Thailand. Bangkok, Khao Sak, Phuket, Authaya, Kanchanburi, Chang Mai, Border, Laos. Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vietianne
22.03.2011 32 °C
Journey so far....
Wow there is so much to write about and not nearly enough time to actually sit down and actually write it!!
Bangkok- Arriving here was very strange especially on your own, I was just glad that I knew where I was going and that I was meeting Nicky at the other end. First impressions were that I loved it!! very busy lots of people to meet! But a day in we were being dragged around by a tuk-tuk driver telling us that it was a Buddhist holiday and that the Government pay 50 percent today of whatever you are going to buy, then to a travel agent that was using scare tactic in order to book with them. To then you are just walking money and we had had enough but not before seeing a very famous ping pong show and enjoying the night life though
We did believe however that getting an overnight train to the beaches would be easy, seems like the scary guy in the tourist center was right and there were no sleeper trains left, only 3rd class, how bad could it be?! Well imagine a hard seat at 90 degree angle with enough space for Nicky and I just to fit or bottoms in. Looking round no 'Falang' (Thai's word for tourist!) Maybe we were meant to be a little more organized than we first expected we only had to endure 15 hours of that and we would find or perfect beach!!
We arrived in Surat Thani at 9.30am the next morning no sleep and rain, rain and lot's of rain!!! No ferries to the lovely islands, flood warnings were on the horizon GREAT! The last thing we wanted to do was get back on the train so we headed for Khao Sak National Park, should be alright if it's raining in a rainforest?!
So it rained for 2 days straight relentlessly and the only exciting thing to happen was a Monkey trying to steal our beer but failed miserably! Pretty scary creatures when they are up close and especially when they are not intimated!
To get out of the South we had to then get a 3hr bus down South to Phuket where the rain was even worse! Wadding through knee and ankle deep water just to find somewhere to stay!! We felt as though we were never dry and wasn't equiped for this weather!! Was travelling really meant to be this hard?? Luckily people that we met and things that we saw made everything all worth while.
After looking at the news and speaking to people we had to get out of the South! We then travelled straight up to Bangkok, where we caught a local bus to Authaya.
Finally sunshine!!! Authaya is an amazing place, much smaller than all the places that we had been and a lot less tourist was a great place to stumble upon, actually has some great history as it was the old capital of Thailand but was bombed by the Burmese so they have lot's of old ruins. Was a small place for backpackers but met lot's of people and Mr Noi who taught us lot's of brainteasers and took us to a traditional Thai club.
Kanchanburi was our next stop and we hadn't thought we would venture this way but with our 2 weeks on a beach now not happening we decided to see more central and glad that we did! Loved this place small city but lot's to see including the bridge over the River Kwai, musuem about the war and the 100,000 men that died making the bridge very emotional!! We met a great Thai guy Nuii that owned one of the guest houses and he was amazing took us to untapped caves and an amazing temple, he even took us for dinner in a traditional Thai dinning where you pick your raw meat and cook it in an open fire in the middle of your table, best food I have eaten so far. We stayed up one night till the monks came round in the morning for food, this happens around 7am and they are not allowed to buy there own food so all the people get up early in the morning to buy them food and feed them, that was a very bizarre feeling especially as we hadn't been to bed yet!
After spending 7 days in Kanchanburi, which was definitely more time than we had wanted to spend but with great hospitality and lovely people it was very hard to leave! We made our way back to dreded Bangkok in order to get the bus to Chang Mai for Songkran. We were not happy about having to return to Bangkok and with no surprise there we had a bit of a nightmare the cab that we got into to taje us to the bus station tried to rip us off and after threatening to get out he would only take us half the way to the Sky train, after getting off the Sky train we then needed to get another cab but no -one would take us expect for charging us extorsionate amount of money, finally we got there about 2 hours after being dropped off and only just managed to find an overnight bus, where they crammed 12 people which were only big enough for 6, fun times!
Chaing Mai for Thai New Year, each place we have been to is better than the last and Chang Mai is definitely my favorite place in Thailand! Let me explain Thai New Year it consists of 4 days, and they are now in 2055!! They celebrate the fact that the rainy season is coming and to do that they have a massive four day water fight!! The whole of the country everyone is throwing water so you are literally drenched for 4 days!! It's amazing to see little kids and old ladies throwing water on each other! Nicky and I had to get involved and bought ourselves to Super soakers which was loads of fun!!
So I started writing this in Thailand but now I'm 9 days into Laos!! Least it's raining outside so I don't feel I'm wasting time writing this!
Crossing into Laos was very weird you would expect something quite scary and offical but you get a little boat and almost feel like an illegal immigrant! The bus journey was horrendos in Laos overnight bus that they stacked full of people, people standing up sitting on plastic chairs in the asle, the roads were so windy and they drove like maniac's I actually thought I was going to die, and I thought the journeys in Thailand were bad! We met some great people on the bus and ended up staying in a really great Hostel in Luang Prabang because of it called Spicy Laos. Laung Prabang is probably the most amazing place I have seen so far right on the Mekong, the place is a world hertitage site therefore been left untouched all the signs for atms, restuarnts are made of wood and they are all quaint little buildings. This place was taken over by the French and has a very big French infuence, such as bread, wine, pizza's which after eating Thai food for the last month was very refreshing!! We found this beautiful bar, Utopia, that got everything just right, they had massive squashy sofa's which believe me you craze when all you get to sit on are hard bloody chairs, replcia's of old bombs, and loads of games to play including a volleyball court which was great fun!
Next stop Vang Vieng, tubing!! This really is a Magaluf of Spain, where loads of young Europeans go to get trashed. Was great fun tubing but also very dangerous, the current is very strong and there are lot's of things to jump off of and many people had to be dragged out. Lot's of corrupt policemen and Friends can be heard everywhere as you wlak down the street! We spent a couple of days tubing but that was all we could stomache was definitely a very fun couple of days, but now time for a detox! At the moment I am in Vietianne, capital city of Laos and the sun has just come out!! Got here yesterday so need to go and explore. Strangest capital I have seen no offices, wooden buildings, very laid back attitude.
Will be watching the royal wedding here and trying to think of some crazy outfits that we can wear. Will be heading to 4,000 island on Satuarday and think our route is going to change that we go to Cambodia next, will try and write sooner next time. Let me know what you all have been doing and will try and get some photo's up soon!