The Travelling Series
Apologies for not posting for a while but travelling can be super hectic - especially when you're doing a whistle stop tour of South East Asia in 5 weeks like we are!
Bangkok lives up to everything you expect it will be and more! It's a crazily busy city that doesn't really sleep and you can't walk down a road without being harassed for something. When you first step onto Khao San Road, the backpacker central, you'll be asked if you want a suit, a motorbike, a scorpion, laughing gas and/or a bucket of alcohol - all in the space of a minute.
It's an exciting place because there's a lot of people and a lot going on, but I actually found it a little bit too claustrophobic at times. The pavements on the streets are narrow and windy and you have to navigate around hundreds of food and clothing stalls. We spent about a week there in total, but you only need a few days really just to do the city centre.
It was also insanely hot and humid. We (when I say 'we', I mean Kane, Katie and I) experienced a bit of culture on one of the days and went to the Grand Palace which had the temple of the Emerald Buddha in it. It was very interesting but we spent most of the time flocking to the air con in the museums because being outside was like being stuck in a giant sweat box!
Everyone says that you should experience the street food in Thailand but I found it difficult to eat outside directly next to where the food was being cooked when it was THAT hot, even at night! We did find this awesome little stall though right outside the main McDonalds on Khao San which has the best Pad Thai I've ever tasted in my life.
In contrast to these samples of local culture, we also did some incredibly touristy things like going to see a Ping Pong show. I saw things during this show that I'm fairly certain will scar me for life. But it made for an extremely amusing evening and had to be done!
Kane and I booked a day tour for the last day which is definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip thus far. In the morning we went to a massive food market and sampled some of the local fruits. Some of them have a really gross texture, like raw chicken, but tasted pretty good! Then we went onto a farm where we got to ride in an ox-drawn cart and have a Thai food cooking class. After helping to prepare the food, we then got to eat it (one of my favourite pass times) and it was very yummy!
After lunch we went onto Khao Yai National Park and drove up the mountain where we saw deer and monkeys. We also got to visit the waterfall that features in the film 'The Beach' with Leonardo Di Caprio (swit swoo), which was very picturesque.
Then - the best bit of the day - we got to ride on an elephant! An actual elephant! They're one of my favourite animals so I've always wanted to do it, and I couldn't quite believe I was doing it while it was happening. It felt AMAZING. I feel lucky that I'm able to tick these things off my bucket list while I'm out here.
Speaking of bucket lists, I always wanted to get a traditional Thai massage if I was ever in Thailand. What I didn't realise is that a traditional Thai massage involves an hour of what feels like slow torture - they really pull at every muscle in your body and there's no point trying to fight it as it only feels worse. It took everything I have in me not to cry out at certain points, but I didn't want to show my Masseuse that she won. I'm glad I experienced it but I'm comfortable with the fact that I'll probably never have one again!
For our last couple of nights in Bangkok we stayed with Katie in her hostel which was fun, as it was like one giant sleepover. But it made it even more difficult to leave her! She was moving onto Koh Chang and we had to get a shifty on to Hanoi, so it was bye bye Katie and hello Vietnam!
I'm so happy that we got to catch up with Katie and spend some time travelling with her as I think it made us all closer. We already miss her lots as she was like a mother hen to us - being a pro at travelling and still going at the 8 months mark, she could tell us what to do and how to carry on from her own experiences. But it was fun while it lasted! Hopefully we will all get to meet again soon.
Coming up after the break: Vietnam!