Thursday, 20 June 2013

The journey has begun!

How I looked when I landed.
How I looked 2 hours later.
The flight was excruciatingly painful! 15 hours but with stops at Frankfurt and Ho Chi Minh city. We were told about the stop at Ho Chi Minh City, and in small writing we were told of a fuel stop, however the fuel stop at Frankfurt turned out to be an entire stopover where we had to wait 3 hours overall before we could re-board the plane! It was most frustrating. 
The plane was a lot nicer than what we thought it would be. It had TV's on the backs of the seats with many movies available - It was good going bearing in mind we paid £420 for return flights. I definitely recommend Vietnam Airlines. To occupy my time on the journeyI watched ‘The Impossible’ and just cried my eyes out hysterically, totally embarrassing. It is a bit strange though that a put a movie about a tsunami in Thailand... on a plane to Thailand. Talk about worrying the passengers! Towards the end of the flight I began talking to a rather nice man from Cambridge who was studying Medicine. 
I’m now sat in the Stray bus office waiting to kill time, we thought it was like 5/ 6pm, but it was only 2pm! Killer. I’m falling asleep typing its horrible.
My first thoughts of Bangkok were ‘Wow, what a total dive’, it was just completely overwhelming and frightening. Poverty here appears rife as slums appear common and it's sad to see the MEDC’s just investing here just to exploit workers and make as much profit as they can. The only building that are well-built and glamorous are those by well established over-seas company. Everywhere else is incredibly run down. It’s staggering how awful the conditions are. Of course, you’re constantly harassed by people trying to sell you things of the street, and it’s incredibly annoying, but I’m already learning to fight them off.
When we first boarded the train to the city, we were totally clueless as to what to do, we just stumbled around for a while in random directions and realised our backpacks are unbearably heavy and that the straps just cut into our shoulders, making it miserable in the humidity. However, we found a shopping center, strolled around for a bit, and then caught a taxi. That in itself was a really weird experience because some ‘tourist police’ began talking to us, and jibbered away to the taxi driver in Thai. It was so strange, but I think he was telling him to use the meter so that he wouldn’t overcharge us as they often do with tourists. We went for lunch in some large bar, and had a cocktail that was super-strong and now I’m ready for bed! It seems all too surreal though.
**Update 5:50pm**
We had a good afternoon, at first it was way too muggy to bother moving, but we went for a little walk to look at a temple and some shops. We then ended up meeting a really lovely dutch girl on the same bus as us tonight so we all went out for cocktails at a local bar, had some red bull to wake me up and we just chatted for ages. It was really nice actually and I can’t wait to meet many more people on our travels :). Still got a while to wait though before our now bus arrives. *Sigh*, I was looking forward to a train!!
** Update late evening**
Wow. Just wow. You can totally see why the hangover says ‘Bangkok has him now’. Its mental, the bright lights and constant screams of vehicles whizzing by are deafening but hypnotising in a busy atmosphere I’ve never experienced. Venders harass you constantly whilst the smell of thai food hangs strong in the area and tourists stumble drunk out of bars. I spent ages trying to find food that I liked but we were both so tired! It took us ages to board the bus but we made new friends from Scotland who we spoke to for a bit and the cutest married couple from New Zealand. Eventually we boarded the bus at 9pm ready for the transfer to Koh Panghan, yawnnnnnn. The company Lomprayah are pretty unorganised and nothing really runs on time, but they were great value for money, so, if you're a budget backpacker like ourselves, it's a great way to get to the islands. (£20 for a single).

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