Craig’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 05 May 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

MapSa-wat-dil khrap (Thai hello)!

I arrived in Bangkok on Monday after a 2 day journey which meant me having to first fly back into Calcutta, India and then fly to Thailand the following day. My stay in Calcutta was short and sweetÖ.well not so sweet! First thing out the airport my taxi driver was trying a scam on me thinking Iíve just arrived in India for the first time so I think he was quite shocked when I turned round and let leash and made him take me back to the airport without a single rupee. I certainly hope to return to India one day but need to build my stamina and patience levels up again before I do!

I was a little shell shocked when I first arrived in Bangkok. The airport is huge, modern, clean and efficient, things that India and Nepal just are not. From the bus on the way in I noticed that the perfect roads had traffic which actually drives the correct way with no chaos or cows! The bus I was on had leather seats, air conditioning and turned up on time Ė what is this place???! I decided to stay in the centre of all the action on Khao San road which basically is the main strip of bars and shops that never sleeps, I lasted 2 days and had to stay somewhere a little quieter, it literally never stops here. The street food is very good and probably the cheapest way to eat. The price of living here is probably double India and Nepal so this is where the budget is going to go! Itís incredibly hot and humid, itís been 35 degrees + all week but with rain and thunder storms. Bangkok itself is almost like a Spanish resort from people coming out for a couple of weeks to 18 year old backpackers who make me feel pretty old as I rarely met anyone younger than me in India or Nepal. Itís a very different place from where Iíve been which is nice to have, I think traveling will be a lot easier out here and can see why itís a backpackers first stop on the map.

Iíve managed to do a few other things apart from drinking since I arrived. There are lots of Buddhist temples to see and I went to see a 32m gold statue of Buddha which is pretty impressive. I made the most of the huge shopping centers and spent a day getting hold of stuff Iíve been missing and even managed to get my hair cut after stumbling across a Toni & Guy. It was an ok cut but she kind of gave it a Thai twist so a new cap was also purchased after this experience!

Iíve met up again with a couple I met in India and Nepal and we are going to a small island in the South called Ko Tao tomorrow where we plan on doing a diving course which Iím looking forward to. Be nice to get out of busy Bangkok and get somewhere a little less commercial.

Hope allís well with everyone back home.