Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bangkok Pt.1

Right well before I go on I did not take a single picture in Bangkok. This is for 2 reasons;

1. I'm too hot and sweating to much to be arsed to carry the bastard around.
2. On the first day there I thought everyone was out to mug me.


So far my post about Bangkok has been the hardest one to write out of all the ones I've done so far and this is my fourth attempt. Now that I have left (I am now in Phuket) I have finally made my mind up about that place.

Bangkok is a hot, sweaty, dirty mess and when I first got there I really didn't like it. However at night it was amazing. I had some of the best nights I have ever had there and some very memorable stories which will last me a very long time. Some I will mention on this blog others I will tell you about when I get back haha. Anyway here is a little bit about my first stay in Bangkok.

Well first thing that caught my eye whilst looking out the window on the way to the hostel from the airport was someone taking their elephant for a walk. I had only been in Bangkok about 20 minutes when I saw this and really didn't know what to think it blew my mind. However it turned out to be a very common occurrence and I even ended up feeding one after leaving a bar on the first night.

Went for a little walk the afternoon we got there just to see what was around and get a better sense of the place and my first impression was that Bangkok was a smelly mess. We got hassled by literally everyone. Did we want a suit Mr? Helllloooo Hansom, Tuk Tuk and Ping Pong show were some of the many calls we got in our short 30 minute walk. It was pretty crazy coming from Tokyo one of the cleanest and most organized cities in the world to Bangkok which was an absolute mess. So a little bit concerned as to what I had got myself into I got back to the hostel thinking I was going to find life in Thailand very difficult over the coming month.

The hostel we were in was real nice and there seemed to be a good crowd there. Prior to getting there I had heard a lot about the rather crazy owner "Soi Dave" an American who had lived in Oz most his life but now owned a hostel in Bangkok. He was one of the most useful people we met in Bangkok and knew basically everything about the place. On our first night there Dave decided to take a group of us from the hostel out around Bangkok to show us the sights and give us a sense of the place from a locals perspective. So myself and 8 others headed out for a night on the town. At this point I didn't really think I would have been able to make much of a night of it has we were fresh off the plane from Tokyo after getting up at 4AM but I thought as I'm traveling I should really seize life so headed out rather curious as to what the night would hold.

The night that followed was just mental. Dave took us to a wide range of Bangkok's clubs and experienced a lot of what the place had to offer. He seemed to do this sort of thing several times a week so knew exactly where to take us and the merits of each club. Now I am not going to lie but when I say club I do mean a Strip club/GO Go bar. My young innocent mind was warped HAHA. But all in all it was cool to witness as obviously its something Bangkok is well known for.

After leaving the "clubs" we went to a proper club and had a right gooood time. The music was good and for some reason was something I wasn't really expecting Bangkok to have. However we were all enjoying ourselves and taking advantage of what the club had to offer when young Mr. Hampson (My traveling companion for those of you who don't know) thought it would be a good idea to collapse. I was dancing away quite merrily when out of the corner of my eye I see this figure drop to the floor like an absolute sack of shit. I looked up to see Tommy KO'd on the floor with a collection of very worried looking Thai's around. I was not impressed and had to drop what I was going and head over to him to give him a few slaps to face to see what the hell was wrong with him. At one point I did actually think he was dead and checking his breathing several times. Luckily he wasn't and soon come back round. He stood up looked around for about 30 seconds and then bang, straight back down again. I now realized there really was something wrong with him. A bouncer appeared picked, picked him up and carried him off to the exit. We laid him down on a sofa while this Thai girl tried to give him this menthol sniff stick to try bring him back round. We must have pored a good few liters of water over him as well as into him to try bring him back round but it just wasn't working. By now I was really getting quite concerned and thought it best that rather sooner than expected I make the trip to a hospital to try sort him out as nearly an hour later there hadn't been much of a development in terms of consciousness.

