Khao San Road, Bangkok

The number of times the sun has set does not match up with the days on the calendar and the number of nights I've actually slept in a bed are very few considering I left Wednesday and it is now Monday. Needless to say, I have no idea what time or day it is. It is dark out and I am awake. That's all I know.

Once off the airplane it was some ridiculous hour in the morning so we went to the nearest tourist counter and asked them to take us to the nearest hotel. I was so excited to wake up in Bangkok the next morning. We walked out the hotel, turned left, and started exploring random streets, found a coffee shop, drank some Thai tea, and asked the lady where we were. Well actually, she didn't speak any English so we just pointed at a map of Bangkok with a questioning look. She laughed and shook her head. So we pulled out Fletch's phone and looked up our location on google maps. Not even in Bangkok. Still half an hour outside the city.

Driving into Bangkok was impressive to say the least. I was not expecting a city that size. The skyline just went on and on and on. You couldn't even see where it began and where it ended. And there were cranes everywhere; it's still expanding.

Khao San Road is where you want to be to party. Market by day, and it all magically turns into a strip of bars, parties, and clubs at night. We walked up and down until we came across an assortment of beach/lounge chairs all full of happy people getting foot massages. So that happened. Even better, there were two open tanks of fish once you walk inside that you dangle your feet in and the fish eat all the dead skin off. Weirdest feeling ever! That was a blast. They serve you beer as you sit there and everything.

We met up with a couple of Fletch's friends who live there and spent the rest of the night bar-hopping, eating fried insects, and drinking buckets of vodka red bull. And yes, they literally serve it in buckets. I even ate a scorpion at some point. I've tried uploading the picture a dozen times now but the Internet here is too slow to allow it. But I ate, honest to god, a crunchy black scorpion, claws and everything… well not the stinger, luckily there were a couple of drunk English blokes standing next to me who were all too willing to impress a girl by eating a scorpion stinger. It tasted like burnt popcorn.

The next day we wanted to go see Wat Pho, the reclining Buddha. Ignore the hangover, how often are you in Bangkok? No time for hangovers. Once outside our hotel we were conveniently met by a tuk tuk driver who offered to take us there for 20 Baht. (That's less than a dollar). But oh wait, Wat Pho doesn't actually open til noon so he offered to take us to the temple of the standing Buddha first. Still for only 20 Baht. Here's a tip for you future travelers: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We eagerly jumped on his offer, spent an hour walking around a gorgeous temple, and walked back to find our driver there waving us down. After climbing back into the tuk tuk he told us that we had to go suit shopping. They have some weird deal here with the government where if you take your clients suit shopping, and they look around for ten minutes, then as a driver you get free gas. So we agreed to spend ten minutes looking so he could get his free tank of gas, walked into the suit shop, were asked what we were looking for, Fletch was honest and said that there was absolutely nothing we wanted, and we promptly got yelled at and kicked out.

Back outside our driver offered to take us back inside and help us shop. A bit of an argument followed until I finally handed him his 20 Baht, said goodbye, and walked away. Now we were stranded in the middle of Bangkok with no idea whatsoever where we were. We walked to the nearest corner and flagged down another tuk tuk, asked him to take us to Wat Pho, and said over and over again, "no suits." He just laughed and asked how many times we'd had to stop.

Looking around the little tuk tuk we noticed amps and speakers everywhere. I mean boxes glued to the roof of the little space. Our driver saw our interest in his sound system and put in a CD, and our means of transportation was instantly transformed into a nightclub. We rocked out to Gangam Style all the way to Wat Pho. 

Wat Pho was unbelievable. Also it had been open since 8am. Our first driver lied to us saying it didn't open til noon. He just wanted to take us someplace close to his suit shop. The main temple held the reclining Buddha and he was massive. I was expecting him to be about a quarter of the size that he was. It was a magnificent sight to behold. The rest of the temple was equally as astonishing, all the buildings being encrusted in jewels and shiny designs. It took about three hours to walk through it all.

We found a taxi cab driver to bring us back to Khao San Road, once again after stressing our 'no suits' policy. With barely a couple blocks left to go, we suddenly pulled off to the side of the road where a girl was selling pictures. Our hearts dropped as our driver started bargaining for a couple postcard sized photos. Surely he wasn't going to try to sell us postcards. Back inside the vehicle, he passed the photos back to us and said it was ok for us to take a picture of them. After which he started rambling off very excitedly,
"Numba one big king monk! You know numba one big king monk? Die two day ago? Hundred year old! You know? Hundred year old!" 
There would be a moment of silence as we nodded and acknowledged his new photo, and then he would start up all over again. He was still rambling on like a broken record when he finally let us out of the cab.

Back on Khao San Road we ended up going back for another foot massage, (they're hard to pass up at $4 for 30 minutes), and then decided we should just go ahead and get full massages. Definitely a good call before spending the night on a bus to Chumphon. The bus ride was eight hours overnight, followed by a high speed catamaran ride to Koh Tao.