Thailand in February 2006

To get to the border of Thailand from Battambang, our last stop in Cambodia, we rode on the back of a pickup-truck. There were about 35 people on the truck, normal allowed number of passengers would be 5, so you can be imagine it was very crowded, the road was bad and bumpy and the sun was hot as we didn't have any cover. But it was fun, we did it like the locals and saved several dollars compared to the backpacker bus service. On the thai side we took a train and arrived in Bangkok in the evening.

Bangkok is huge and very modern, lots of traffic. The first night we stayed in what we called the backpacker Ghetto, an area around Khao Sarn road. It was much bigger than I expected it to be and there were literally thousands of western tourists. It's full of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, bars travel agent and shops aimed and the western tourist. We hated it, why would you come all the way to BKK and then hang out with other westeners, eat western food, it's a backpackers theme park. The next day we moved to a different hotel in the area just north of it. This is a much quieter area whole mostly locals live, there are some guest houses and restaurants and therefor some tourists but all on a much smaller scale and the local dominated the little alleys. A few days later we moved to a small family run guest house because it was only 220 bath rather than 450 in the hotel, this meant shared bathroom and no air condition but Olivia is on a limited budget. We stayed nine days in the city but didn't really do or see much. The main reason to come here was to get our visa for Burma (now also known as Myanmar) and we managed that. We've done some of the major sites but we knew we would come back here after burma.

Memorable moments:
  • Having coctails in the Skybar on the 68th floor of the state tower, with great views over Bangkok and a really nice sunset.
  • Cycling through Bangkok in pretty mad traffic. Being hit by a huge SUV and pushed off the bicycle into a busy intersection. Luckily I was alright and the bike was in a bad condition already anyway.
  • Meeting the nice guys at Smallroom Records, a Bangkok pop music record label. We had a nice chat about pop music in Thailand and they gave me a bunch of their releases.
  • Seeing some local indie bands play live at a club and winning an IPOD on the same night because giving away IPODs is what people do at indie gigs in Bangkok.