06.02.2011 - 23.02.2011 33 °C
Price for all you can eat buffet for a woman = 295 baht
Price for all you can eat buffet for a man = 365
Price for all you can eat buffet for a ladyboy = 335
We are nearly 3 weeks in to our adventure in Thailand and we love it. It is much easier than India and China for getting around and finding reasonable accommodation. I guess that's the compromise as it is also much more touristy and most other tourists are on package deals. The food has been amazing, the street food is great, fresh and cheap and we have had some delicious meals in cheap restaurants. Especially in Koh Tao where we could eat and drink for under a fiver while watching the sun set over the beautiful bay.
From the beginning then. Bangkok was what we expected, a bustling Asian city. Too many people, too much traffic, too hot and a bit smelly. But we loved it. India had prepared us well for this type of place and if you don't mind eating your noodles with an audience of street rats while counting the lizards on the wall, you're fine! I don't know how they prepare such tasty food from such rotten carts on the road side but they do. Officially no upset stomachs so far either! It was difficult getting used to the heat again after a chilly few weeks in China. Walk a bit, sweat a bit, drink a bit, sleep a bit seems to be my coping mechanism. A few other highlights in Bangkok; the water ferry's, much better way to get around, cheap and breezy if a bit brutal. You literally get 10 seconds to get on/off and if you don't quite make the pier, good luck getting any help (Not because the people are mean, just on a tight schedule I think). Pauline had a David Attenbrough moment in Lumbhini Park when a pigeon fell in the lake and some children tried to rescue it. The climax of the drama however occurred when a beasty monitor lizard hot-footed across the lake to gobble up the unfortunate bird! I (Richard) missed it all!
From Bangkok we caught a train North East to Chaing Mai and we had the privelage of air-con (shame it was set to -2 and I could see my breath all the way!).We went trekking in the jungle for 2 nights and 3 days.
Great value for money we met hilltop tribes, went rafting, swam in waterfalls and walked.... a alot! Also included was an elephant trek along the rapids.
An opportunity not to be missed we thought and since the elephants seemed well looked after and were kept together in a family I thought it would be ok. I (Pauline) kind of regretted it afterwards though and whilst it certainly was an experience I didn't really enjoy it. A funny moment was finding a big hole in the balcony of our hut due to the fire not being extinguished fully the previous night (classic mistake!).
After Chiang Mai, we headed back south to Ayutthaya (the old capital) for some temple sight-seeing but the most interesting sight had to be a fairly big monitor lizzard crossing the road in front of us. After it waddled off Pauline scared the shizzle out of me by pretending it was back behind me after i'd turned around.
So after over a week in the Thai heat we decided we needed to get to a beach to relax. Ko Tao was a dream, small enough to be not too touristy. We got a bungalow right next to the beach and the only downside was finding a cockroach the size of Pauline's fist in it on the second night! We spent a day on a snorkelling tour which was great value and only spoiled by the realisation that we'd both got burn't (one more serious than the other!) while being on our stomach's all day.
After two days on Ko Tao we took the ferry to Koh Samui (via Ko Phangan and hence full of full moon party go-ers) and to our dismay spent 3 hours (1 in a taxi) trying to find the beach bungalows we'd booked. We must have asked about 30 locals to no avail and when it started getting dark had to settle for checking into a different hotel. Koh Samui was a lot bigger and more touristy, so on our second day we thought we'd try to hire a scooter, which was a cheap way to get around. If only I (Richard) had ridden anything like it before and didn't ride down the street like fred flinstone, refusing to apply the brake! The lady in the hire shop decided for us it was best to take a raincheck!
We have now crossed the Thai peninsula to see the other side of the Andaman sea (from India) and are having a great time on the island of Ko Phi Phi. Tomorrow we go snorkelling again and get to see where the film 'The Beach' was set. I'll get well lubed up this time.
Finally, check out our beach artwork and leave a comment telling us which one is best. We'll try not to argue over the result!