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Jacqui’s Travel Diary

Monday, 06 Mar 2006

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

MapHello All,

Well after years of talking about I can't belive Im finally here. I have survived my fist few days in Bangkok pretty well I must say, though It didn't look like it was going to be the best of starts. When I arrived in Bangkok airport it took me so long to get through passport control (well over an hour) that by the time I reached the baggage carousels my plane wasn't even listed anymore! I wandered up and down trying to find my bag before I finally found a help desk. The lady I asked looked up my flight and said 'ahhh that flight come long time ago'... no shit sherlock. Anyway I finally found my bag, one of four just sitting in the middle of the airport guarded by a man who laughed when I finally got there.
I very expertly found my way through all the touts trying to make me spend too much in a taxi and found my way outside to the metered taxi line, just like my guide book told me to do.. yah who is the seasoned traveller huh?? Well not me as it worked out, I ended up spending way to much in a taxi, that wasn't metered.. funny that, with a taxi driver who kept looking at the little map that I gave him the whole drive. I had faith in him until he tried to drop me off somewhere pointing vaguly down the street and saying Thai Cozy house. Not knowing where I was , not being able to see my guest house and already knowing he had way ripped me off, I wouldn't get out when he opened my door. he finally went and asked someone where it was and drove me to my door (two streets away!)...what a nice man...

My guest house is two streets from Khao San road, backpacker capital of the world, its filthy, crowded, hot, but somehow pretty damn exciting. It shuts off to traffic at night and fills with shops and stalls and food vendors, plus backpackers and locals of every description... some of the fashions are enough to keep you entertained for the whole night. That first night I had some great Pad Thai from a street vendor who cooked it in front of my eyes.

Day two I took to the streets with my map in hand... that i have ripped already, I hate maps. Went to the National Museum as it was going to be shut for the next two days. But of course this was the one day that they needed to shut at 12 instead of four. So I had a pretty rushed look around. But there was a really good exhibit on Thai History which has made me pretty excited to get to the ancient capitals some time soon. There was heaps of art and sculpture, lots of Buddhas as you would expect and lots and lots of gold. There was a big display of royal chariots that was pretty amazing, Im pretty sceptical that they ever actually moved.. but anyway.
After geting kicked out of the museum I found my way to the Grand palace. Expecting to be at the museum most of the day I had worn a singlet, so I couldn't go in (shoulders have to be covered), so I went for a walk around the perimeter, which turned out to be about three k's or something ridiculous like that, and then about another half an hour to get back to the guest house in the burning heat, I'm currently sweating all my weight off and with all this exercise no one is going to recognise me when I get home, of course I should hold off on that Thai beer I have taken a bit of a liking too, and probably the curries wont help either!
I met an English girl Michelle at breakfast that morning so we cuaght up for dinner with her friend Lucy. We found a nice little thai restaurant that had really nice satay chicken, and then a nice pub that had nice beer!

Today I had to walk back to the grand palace, and all the way around it again to get to Wat Po the home of the reclining Buddha, which was amazing. Its this massive statue lying on its side with one hand supporting its head and its entirely covered in gold, except for its feet which is mother of pearl. Its head is 15 meters off the ground and its over forty meters in length, and its feet are over five meters high. There were lots of other temples and statues to look at in the grounds before I made my way to the Grand Palace. Here yet again jacqui's luck came into play because the Emerald Buddha one of the most sacred images in the country was closed for a 'ceremony'. There was still heaps to look at, tho I kind of wish I had done it in a tour cos I really had no idea what I was looking at most of the time! I just tagged along behind a few at different times, if I only remebered some of my Japanese I would have been right!
The palace and all the temples were amazing to look at, although you couldn't go inside most of them. They were all covered in brightly patterned tiles, and yet again lots of gold. Don't worry I got loads of photos (Im sure you are all surprised by that revelation!).

So I have had a few pretty full on days. The heat is full on, but bearable, and you just sweat as soon as you walk outside. I am dying for a shower right now, but when I went to have one before the whole tap fell of and water spewed everywhere except where it was supposed to go. Hopefully it will be fixed by the time I am done here, or I wont be leaving my room for dinner tonight! Oh and I have bought some necklaces already.. Im sure thats a shock to all who know me!!

I hope everything is well at home, Im missing everyone heaps.. I've looked at my photos a few times already!
Mum, stop stressing, I have made a few friends already, and Im not too sunburnt...
Ali, I hope your not too sad that Anya has left, dont worry i will be in London before you know it.
dad you would hate the food here, but I am in heaven!!
Jenna give Riley and Sooty a big kiss and cuddle for me! And Tell Mum to stop stressing!
Jo and Michelle.. have a dance at Finnegans for me as soon as you can, missing you guys heaps!

Everyone Keep in Touch!!
Lots of Love
Jacqui xxxx