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Monday, March 05, 2007

Bangkok busy-ness

So, Bangkok. After re-connecting with the guys, it's been a wander around the many temples of Bangkok city centre. There's quite a few!

As for the unusual/interesting, well where else in the world would you walk down a small alley way of a major city to find a 3metre high budda statue? O.k., not too exciting, but they're not always 5.5TONS of solid gold either! Estimated value of just over $10million also :) Turns out it was encased in teak wood for years (due to all the Burmese attacks), and they only realised that it was gold when it was accidentally dropped (while moving to another temple) and it cracked the wood. Pretty impressive in the flesh also.
Bangkok seems to be a city continuously fighting itself. The roads are completely full (Dublin is empty in comparison), and inter-mixed with all the skyscrapers are these amazing Buddist temples. Beautiful to see, especially around sunset, and as you take the fastest mode of transport home (the river boats). In between that, there's areas that are just rows of McDonalds, Starbucks, Gap, etc. and then complete areas where the locals sleep on the street, and wash in the local river (the equivalent of the river Liffey that flows through Dublin).

As a perfect example of this, Chinatown is mental. Tiny streets with loads of people and stalls, selling everything from food to fake machine guns (full size) that shoot pellets. Wild, and highly entertaining also :) Hopefully the pictures will convey the mayhem/fun.

Ko San Road, the main tourist road is a bit hard to get into. It seems, em, fake? I think that's the word I'd use to describe it. Lots of touristy bars, etc., but a weird scene. Although Dawid was mad enough to eat a bag-load of crickets, maggots and frogs legs. I've photos but unfortunately, he's taken the cable to my photo drive so I can't upload any for myself. Check Dawid's site pictures though, hopefully he'll have some posted up for y'all........ He seems to have a heavy trigger finger though (he took over 400 pictures yesterday alone?!!?) so I doubt he'll have time after he's gone through them all ;)

So, plans are vaguely arranged. We're arranging visas for Vietnam, then heading north to Chiang Mai (northern Thailand), then across into Laos for a couple of days to the capital, then across into Vietnam for Hanoi and Halong Bay. Then it's a flight south to Saigon, before heading back in the direction Bangkok, via Cambodia. Yes, that is 3 different countries, and yes, that will be in 19 days. Brings back memories of my trip to China in September. Hope all the travel plans work out as well as I planned them last time! Dee, you'd have been proud. I'll see if I can fill it into the Calendar now.......

Other news, well there's some rumours that some of the guys are coming out to visit (one depends on whether he can drag himself away from his new bike!). What's the story guys, get booking!!!!!!

Hopefully get some pics up for you in a few days, I'm all internetted out for tonight.....