the best way in Thailand. I’m quite torn about living on my own, half of me is looking forward to having my own place while the other half is slightly terrified. Guess we’ll see how it works out!
Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself again. The day after I left you was pretty much lost to travelling. Firstly a scooter to the bus station, then a bus to Chiang Mai (back up the windy road!), songteaw to the airport, plane to Bangkok, taxi to Khao San and back to our hotel. Phew! It was pretty uneventful really, apart from the crisps! Always good to have some snacks at hand when going on a long journey so before leaving Pai Robbie bought a few bags of crisps, water and of course chocolate milk (my fave!!). The plane to Bangkok was delayed slightly due to this
So out came the crisps! Usually we’d played it pretty safe on the snack front but this time purchased these
I had one but honestly to me they tasted like cheese and jam, strawberry jam, which I am allergic to so, not wanting to risk it (as unlikely a flavour as that it!) I stopped eating them. Shortly before the entire bag was gone curiosity got the better of me so I asked twitter if anyone could solve the flavour mystery. Within a few minutes I had the answer, cheese and puréed Maeng Kee Noon. Duh! So, maeng kee noon, you know what that is right? Nah me either. Google did though…it’s this
I wish I had gotten a picture of Robbies face when I told him. Yummy scrummy bugs in a bag!!! I’m amazed he didn’t hurl. So funny.
That evening we went to the road next to khao san for noodle soup and live music. There was really good guy on guitar, I thought he was good anyway but Robbie plays so could really appreciate the complexity of the songs we were hearing. The usual street sellers weaved in and out of the diners as we sat there and these guys a few tables over ended up buying one of the famed Thai frogs so they could tap along to the music. A few minutes later there was one on our table too… Haha! They’re so annoying!! But probably one of the most memorable things from that area. The frogs are made out of wood, with ridges along the back which when you rub with the wooden stick which comes with it make a sound like a frog. The sellers walk along ribbiting at the tourists making it one of the most common sounds you’ll hear!
So this brings us to Robbies final day in Bangkok…it got touristy! After a mammoth lie in for us both we strolled down to the river to get a 15 baht taxi boat (50 baht is a pound remember) to Wat Po.
The boat took around 20 minutes and after a bit of souvenir shopping, some pad thai and a bag of watermelon we paid the 100baht fee and entered the temple. It’s actually one of my favourites. There’s a large fountain in the central courtyard which is home to koi and a few turtles
And the grounds themselves are just very peaceful to be around. The temple is home to around 364 golden Buddahs as well as the worlds largest reclining Buddah. We had just bought postcards of him but they just don’t prepare you for how big he is! Shoes off as a sign of respect we entered the temple
Pretty impressive huh? We placed coins in the 100+ bowls meant to bring prosperity (and also help fund the upkeep of the temple)
before catching the 3 baht ferry over to Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn. Honestly though by the time we got there it was too hot and we were a bit templed out so just walked around the outside rather than going in. Was still pretty impressive though
A few people had mentioned Lumphini Park as a good place to visit so a short taxi boat later we were there. The park is home to huge monitor lizards which just roam around. We only saw two or three but still, have seen less interesting things in a park!
Every day at 6am and 6pm the Kings Song is played on the radio and in public parks. As a mark of respect the people of Thailand will stand still for the duration of the song. It was around half 5 at this point so we decided to stick around for half an hour to hear the song. There was lots to keep us occupied though as an outdoor aerobics class had just begun and rollarskaters were practicing weaving in and out of cones. People watching is one of my favourite things to do, while Robbie counselled a Thai lady who was having a fight with her American oil worker boyfriend of 11 years, eek!
The plan after this was a repeat of the previous night but there was a kid on the BTS with an avengers cup holder which inspired a trip to Siam Paragon and the cinema. Maybe not the most cultured way to spend your last night in Asia but hey what the hell! Siam Paragon is a huge shopping centre, filled with designer brands all the food places (except a&w) you could imagine as well as a bowling alley and huge cinema complex. The fountains outside are like something out of Vegas but I was excited for the movie. It didn’t disappoint! I’ve loved watching the Marvel films, especially Iron Man and all of them together actually worked really well. We had some cheesy popcorn (again not really for me, has a funny after taste!) and 3d glasses. Was fun!
After the movie we decided to take a traditional journey back to Khao San. I wanted a nice aircon taxi really but they weren’t having it so Robbie bartered for a Tuk Tuk and off we went. Oh wow was it a crazy ride! The driver was mental, pulling wheelies, slamming on the breaks yet still barely stopping before hitting the car in front, running red lights and laughing at the smoke coming out of the back and when things fell off. He seemed to enjoy our terror though as he had a huge grin on his face for the entire journey. It was like being at a theme park, haha! The neon lights flashed off and on and my hand was aching from gripping the handle all the way home but it was such a laugh!!
By this point it was gone 11, we booked the airport bus for 5am the next morning and headed back to the road next to Khao San (I should really find out the name of that!!). Seemed little point in going to bed really! This time the music was even better, the guitarist was so friendly, dedicating songs to people at the bar and taking requests from anyone too. He had such a good voice and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting there singing along with a draft Chang beer and (io course) some noodle soup
But all too soon his set was finished and there was packing to be done. Time to say goodbye to my R crew chum and get some sleep before my 9am meeting with my fellow St Josephs teachers. I’m so glad I had the time to see Chiang Mai and meet up with friends before starting work, it was was the icing on the cake of an amazing trip.
But it’s not totally over yet. This weekend Kaley, Kati and I are headed to one of my favourite places in Thailand, Cookies bungalow on Koh Phangan to party it up at the full moon party. We’re on a night bus and boat leaving this evening and the party is tomorrow night, then have Sunday to chill out on the beach and recover before heading back and starting training on Tuesday morning. After that life here really begins, with house hunting, a totally new job and new friends to meet. I have to say right now I’m far more scared than I thought I would be, it all feels very alien. I’m sure I’ll cope though, in a few weeks time I’ll be quite at home. Just for now I’m glad I have amazing friends and family supporting me from all over the world, so lucky to have all of you. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the comments, tweets, whatsapp messages, emails etc. They mean so so much when you’re this far away from home.
Thanks for reading guys. Much love xx