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Pomtie Tales Follow the adventures of a Pommie and a Soutie, travelling the world.

Thailand - Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai

THAILAND | Friday, 24 October 2014 | Views [250]

After an uneventful flight and taxi ride we arrived in Bangkok. Our hostel was a bit grubby but the location was excellent and we have no real complaints. We were only 30 seconds from Khao San Road so we wandered onto the strip to see what was happening.
Our first impression of Thailand was that it was really, really expensive. By western standards it is still a very cheap place to visit but compared to Vietnam and Thailand it was a lot more expensive. However if you eat street food and "drink responsibly" it is easy to do on a budget. 
The following day we decided to go shopping. We knew we were going back to Bangkok so decided to leave the palaces and temples for a later date. We both wanted to get some electricals and Meg, who had been to Thailand a few years before, knew of an electrical market. However finding it was not so easy. After several hours and 3 differrent shopping centres we finally found what we were looking for (Pantip Plaza in case anybody is planning a trip soon).
The store has almost every electrical you could imagine, genuine and fake, and all at reasonable prices up for negotiation. Sadly it didn't have the 2 things we were after!
We decided to head back to our hostel and, upon entering the taxi, we were offered the choice of 80THB direct, 40THB with a stop at a jewelers and free if we stopped at a tailors too! We were in no hurry so decided to let him take us to the jeweler. By my reasoning one of us was able to eat for free that night!
For anyone that hasn't been to Thailand these detours are an inconvenience more than anything. The driver gets 5 litres of petrol everytime they take some tourists there. The stores are impressive and everyone gets a personal guide/salesperson! However, on a budget of 75 dollars a day a $4000 "sapphire" ring is simply out of the question!
That night we decided to make a bit of a night of it before we headed north the following day. We wanted to go to one of the ping pong shows we had heard so much about. There are dozens of guys on the strip offering you basically the same thing and we eventually managed to haggle on down to a reasonable price. We were led to believe the show was close by, however he herded us into a tuk tuk and drove for about 10 minutes into the middle of nowhere. By the end of the ride we were begninning to get a bit nervous and were gratefule that we had nothing too valuable on us!
We eventually arrived (thank God!) to a warehouse on a small industrial estate. We were greeted by a very angry Thai pimp who informed us that the price is non negotiable. Haggling on the street is simply a means of getting you to the door! Still, we were there and decided to go for it.
I'm not going to go into too much detail about the show as it is still too traumatising for me! It was never great but became truly awful when a lady pulled christmas bells out of her bajingo and threw them into the crowd. I've never seen Meg move so fast...all to avoid slimy seasonal decorations!
Feel free to google these shows at your own leisure but all I can say is that it was filled with bemused tourists, Thai women who looked dead behind the eyes and South Asian men enjoying themselves far too much for a public event!

The next morning we started our journey north, Chiang Mai and the surrounding towns being our final destination. It is a 14 hour(ish) drive to Chiang Mai so we decided to break it up over a few days. Our first stop was only an hour away from Bangkok in a place called Ayutthaya. It was a pointless stop and I wouldn't recommend it. There is nothing there. Some very mediocre ruins and a nightmarket with 6 food stalls and some knock off DVDs. Needless to say we only stayed the one night.

Our next destination was Sukhothai which was more more enjoyable. There is a reasonably priced old town full of temples and palaces and the new town is really relaxed with some great bars and restaurants. We spent 2 nights here relaxing and met a couple of German guys who we spent a lot of time with. It was a really nice way to break up the journey.

Tags: ayuttaya, bangkok, ping pong shows, shopping, sukothai

 

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