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Thailand - Bangkok pt. 1

sunny
View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

On the Monday morning we ate a final breakfast on the beach at Koh Tao before boarding a Tuk Tuk from Palm Leaf resort back to the pier in time to catch the morning ferry to Chumpon. As an observatory note, we passed a quiet roadside stall which held had an entire pig's carcass divided into it's various bits. Fortunately and in spite of the 32'C heat the vendor was swatting away flys with a brush, enuring it stayed as fresh as a vest wearing, post A level, travelling lad's armpit :-)

The ferry was an all in ticket job so when we landed at Chumphon we were ushered onto a coach for the return leg of the trip to Bangkok. The coach ride was 8 hours but comfortable and definately better than the Thailand trains, dropping us in the Khao San area of Bangkok in the evening.

After a few hand directions from the thai locals and an Irish OAP (standard) we arrived at our hostel, Baan Nespatch, in a quiet cul-de-sac north of Khao San. We gladly dropped the bags and headed into the bat shit crazy night environment of Khao San to see what was on offer. We found all manner of fried insects (scorpions, grasshoppers, tarrantulas and other delicasies), women selling wrist bands with obscene phrases and other goodies, photo opportunities with snakes and lizards, offers of ping pong shows, along with the usual bar touts. We settled for a quieter restaurant just off Khao San and contrary to their bold claims (and to our disappointment) it was not the 'Best Pad Thai in Town'. It may have something to do with the waiters running across the road to collect the food...

After food we elected for a saunter down Khao San Road to take in the sights, sounds and smells. That road was mental - full of english 'lads' adorned in chang vests and red faces full off unsolicited drugs and carrying buckets of alcohol. We hung our heads in shame as we walked by, but an experience nevertheless.

Tuesday morning we had breakfast on the hostel terrace then made our way over to Wat Pho Temple, about a 30 minute walk away. Of course, we headed straight to see the reclining Buddah, a large and impressive golden statue spanning the length of the hall, with ornate drawings covering the walls and ceiling. Afterwards we wandered around the gardens of the temple and ended up in the ordination hall and sat and watched a Buddist ceremony, where monks were chanting and Thai people were taking selfies. Quite a contradiction.

Temple ticked off the list, we bartered a taxi to Siam Square where we booked tickets to see the film Spotlight at the Scala cinema -the tickets cost £2.70 each! With time to kill before the film started we walked further up to the shopping haven of 'Siam Paragon' to stock up on supplies from boots. Jack bought some drum sticks at a knock down rate to the UK then we were spent up on budget! Back across to the cinema, we walked up the wide inviting staircase and stood and stared at the beautiful ceiling for a good ten minutes. We were greeted at the entrance to screen by a smartly dressed Thai man in a yellow and white uniform, who then showed us to another smartly dressed Thai man (in a yellow and white uniform) and he showed us to our seats. The cinema was incredibly lavish and billed as a piece of 1960's thai culture, although we later sadly learned that it is proposed to be demolished to make way for another shopping mall! After the trailers were shown a message came on screen - "Let's pay homage to the King" and everybody stood up (including us) and sang the national anthem (not including us) whilst hundreds of pictures of the King filled the screen, which eventually made up a larger image of the King. Then the film started.

After a good afternoon in Siam we got a taxi back to Khao San road and went for beers and street food. We both had Pad Thai from a street vendor that cost £0.60 each and was frankly delicious! We sat and ate it on a roundabout bollard whilst watching Thai youths skateboard.

Wednesday was a day for laundry and research for the coming weeks on the hostel terrace. In the evening we had another Pad Thai and stopped at a bar called 'Bangkok Live' to watch a band who were pretty damn good, playing a meddly of western classics with the inclusion of a trombone.

On our final morning in Bangkok we headed over to Boonsiri ticket office to purchase tickets for onward travel the following morning. We stopped off at a cute coffee shop and finally had a decent cup of coffee! Then had a lovely walk along the river front and back down towards Khao San road. This being our second time in Bangkok we actually had the chance to just wander around the streets and unlike Kuala Lumpur for example, it felt spacious, safe and enjoyable.

Back at the hostel we packed up our belongings once again and went to bedfordshire ready for an early start to Kho Mak on the Friday, we say early but was only the crack of 07:00am.

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Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 21:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged temple thailand bangkok drums travelling_honeymoon Comments (1)

Thailand - Kho Tao

sunny
View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

As we approached the island of Kho Tao we began to feel a sense of familiarity, the cascading landscape brought back memories of two years ago, when we visited the island whilst holidaying.

Stepping off the Lomprayah ferry at dusk, we scrambled to locate our bags by the side of the pier and headed down with the throngs of travellers to the pier edge, where a gaggle of taxi drivers were vying for attention. There was a bored looking man stood to one side presenting a sign that said “Jack and friend” – I have been demoted in under seven months of marriage by a taxi man. Our hotel – Palm Leaf – sent the taxi to collect us and bring us safely to them. The room we had selected was unavailable on the first evening (we already knew this on booking) therefore we opted for the superior villa for the night. Oh it was luxury – clean bathroom, nearly hot shower, king size bed and…a TV! I suppose we are allowed to relish in a bit of luxury seeing as it is our honeymoon. The room had a certain magic about it, akin to sleeping in your parent’s bedroom when they are away, it’s not a secret but it’s so much better than your room! It was definitely a stark contrast to the room we had on the last evening in Khao Sok, with ants parading around the floor and a dripping sink (I’m not precious, but a constant dripping does begin to ebb away at the soul)
After being shown into the room and jumping on the bed like children as soon as the woman left, we headed down the familiar route along the beach to get dinner. A well-deserved pizza and onion rings washed down with a couple of bottles of Chang. So tiring was the day of travel that we went straight back to our luxury, we showered away the stale smell of sweat and climbed into our clean, comfy bed to watch Jim Carey in 'The Number 23' on TV. How very cultured of us.

The following morning we were up early (9:45am) to move into a standard bungalow for the next four nights, much to the delight of our budget. From here on in the days merged into one – they went something like this; breakfast, sunbathe, swim in the sea, sunbathe, lunch, sunbathe, swim in the sea, sunbathe, play bat and ball, swim in the sea, sunbathe, beer. One day it rained, but I couldn't tell you which.

Jack had his hair cut! When he showed the lady a picture of Jurgen Klopp and she eschewed him with a firm hand, we were a little worried. Especially as she got the shaver out first off then finished with the cut throat razor. Scissors featured for around 20% of the cut. Nevertheless it is the best haircut he’s ever had (in my opinion), and a bargain at £4.

On the last evening and because we’d had such a hectic week (!) we decided to treat ourselves to an hour long massage. Best massage to date, followed by a good cuppa but of the herbal variety, no Yorkshire tea or milk in sight.

Although we thoroughly enjoyed our time on Kho Tao, it was much the same as Khao Sok – changes where evident wherever you looked. New buildings being erected but left half way through. Rubbish everywhere you turned, strewn haphazardly along the beautiful shore line. A shame really as the beach itself was beginning to get smaller (depth) with the amount of buildings popping up. Two years ago there were roughly three men with long tail taxi boats dotted up and down the beach, now however there was a man every 10 paces. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but try as they might I did not want a damn 'taxi boat'. I mean where would I go? I'm in the place I want to be right now. Piss off.

Overall we had a very good time, we relaxed a hell of a lot and ate great food.

Chang is currently sponsoring our honeymoon. Beer. Every. Night. Is. Good. (and no I still don't want a taxi boat!!!)

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Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 05:41 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches sea sunset beach thailand dogs palm_trees koh_tao Comments (2)

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