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Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 55 of 55 › view all entries
Little sleep last night, as it's impossible to get the a/c level right. It's great when you first get in, sweating from a 20 metre walk from taxi to hostel room, but at about 3AM, the lack of a duvet means getting up and turning the a/c off...and by 8AM you're boiling again! We check out after breakfast, and this place isn't too bad. I mean, the location's a bit of a way out, there's no real towels or duvets, and you need your own locks for the doors. To be honest, this is how I thought we would spend all our nights here, and it hasn't been the case at all. It's a refreshing change to realise these old school backpacker places do exist out here, and makes it all seem a little more authentic!
Can't fault the kindness of the staff, and the owner gives us a lift to the bus station in his songthaew, and we pay 297B to get on our bus to Bangkok. It's not a very eventful journey, and takes 5 hours until we see the ubiqitous pink taxis, and realise we're back on the outskirts of Bangkok. Now, it gets a little eventful, with the bus stopping for what we assume is the routine fag/food/piss stop. After 20 minutes, and almost the whole bus emptying, this doesn't seem to be the case...still clueless, we just sit there, until a girl opposite me hands me her mobile. I'm as confused as I think I have ever been in my life, but it soon becomes clear, as the girl on the phone tells me in faltering English that the bus has broken down, and a minibus is coming in 20 minutes, or we can get a taxi. I thank the girl, and we end up getting a taxi, which proclaims it's love for farang, and the driver's competence in English! Perfect....
Well, not quite. The driver knows Silom Road, but I don't have the soi number, which poses a problem. So, for the 2nd time in 10 minutes, I'm on a mobile phone speaking to a friend of the taxi driver's trying to determine where exactly our hotel is. I suggest maybe calling them, as I have their number, but this request falls on deaf ears. Eventually, we guess it's soi 4, and head there. After much gesturing by the "English-speaking" taxi driver, we end up there. Except the hostel isn't even there. We are in Patpong! It's quieter than I thought it would be, but it's only 5PM, so it's early doors...we explore a few sois looking for the hostel, when a friendly guy comes up, and asks us if he knows where we are...warily, I show him my journal with the hostel name and location in. This guy phones up the hostel, and gets directions for us, and walks us the whole 10 minutes, without requesting any money! He just wants us to go see him later if we want to see a ping-pong show. Legend! Today, there have been two instances where the hospitality and friendliness of the Thais has really come across, and this restores my faith in humanity. A little.
The big thing tonight is of course the footy. England against Croatia in a must-not-lose game. We find an English pub on Silom Road, the Duke of Wellington, but due to the late kick-off it's not showing the game! So, we go to bed early, in the knowledge that England should be safely through to the Euro 2008 when we awake. Ha.