Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Bangkok, Buckets and Backpackers

As we were just starting out on the transition from Western to Eastern living we decided to stay in fairly decent accommodation. Our hotel (Hotel de’Moc), cost around £20 a night for the room, which by western standards is a fantastic bargain. With a free tuk-tuk service to the nearby Khao San Road, attractive and comfortable rooms, and a friendly service; we would recommend the hotel for anyone stopping over in Bangkok who wants to stay in medium to high class accommodation.

We spent most of our time in Bangkok hanging out on Khao San Road, which is a single street of restaurants, bars, and market stalls. This street is a haven for backpackers and travellers. Simply sitting, drinking Singha Beer, water, fruit shakes or whatever takes your fancy, whilst melting under the heaviness of the heat and observing the many different characters passing through, can be an experience in itself. With lone travellers, couples, and groups of friends, all of whom cross a range of ages, nationalities, and styles, the observations are plentiful. If you like people watching you’ll love this place.

Let’s not forget we’re in Thailand though. And whilst the seasoned and less seasoned travellers can easily alert your inquisitive senses; the locals and the overall laid back vibe provide you with a gentle introduction to the pace of life and culture of Thailand (a.k.a – The Land of Smiles). Lady boys, food stalls, and locals popping up beside you repeating the mantra “Taxi! You want Taxi? Want to go to Ping Pong show? Now good time! Taxi! We take you now! Taxi!” will not provide you with a deep insight to true Thai Culture, but will give you an insight to layer 1of life as a tourist in Bangkok.

Another vital rite of passage to spending time in Thailand is “the bucket”. A bucket in Thailand is a medium sized plastic container, filled with any concoction of alcoholic beverages you desire. Indulging in buckets is a very social way to drink. You can gaze lovingly into your partner’s eyes as you both lean forward to sip through the straws, or a group of you can practice the art of communal bucketing without banging heads. Alternatively you can take it in turns or be a lone “bucketeer” – but beware – the one thing all methods have in common is that if you’re not careful you could easily wind up falling off your chair backwards and landing on the floor in a stupid giggling mess. This result – IS NOT BIG – and IT’S NOT CLEVER!!! Plus you will likely suffer seriously the next day.... For the more hardcore party animals out there however – this may be one aspect of Thailand that keeps you here forever!

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