Saturday, July 22, 2006

Long bus journeys

Long bus journeys are about as enjoyable as long flights. In hindsight, again, it may not have been the best idea to get drunk the night before the minibus, bus, ferry, bus journey to Bangkok (picked up at 12:20 arrived 04:00 the next day). Even so it was less hideous than I had expected. The ferry journey was quite nice, skimming along over the water, with little limestone islands poking out everywhere. This is how I had always imagined the Thai coast. The little islands are covered in green, with trees stuck in every concievable foothold. The water is beatifully turquoise and barely rippled by waves.

After a long wait in Surat Thani we boarded the overnight bus to Thanon Koah San in Bangkok. A couple of movies were shown and we had a rest stop at a roadside place. I forced myself to eat a banana making the days food intake, one pancake, a handful of crisps, two biscuits and the aforementioned banana. The heat combined with my hangover and the general state of my insides at the moment conspired to put me off my food which, if you know me, is not a regular occurence. Actually for some days now I have felt quite sick directly after every meal. This is not something I am happy about as food is probably my single biggest pleasure in life.

I wasn't really able to sleep on the journey, managing at best a light doze. The roads are a bit bumpy here and not conducive to a good nights sleep whilst flying down them. Eventually we pulled into over and disembarked. Thanon Khao San is a legendary place amongst backpackers and where most people head for accomodation in Bangkok. Not us though. At this point, having tried and failed to pre-book somewhere, I just said yes to the first taxi driver to wave a hotel leaflet in my face. It was some drive out to his hotel choice, actually second choice -the first being full. The hotel (Nice Palace) was OK and I was just glad to be able to check in and get to bed. Unfortunately the hotel is kind of far out of the city centre, although near the skytrain. Because of this we only booked in for a single night. After dozing but not really sleeping until 13:00 we got up and had a walk round the area. The area certainly isn't touristy with nothing really there to hold any interest other than the weekend market, which we were a day too early for, and the cheapest Internet place we've found yet (about 20p an hour). We ate a very expensive pizza in a chain joint in a shopping mall because it was the first easy food we came to. I managed a grand 3 slices, again if you know me you will know that this is completely out of character.

No comments: