My second installment of Thailand started in Bangkok, meeting uni friends Ian and Suraiya there.
Bangkok is exactly as you’d imagine – a bustling, smelly city, with too many hawkers, too little road crossings and just enough ping pong shows for the numerous sex tourists. The temples in the city centre combined with boat up the river are good use of a day, and the cheesy strip of Khao San Road is a must to experience Bangkok.
Ayutthaya is also a good day trip from Bangkok. Ayutthaya was the capital city of Siam between 14th and 18th Century, until the Burmese left it in flames. The Thais then moved further south, setting up their capital closer to modern day Bangkok, whilst Ayutthaya was reclaimed by jungles. Today it has countless renovated temples and a large reclining Buddha.
From Bangkok, we headed south to the three islands, Koh Samui, Koh Pangan (where we didn’t stay) and Koh Tao. Our first stop, Koh Samui, was reminiscent of a Spanish seaside resort – with more prostitutes. However the beach is nice and there were things to entertain us on the island.
After an exhausting day for Ian and Suraiya, where they woke up at 1pm to then be beaten by me at mini golf (#firstworldproblems), we thought we’d relax with a massage. After picking a place and opting for oils, to make it slightly less brutal, we quickly realised we’d all be very close. Think doubles massage for 3, with Ian sandwiched between Suraiya and I with very little clothes on. I’m not sure our friendship will ever recover from that trauma.
Lesson 7: Don’t mix up the accelerator and the brake.
The next day, we decided to try out some scooters. Now, given I don’t trust myself to ride a bicycle through London this was a nerve-wracking affair, so Suraiya and I went to warm up. It went a bit like this (with none of the bragging).
My very first touch of the accelerator sent my scooter flying into another parked scooter, with me still standing in my original spot. Whoopsy.
My second touch was slightly better, and before long we were on our way to find petrol. After missing our exit, I tried to execute a 3-point turn on a gravelly cul-de-sac but hit the accelerator instead of the brakes (it’s easier than it sounds), skidding out of control and grazing my leg. Pretty frustrating, but at least I got to rock the bandaged Pudsey look and I now know how to look after wounds – silver lining yey!
I got back on the bike, and we managed to check out Koh Samui’s top sights, including the impressive cock and fanny rocks.
Next we headed to Koh Tao, the diving, backpacker island. Here there seemed to be more going on, with a strip of bars selling buckets of voddie and a lady boy show (which Ian loved, obviously). One memorable night we stumbled across a drinking game of simply hammering nail into a chunk of wood – kept us entertained for hours.
Lesson 8: Emmi + phone = inevitable shambles
Whilst in Bangkok, Ian and I went shopping for my new phone. I had shortlisted two Huawei devices, a nice high-spec model and a cheaper crappier model. Ian encouraged me to go cheap: I didn’t need the high-spec and, let’s face it, it’s probably not going to last the trip. But I went for the better phone: I wanted it to be fast; I wanted to take nice photos; I like toys too much; I was optimistic.
I am no longer optimistic. My nice new shiny phone lasted a total of 15 days, until I lost it when changing from bus to tuk-tuk in Chiang Mai. From now on, I’m sticking to cheap and cheerful, and just so he has i written down – Ian, well done, you were right.