Sunday, 13 February 2011

BARMY BANGERS

Bangkok.... well, what can you say?! There's no where that matches it for the backpacker in terms of ease and convenience, crazy sights and lots and lots of fellow travellers. We must have been here dozens of times before, and have seen most of the main "sights", but we always find more interesting things to do and see each time, in addition to our old favorites.

The best find of our time here (take note fellow travellers- if you haven't already found out!), was a great new area to stay in. It's not too far from the evil necessities of the Khao San Road area, but a world away in terms of peace, quiet and atmosphere. No doubt before too long it will be discovered, and taken over by the Khao San crowd, but for now it's quaint, more "Thai" feeling with some old wooden buildings and no hassle. If anyone's interested, ask us for details!


Our new area Bangkok
 Funny video of Richard crossing the road:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSatpxPKG7g

One of our favorite things to do in Bangkok is cruise the huge Chao Phraya river. For 14 Baht (around AU$0.50), we can travel about an hour, all the way to the northern most stop, along the way enjoying river life and cool breezes. This time we also discovered the khlong trips (khlongs are small water ways). We were a bit disappointed, however, as apparently the khlongs are basically open sewers, so, understandably, the locals don't want to get splashed, and as a result, there are tarps up the side of the little speedy boats, and we couldn't see a thing!


Khlong boats


We did, however, use the khlongs to get to one of the more unusual destinations in Bangkok- Lai Nert Park. One of the big hotels in town has a shrine set up inside the grounds which, for some reason, locals have begun to worship in the hope of becoming more fertile. They leave phallic-shaped lingams stacked up everywhere as offerings, which is a strange sight to see (in Thailand, in India it would be quite normal!), and Sally made sure she touched nothing!


Lingam shrine

So many lingams!

Another odd sight was the restaurant at the local charity Cabbages and Condoms (family planning awareness people) that we dropped in on. They have set up some curious models to promote the idea of safe sex (desperately needed here). We loved the Christmas-y theme to the whole affair!


Rubber man, with condom decorated Xmas tree

Condom decorated Santa

Other enjoyable ways we spent our week in Bangkok were:
  • lazing in the park near the river, keeping cool, reading the papers and watching the sunset aerobics (always more entertaining watching other people exercise!)
  • visiting the MASSIVE (35 acre/8,000 stall) Chatuchak Weekend Market. Not needing anything in particular, we wandered randomly (very dangerous!) and ended up in the fish breeding area, where huge carps were selling for AU$1000 each!!
  • climbing the impressive, golden Wat Saket- a temple with a great 360 degree view, and our only temple visit this time in Bangkok ( we know we quickly become "wat-ed out"!)

Pra Athit Park

Aerobics by the river


From Bangkok we took, what must be a record for us, six buses to reach Trat, a coastal town near the Cambodian border. It should have only taken one bus, but that's another story! We spent 2 nights here before heading to Cambodia.

Another funny video of Richard in Trat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wekS5CVHOys 

2 comments:

  1. U must reveal where this new area is. I usually stay in the area behind the temple at the end of khao san road. Nice but it's slowly transforming into a red light district. I have that effect on the places I frequent I guess.

    I like that pic of Sally in the Lingam forest.

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  2. I recall the gathering by the river where keen participants drew sweat prior to scurrying of to work in offices, which i did for a couple of month. This was strange and alienating for i lived in a small flat within a small region of this Megaopolis. The sense of place is a challenge for the ex pat and i admire the length of travel you undertook, and wonder how you did it on a inter personal level?

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