We awoke several hours after check out time. With no time keeping devices and a powerful lack of sleep from the day/s before. We were zombies and very reluctant to wake at all. However, after a lady’s frantic knocking on the door getting progressively louder, we eventually clocked we were not in Bristol and in fact, in Bangkok. Looking up at the window was like looking directly at the sun’s face. It was bursting through the wooden blinds and heating the room like a Thai sauna; full of the smell of rice, eggs and incense. The noisy fan was doing my head in, so I turned it down to Charlie’s protests and wandered downstairs for a quick shower. He did the same and we chatted in our individual open air shower areas. With the ghekos scampering about, the plants spiralling within our cubicles and the sun lighting up the place like a heavenly jungle, made of gold. Sadly we both had slightly dodgy stomachs, which slightly tarred the sparkle. But regardless, I hadn’t felt sun like this on my cheeks for months. When the rays actually warm you… from the inside.
We bid the Thai house goodbye and had an enormous breakfast, before lugging our backpacks to the train station. Luckily my heart wasn’t hurting with the weight this time, but I did VERY quickly realise how 60% of its contents were going to be utterly redundant in this ridiculously humid environment. I needed cotton garments, and things to cover my arms and legs for travel. And obviously my bikinis. So perhaps, eight pieces. Tops. Bag packing fail once again. I blame England’s weather, which rendered me unable to imagine the heat.
We got tickets on an overnight train to Chumporn, then the Catamaran to Koh Tau. Mmmmm space – soon. Less fumes, rush rush, weight, arg! With time to relax, we dropped off our bags and shamelessly went to an enormous air conditioned shopping centre. Both hideous and amazing. Charlie ate doughnuts, thai noodles and coffee. I had a coffee, changed three times, and purchased a bikini. A bikini that I was worried was borderline too small. SO PALE. That was the only other clothing type thing I purchased – promise. We walked around for ages past the tailors, watches – where we got a watch for 127B (mistake) – western food joints, bookshops, market stalls and food shops- all in a bit of a daze. Before becoming suddently sickened by the massiveness and arctic cold from the air conditioning. SO we went to the park and drank from bags. And looked at the reptiles swimming through the river.
Then Koh San Road- Lots of buzz, noise, massage, alcohol, live bands, food stalls, rats and insects.
Me on Koh San Road: *Scuttle, scuttle* the insects go. Aha! Look! EVERYWHERE = All you could ever want to go on that show Shipwrecked; beads, long vest tops, alcohol, alcohol, etc.
On the mighty 80’s discovered road, we found all our bank cards had been stopped (forgot to tell them). So spent the next £20 and hour, getting them all uncancelled- answering one key question totally wrong could only be seen as silly. Charlie spent the time on the phone, whilst I sat on a stall next to him, looking at a Thai woman in a halter neck and denim mini, with broad shoulders and skinny legs (no, she wasn’t), eating McDonalds and shouting at a smaller, nerdier, Thai man – as well as all the tourists looking for ways onto the islands. One couple (late 30s, English), seemed defiant in their need to be exceptionally stand offish with the two Thai. From the outset. I understood their desire to not be taken for a ride, or sold too much, or whatever, but they came across as rude. I don’t like that, EVERYONE can smile. You’re bank account is not being debited by smiling. Also, I think many people miss out on great things, through a TOTAL, blanketed lack of trust. All locals are avoided – I’m not saying everyone is amazing – but some of the best moments you have are unplanned. If you’re careful but still open, your experience of somewhere will be so different and in my opinion, better.
After the harangue with the bank, we were worried we were skint, so got a foot massage for 100B to calm ourselves. Ah the contradictions. Charlie sat me on the padded deck chair and softly informed me we weren’t skint and told me to; ‘reeelax!’. Annoying/effective after five reps.
A quick drink then off to the train station to wait for the most comfortable night of travel ever.
I lie. Sadly we didn’t have beds and had to beg a Thai for seats together. There were train ladies with jelly snacks and high concentrate juice, but although I found their make up exsquisite, the refreshment was too green and my appetite, zilch. Thus I was wide awake listening to music as the sporadic lights whipped past and the darkness spanned eternity. Eventually though, I passed out in a bizarre position. A couple of hours later I awoke to horrific neck pain, but the air was fresher, and the visions ahead were to be some of the most incredible and beautiful to ever fill my eyes.