|Hello everyone, Chris at the controls.
After peeling ourselves away from the lushness of Samui we made our way up to the bedlum of Bankok for our second visit there of the trip. The journey up there was a bit of a monster which included a 2 hours boat (smooth!) 2 hour bus (rough!) and then 12 hours on an overnighter train (long!) from a place called Surat Thani.
Having never been on an overnight train we were both looking forward to the experience. We booked tickts well in advance for the second class sleeper which thank the Lord had aircon. We set off from Surat Thani at around 1800 hours armed with plentiful supplies of Beer Chang (6.4% no less) for medicinal purposes.
At around 2100 this chap came through the carriage/dormatory and turned our 'seats' into beds, whether we wanted to go to bed or not. The result of which was that the carriage resembled a kind of morgue on wheels, even the temperature was about right! Sarah and I both managed to land top bunks which were slightly cheaper than the bottom ones. Just my luck then that I land the bunk with the Italian chap below who has a flatulance problem. Theres only one way that hot air is going!!!
After an eventful journey we arrived in Bangkok at about 0630 hours. Some friends of the family Abby and Griff had very kindly offered us a place to stay at there huge luxurious apartment in central Bangkok complete with pool and gym. Abby works for a famous supermarket chain where every little helps and the apartment is part of her job. Lucky Abby! The guys gave us use of all their facilities which was great because having been on the road for over 6 months, we quite frankly smell!
Just before we got up to Bangkok we found out that Sarahs brother Ben had managed to get a stop off on a work trip to Sydney in Bangkok. We went to meet him at the airport and it was great to see a friendly family face. Sarahs first comment was "I can't believe how white you are!" Brotherly love for you. Ben had booked into a very plush hotel near to where we were staying, so before he had the chance to look around his room we had taken the key off him while he was on a business call. Mistake. By the time he got up there Sarah and I had riffled through the mini bar and started drinking all his complementary water and generally trashing the place. This is the people we have become!
Ben had very kindly brought with him a fine bottle of Champers and wine which we all enjoyed in the roof top pool of his hotel. Bens fiance Janice also sent out with him two packets of Marks and Spencers chocolate biscuits. Biscuits have never tasted so good. Thank you Janice, they didn't last long!
We had a great time seeing the sights with Ben. Also some crazy nights involving Jaegermeister shots and super strength Beer Chang in an English pub (it went downhill from there!) and being driven around Bangkok by a 16 year old in a tuk-tuk at breakneck speed pulling wheelies! Think the video of that one is on You Tube.
We also went the biggest market in Bangkok and I'm sure the world covering 28 acres. There was pretty much everything for sale there and we all bought loads of clothes and nick nacks. Two hours in that market and we were all ready to drop.
It was sad to wave him off after 3 days as he continued onto Sydney.
We have now moved onto Chang Mai where I am writing from at the moment. It took us 14 hours on another overnighter train to get up here so today we have been just wandering about. We have just booked onto a cooking course for Saturday which we are both really looking forward to. You get to eat what you have cooked at the end which suits us down to the ground!
Our plans are changing by the day, but at the moment we are leaving out Vietnam to spend more time in the Thai islands and to avoid the very difficult visa issues to actually get into 'Nam. It also makes our route between Laos and Cambodia easier and cheaper. We will be meeting Sarahs folks in Bangkok when arrive on holiday in mid November, which we are both really looking forward to. A note to Jean and Mike, don't give us the key to your hotel room before you get up to it, you know what will happen!!!!
Both really well and having a great time
Will write soon
Chris and Sarah