Bustling Kao San Road
Our gamble on the minibus our Kanchanaburi guesthouse arranged paid off handsomely. We were dropped off just south of the Kao San Rd where we had reserved a room at a grungy hotel called Sawasdee Smile, we've had some pronunciation problems with it variously calling it the Swansea, Swednesday, Swasadee etc etc. There are dozens, or so it seems, of the Sawasdee Hotels all with a different suffix but basically all the same paper thin walls, near ancient aircon units and boxy little rooms. Still it was cheap and in this area it's about as good as you can get for the price. At least it was mostly clean, no visible roaches or bugs and although ancient, the aircon worked. Bangkok
was steaming, the temperature wasn't the highest but the humidity was a killer.
A bit dark, but you can just make out one of the many saddos getting fake dreadlocks put in their hair on the Kao San Road
We decided to sit and have an overpriced beer on the Kao San Rd and watch the freaks of the world parade by, lady boys, hawkers, Hmong traders and our favourite people to ridicule the hair braiders. We watched several very sad individuals getting their hair braided or fake dreadlocks put in, which was very amusing as they have to sit in the street for ages getting it done and suffer the scorn and derision of people who know better. You can see the instant regret on their faces and by the time they are done they are utterly and rightly humiliated. We pity the poor fools.
We had a superb dinner at a vegetarian restaurant called May Kaidee 1 which was really good, not very atmospheric down a smelly alley way perpendicular to the Kao San but the food was excellent and the service prompt and friendly.
Kao San Road
After dinner we strolled back through and found a cheap place for a drink near our hotel, before heading back to our box and listening to the sounds of our neighbours through the night. We were treated to the sounds of some vomiting, farting, coughing and some that we couldn't quite pin down but thankfully we think everyone was too mortified to be having sex with such an audience so we're thankful for small mercies. That said I suspect the exhibitionists out there will now be flocking to the hotel, don't worry all the cheap places seem to be like it in Bangkok.
Next day we started early as a lie in was out of the question, it was already sticky and hot by 9am and we decided to head straight to the train station to book our sleeper tickets up to Chang Mai.
Reclining Buddha at Wat Po
It was so easy and so much cheaper than arranging it through the dodgy agents that abound in Thailand. From the station we did a bit of sightseeing, Wat Po and Wat Arun which were lovely, particularly Wat Arun which has seriously steep steps which we climbed right up and got great views of the city and the river traffic (as well as the green undies of yet another very innappropriately short dress wearing girl). We both fear the joys of temples and gaudy architecture are now washing over us which is a shame but they all start to look very similar after a while. We were going to go to the Golden Palace but the entrance fee was ridiculous and we've seen much better already in Cambodia so we couldn't be bothered with it, seen one golden palace seen 'em all we say.
We ate lunch at a place called the secret Garden which served middle eastern food and seemed to be a favourite haunt of the Israeli backpacker crowd.
Adam stopping briefly on th ascent up Wat Arun
Excellent food and a really nice little bar. We whiled away the afternoon on a crazy coin operated internet which was too stressful watching the clock tick down and trying to get e-mails written and so expensive but at least the computers were fast. We also had a fantastic run in with our bank as they decided to stop both of our cashpoint cards at the same time. Genius. We totally get the need for security but we have never used them to buy anything only ever from cashpoint machines and we always guard our pins. The irony is that when we phone them we have to use a public phone and give out all the security information that they are trying to keep a secret. Not only that but we immediately told them we were calling from Thailand and being charged silly money so what do they do put us on hold for four minutes.
A kitten who joined us for a drink
None of it's very logical as by now half of Bangkok knows enough of our security codes to get lucky if they can steal our cards from us.
We had a disappointing dinner at another branch of the May kaidee veggie restaurant. Disappointing in that the staff and service were awful, some of the most off-hand waiting staff we've ever encountered and believe us we've had some rubbish service in our time. The fact that the food was still awesome actually made it more disappointing as to be serving such good food in such a slovenly way seems sacrilige.