Haggling, Tuk Tuks and Questionable Massages: Bangkok

A trip to Thailand isn’t complete without visiting the crazy Bangkok, so following an overload of temples, this weekend we headed to the capital city for an overload of something significantly more sinful and less peaceful. Despite spending three hours in a coach filled with a load of fifteen year old Chinese schoolboys, seeing the madness of Bangkok in the distance for the first time is a moment I don’t think I’ll eve forget, even if it was accompanied by Justin Bieber (cringe). 

Lying in my questionable hostel underneath a only partially functioning fan, I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio at the start of The Beach; ready for exciting adventures with exciting people, ready to be an exciting and happening person. And I was… for about five seconds before I had a MacDonalds and got a headache so went to bed at 10pm. Rock and roll… 

  
So, following my pathetic first night in Bangkok, I continued the non hardcore trend by consuming the most Western food ever; fry ups, pasta, pizza and, most importantly, garlic bread. Whilst the street vendors offered exciting new foods from here, there and everywhere, I stayed exactly in my comfort zone. But after a week of rice… Not even ashamed. #sorrynotsorry

Staying on the backpacker heaven of Khao San Road was definitely an experience. For a country so supposedly spiritual, I felt more like I was in Malia on the piss aged 18, then the holiest country ever. There were even drunk girls chundering everywhereeee and creepy club promoters. And according to my hungover pals the next day, amazing nightlife. Not that I’ll ever know! 

 

Khao San Road by night…

  

So other than being a shit party animal and eating a load of non-Thai food, wha  did I do, I hear you ask? I’d like to say that, like Leo, I went off the beaten path and saw the ‘real’ Thailand, but I did precisely none of that. Yep, typical tourist that I am, I went shopping, took a (surprisingly) cheap Tuk Tuk and had a massage. When I shop, I like my things to be, um, priced. The thought of haggling terrifies me so my first attempt involved me basically begging for 10 baht (20p) off a fairly questionable bikini. Sigh. However, by the end of my shopping trip I’d got the hang of it (sort of), smiling sweetly at the men and telling the women I’d run out of money but loved their products. Maybe the fact that I looked about 10 helped…

However, one of our group members, a girl called Bonnie is possibly the world’s best haggler. She convinced a Tuk Tuk driver (yes, I know, a massive rip off etc etc) to take us around all of the temples in Bangkok (more bloody temples) for 5 baht (10p) each. At every stop we looked warily at each other, expecting the driver to suddenly reveal a hidden fee of a million zillion baht, however we actually seemed to make it out alive (by which I mean we handed over our 5 baht each and ran for our lives). Despite the fear of death/being massively ripped off/overtaking at the worst moments ever, there’s something pretty cool about zooming around Bangkok on what is basically a bicycle. Best thing ever (except the temples). 

   
 
Finally, as a big fan of a massage, I could not leave Bangkok without getting some poor soul to rub my feet for half an hour for the equivalent of £2.50. However, what I pictured as a relaxing foot rub with some nicely scented oil was not what I got. A rather brutal Thai woman whacked, bent and slapped my poor legs whilst laughing at the terrified look on me and my pals Laura’s faces. Particularly when I came in wearing the ‘massage trousers’ wrongly. Cringe. In the back there was an area of mattresses separated by curtains. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was where the… extras happened. I could definitely hear some suggestive groaning. At least someone was enjoying their massage… 

So if you can’t tell, my Bangkok experience was basically the most Western thing ever. And was it crazy? Not so much. 

P.S. I may have got a tattoo. Whoops…

 

Bangkok from above (so many temples!)

  

Walking up the Golden Mountain to (you guessed it!) another temple..

  

#monkfriend

  

When in Thailand…

  

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