Now hospitals aren't free here which is a shame. So rather than pay for an Ambulance to the hospital in an inspired budget considering move I thought I would jump into a taxi and let him hoss us there. So myself and 2 other guys from the hostel helped me pop Tommy into the Taxi while a Thai girl gave the taxi driver the necessary instructions. The taxi driver seemed to think that so long as he had his hazard warning lights on he didn't need to consider stopping at any red lights. So Tommy blissfully unaware passed out in the back had know idea the level of danger we were being subjected to while trying not to let him die. Somehow we eventually made it to this hospital without even a hint of a automobile accident and got Tommy stretchered off to bring him back to life. The doctor was fairly unconcerned about the state of him but said we made the right decision bringing him here which made us very pleased as we had done the right thing. They put him on a drip and then just left him while the alcohol wore off. Meaning while I was still running around trying to work out Tommy's details so we could get his medical record and make sure he wasn't allergic to anything. Unfortunately all his stuff was in a locker back at the hostel so I had to peg it back there, luckily it was only just round the corner so that was the easy bit out of the way. The problem was only Tommy new his locker combination and as he was dead to the world I wasn't getting the combination out of him. So to the concern of the Thai receptionist I had to smash into his locker which a number of very forceful kicks then run off with its contents. The receptionist face was a picture.

When I got back we had pretty much got everything sorted with Tommy apart from the bill. The nurse dropped the bomb that I was going to have to pay a $800 deposit but I would get anything back Tommy didn't spend. She then gave me the price plan and it looked like it was going to be fairly cheap, around $80, so I signed Tommy up to everything, breakfast, showers and all the little things the hospital had to offer. This turned out to be an amusing mistake and one which let me get my own back on Tommy for the stress the bastard had just put me through. So at 6am after my first night in Bangkok after many clubs, drinks, elephants and a hospital visit later I finally made my way to bed to look forward to picking a very hungover Tommy up in the morning. I went back the next day at 10ish to see how he was doing. When I got there while I was pleased he was now up and awake, as he had been on a intravenous drip all night he felt as fresh as a daisy and no sign of a hangover whatsoever while myself who had had little sleep and no chance to sleep off any sort of morning after feeling felt awful. Was not happy. However the balance was finally restored when Tommy and I went to collect the bill. 370 pounds! While I obviously did feel bad for him I did feel a small victory on my part as he had put me through a lot the night before and hopefully it would be a lesson to us both not to get that smashed again at any point over our travels. So exhausted and Tommy's wallet a lot lighter we headed back to the hostel to finally get some proper sleep.

Fresh out of hospital we decided to explore a bit of the city so Tommy and I as well as another guy Jas headed off to Khoasan road a road which can be described as backpackers mecca and I believe shot to fame after that film "the Beach". We decided to take the river taxi/boat there as thought it would be a bit different. This turned out to be nearly another hospitalization story as before Tommy could actually get both feet on the boat it set of leaving him hanging on for his life. Obviously I can laugh about it now but at the time I thought we were going o have to head back to Bangkok hospital again to get the aids pumped from Tommy's stomach. Khoasan road road was cool, a lot going on there but did feel a little like the main street in Kavos or any other European clubbing resort.

For some reason Tommy, Jas and myself decided to visit Bangkok zoo. I am not sure why we decided to go as the walk there took bloody hours but still we went. It was pretty cool, saw a few animals I didn't actually know existed as well as some massive crocodiles. Things really got interesting however when while walking past the elephant enclosure we hear a massive shriek and and elephant just escape. Naturally we were all well scared but felt it necessary to run after it to see what the hell was going on. It's Thai minders ran off a head and before we knew it one of the guys was on top of the elephant sticking something sharp in its head and had somehow tamed the beast. Was mad. We felt it best we should leave at that point before any of us got eaten by anything.

The rest of our time in Bangkok seemed to be spent on nights out really. We were there 5 days and did very little apart from go for a few Thai massages and avoiding the heat. One of the best things about 2 of the nights out we had was that they were almost completely financed by some Thai women Tommy jokingly tried to steal a drink from but was just like "gooo ahead". From then on for some reason she paid for all our drinks which was a few bottles of Jack and then taxis and entry to clubs. It made know sense at all but I was more than willing to roll with it do it its budget soothing qualities.

I have never loved and hated somewhere in such equal amounts. It was frustrating but I miss it now and I can't wait to get back there in a few weeks to sort out our Vietnam visas.

The end.

5 comments:

  1. Nice:) can u tell me the name of the hostel that you stayed at, please?

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  2. http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/thailand/bangkok/5594/

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  3. thank u!! I´m addicted to your blog, thanks for writing and the pics are awsome. Greetings from the cold Finland, Samantha :)

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  4. Thank you Samantha, I'm pleased you enjoy reading.

    Should be some more Thailand post up sooon : )

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  5. yippii:D I´m flying to Bangkok 9.January, well arriving 10. january because the flight takes so long:) I´m just staying 4 weeks but maybe it´s a good start, next time a longer trip:)

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