Travel Report Bangkok, Thailand

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Travel Report Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand
one stop on Wendy's & Joe's world tour 2004/05

Bangkok
 

 

 
Kind of travel: Travelling alone
Year of this voyage: 2004
Author's age: 30-45 years
 

 
Journal Update 29th May 2004 / Bangkok, Thailand

Hello all
Well we have arrived in Bangkok to an overcast morning sky. The Atlanta Hotel is fantastic just like the crumbling Art Deco places in Penang (v. fusty). The foyer hasn't been touched since the 60's and there is a holiday camp style swimming pool with string hammocks which Joe finds very exciting! The hotel I think used to be run by a very grumpy old man who died last year. There is a signed picture to him from Mrs Thatcher on the wall which I hope Joe doesn't see as he cannot stand Mrs T and starts to spit venom about such things as the Miners Strike whenever he sees her picture.

There are signs everywhere telling you not to complain as it is a budget hotel and a big sign on the door saying "sex tourists not welcome!" I don't think Joe and I fit in to the category of being sex tourists so I hope the dour lady on reception lets us stay. We are extremely tired having got up at 4.00am this morning to catch our cheap flight over from Ko Samui. I got an email from my old oppo Paul Poole who is in town promoting something arty so hopefully we shall meet later. The last couple of days in Samui were great fun hanging out at Chewang Beach and Limai Beach. We went to see Big Buddha and met a very nice laughing monk who was quite intrigued by Joes birth mark. You see you don't get strawberry birthmarks in Thailand (theirs are green) so all the Thais think it is an awful burn or something very painful.

Got to go this is cost 3 bart a minute and I have left Joe in charge of the luggage so I better make sure he hasn't fallen asleep.
 

Journal Update Sunday 31st May 2004 / Bangkok
It is 12.06am and we are somewhere in Bangkok although I have no idea where (though, the people in this internet cafe I think are Lebanese). We have just left our friend Paul Poole outside of a place called the Q club after a very nice evening of what he calls chi chi la la places which comprised of several 5 star hotel bars one of which was out in the open 63 floors high above Bangkok named Vertigo (which used to be a helicopter pad for the Banyan Tree Hotel, though because so many choppers crashed in Bangkok there is now a ban on flying and the place is now a bar).

I tried to hide my extreme phobia of heights and after 2 martinis I started to calm down a bit considering there is just a small rail stopping anyone falling over the side! We then went to a place called the Bed Supper Club which is a white prefabricated structure all in white where you eat whilst lying on a bed (v. trendy with waitresses dressed as airline stewardesses). I don't know much about wine (nothing in fact) but Paul ordered a bottle called Chateau Neurf Du Pap which was the nicest I have ever tried (please excuse the incorrect spelling of this!).

 
We have had a wonderful few days where we went to the pictures to see "The Day After Tomorrow", the cinema was very cool as you get huge plush seat that massage you and recline, you also get full bar service throughout the film and blankets and socks-which was great fun. We have now vacated the Atlanta hotel, though it had great character and the coolest pool in the world we couldn't be in Bangkok without air conditioning - we felt like we were going to explode so we are now happy in the characterless Grand Inn which has wall to wall carpets and a bath (I think it may be a bit seedy as I picked up a magazine from reception with adverts that promised that the City Of Angels would deliver you your very own Angel to your door (in brackets, nice Thai ladies, Eurasians, Boys and Lady Boys, all very hygienic!!!) Lastly I had my hair bobbed today for 15 quid which feels a lot better - it can't compete with a cut from Vidal Sassoon but it will have to do, Joe said it looks very Mod so it must be alright. Tomorrow we will be playing around on the sky train and getting down to the serious biz of booking onward flights. We are weighing up the pros and cons of going to Bali. Desperately want to go but concerned about terrorist warnings. Accommodation is V. cheap and we may never get another chance to do it so we are pretty much decided we are going to do it.

Anyway Joe is having a very intense chat about the Second World War with the nice Lebanese man who owns the cafe so I think it is time to wrap up and go to bed.

Journal Update 03rd June 2004 / Bangkok, Thailand
We have been exploring the city of Angels over the last two days by Sky Train, boat, cabs, and buses and walking (though this is practically impossible unless you want to get heat stroke). The only thing we haven't yet tried are the tuk tusk because we value our lives and they continuously try to take you somewhere you don't want to go! The river express boat is our favourite means of transportation around Bangkok as the weather here can get unbearably hot in the afternoon and the river is the only place with a cool breeze. The river boat only costs 15 baht which is about 25 p for an hour so Joe is pleased as he keeps saying this is the best value thing in Thailand so far.

In Ko Samui we were feeling very French and here we are in a very middle eastern area (most of the people and shops are strangely Lebanese), so we have been eating pitta breads with goats cheese and Joe has got a taste for Kebabs with hot chili sauce and rice. We have moved hotel yet again to a place which is only 700 baht a night, it is less central and there are lots of comings and goings of farangs and young Thai girls but it has the all important air con and luxury of a bath tub (though we have had to gaffer tape up the plug as it leaks). We have found that there is little point complaining about anything here especially in hotels as you just get presented with a shrug and a curious expression they use here which is "same same".
 

Joseph Brilus
Joseph Brilus

Wendy Brierley
Wendy Brierley

 

We decided to blow the deposit for a house on a grand world tour through 2004. We booked through STA travel and put together a brief itinerary including the Far East, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. As it turned out we experienced China, Bali, Fiji and many more places in between.

We decided to end the trip with a wedding in Las Vegas (which was very memorable!) As a wedding present my brother put together an on-line travel blog for us which was a great tool for documenting our journey. This experience truly changed our lives and we encountered many fantastic people through out the world. I hope you enjoy reading some highlights of our journal!

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The best way I have heard this explained was by Paul's friend Mark who runs a hotel in Ko Samui, he said if you take your shirt to the laundry and it comes back with stains all over it, it is "same same" (but different). Westerners get very upset about this blasť attitude to life and we have seen plenty of people losing their rags to no avail.

We have been visiting all the embassies here to get our various visas for onward travels to Laos and to Cambodia. We had a mad time this morning trying to find the Cambodian embassy which culminated in finding it had been knocked down and replaced with a large white perimeter fence. Eventually we found its temporary office to find it had shut for the day and "to please comes back tomorrow morning at 9.00 am".

Today we visited the backpacker Mecca of the Khaosan Road, I had read about it in The Beach and it is just as it is described with hundreds of shops that cater entirely to travellers needs - fisherman's pants, fake Diesel gear, student identity cards, press passes banana pancakes and anything else you could possibly need after all you can have anything you want in Bangkok.

Wendy Brierley

a further stop on Wendy's & Joe's world tour 2004/05
 

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World Tour Travel Reports from Wendy & Joe:
Japan > Singapore > Malaysia > Thailand > Laos > Vietnam > Cambodia > Indonesia > Hong Kong > China >
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Travel Report Bangkok, Thailand