Monday, December 19, 2005

Two nights in Bangkok

Smiling through the fear in a Tuk Tuk - Ed on the other hand seems strangely excited.

Lobbed into Bangkok before I knew what hit me, what country am I in now? I swear a few hours ago it was the UK....then Morocco, and when was Brazil again? Oh yes thats right we managed to cover them all in the space of about 3 weeks...ooops, our slow and easy pace of travel over the last 8 months had gone beserk in the last month.

So now its Bangkok all heat soaked grey skies, pollution, traffic and madness. But it also colour and vibrance, from mad little streets filled with coloured fairy lights and lanterns, to vast displays of incredible looking food on street grills, to outrageously elaborate gold and red temples covered in tiny mirrors that sparkle in the moonlight.

Found a hotel a couple of streets away from the infamous Kao San Road, here hundreds of tatooed, pierced, shaven headed or dreadlocked backpackers loll about on couches like packs of fat sea lions sipping beer and watching films on cable. Suddenly I realise that this is where the cliched and often loathed backpacker "type" is spawned.

But besides that Bangkok is superbly kitted out for travellers, everything you could possibly need is available around the clock from cool looking clothes and shoes to books, bags and so on...basically everything that wasn't available in South America is here in spades.

The locals here are incredibly enterprising setting up amazing food stalls, market stalls and even bars made out of old VW Combi vans - it makes for an interesting vibe. On our first day Eduardo and I took one of the infamous Tuk Tuks (colourful little half motorbike, half rickshaw) around town and got to sample one of Bangkoks traffic jams, sitting in the tiny death trap, dodging giant trucks and buses, sucking back pollution and rebuffing our charming but dodgy drivers offers to visit gem stores for over an hour.....kind of funny in a health threatening way.

But after two days it is bye bye Bangkok and hello islands of Thailand where they greatest decision each day will be what to eat for lunch.

Well some street food was yummy....but this stall was decidedly more popular with locals..the sign reads "Locust, Worm, Silkworm, Scorpion and Cricket" The crickets were in demand.

Bars come in all shapes and sizes in Thailand but this was my favourite, the Combi Van bar


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