Tuesday, 6 March 2012

First stop Bangkok!

So we've gone! Woohoo! We flew out of Dublin on Friday evening after a super busy week, including me passing my driving test (YAYYYY!) and packing up everything we own and dumping it on our poor mothers to try an magically fit in their attics (sorry and thanks Mum). After a few tearful good byes we flew to Heathrow for a few hour layover and then onto the big flight.

Family Byes :(

Airport Goodbyes.

We arrived in Bangkok on Saturday afternoon, after a long, but fairly uneventful, 10 hour flight. We got a taxi to the hotel, which was lovely, and headed out to what we thought was Kaoh San Road (more on that later!) which was just a 5 minute walk away but on a quieter road, super handy. We had an amazing dinner, where I had the most deliscious Yellow Curry ever (for approx. €2!!!), and discovered the yummy Chang beer! J
Cheers! Leigh's first Chang.
Yummy Thai beer.

After that we just wandered around looking at the market stalls and took in the madness and energy of the area. 
On Sunday I got up bright and breezy, much to my surprise, and had breakfast and read my book at the roof top pool and went for a swim. Leigh got hit by jet lag and was awake most of the night so I left him to it. Then we got the river taxi to The Grand Palace. 

River taxi.

We saw, without doubt some of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen in my life. Some with Chinese influence, some European and even a mini Angkor Wat. It was built in 1782 and is the official residence of the King; however the King hasn’t lived there for 150 years. Now it’s used for coronation ceremonies and the King’s Birthday celebrations. The temples, though, are still used by locals for praying. 
Mini Angkor Wat

 I had read previously that you must cover your legs and the tops of your arms to visit the Grand Palace, so I went prepared with leggings under y dress and a light blouse on top. But I STILL didn’t get through the Modesty Police, Apparently they don’t believe in the 90’s fashion revival that is leggings! I had been super prepared though and had a big scarf-come-sarong in my bag, just in case.

 We walked in 10 minutes before a free English tour was due to start so we decided to go with that, and I am SO glad we did. The tour guide was so nice and friendly and knew so much about the all the different buildings and their history. We learned so much, and definitely made it more enjoyable than if we were aimlessly wandering around by ourselves.

Our tour guide

The only thing that wasn't enjoyable was the insane heat, over 35 degrees! And we were walking around in the sun for 2-3 hours. It was nearly unbearable and as soon as we left we went into the nearest looking restaurant that looked like it would have air conditioning. It did. And it was beautiful!

Then we walked back to the hotel and had a much needed nap after the day in the heat, and then went back down to “Our Kaoh San Road”. We had a great night, we got more deliscious and cheap Thai food, including “The Best Spring Roles In The World”! I have to say they were definitely the best I’ve ever had, and deliscious Pork Satay to start…YUMMY!!! 

Then we got a fish pedicure (where you put your feet in a pig pool of water filled with Garra Rufa fish that eat your dead skin cells, for those not in the know). At first it was insanely tickly, but once I got used to it, it was pretty cool. After that we got our first taste of Thai massage, a back, shoulder and head massage for me and a foot massage for Leigh. It was about €2.50 for a half an hour and was incredible! She got rid of all the sitting at a desk tension in my shoulders, which I was really suffering from and pulled and stretched me in  all sorts of ways, and cracked the length of my spine. I can’t wait until I get a full Thai massage, as this was such an amazing half hour!
Fish Pedicure

 After that the Manchester United – Tottenham match had just started and we settled down with some Changs at a make shift outdoor bar set up with a big TV in the back of a van showing the match. There was a great atmosphere, and surprisingly large number of Thai fans around, as well as fellow backpackers.

Watching the match out of the back of a van!
The yesterday, Monday, we decided after how wiped we were after the day in the heat (I reckon we’ll need a few weeks to get acclimatised!) we decided to spend a day at one of the coolest (amazingness and temperature wise) at Siam Ocean World! The aquarium is in the basement of the super swish shopping centre Siam Paragon. We later went exploring in the shopping centre and it was FILLED with high end designer stores and one super posh department store spread over 5 floors. One floor of the shopping centre was entirely a food court! Mental!

Some of the highlights for me: Seeing a baby (3 years old) Hammerhead shark, seeing Tiger shark eggs (you could see teeny tiny sharks moving inside) and the new borns on our back of house tour (some of which they release into the ocean), floating inches about huge rays and sharks in the glass bottom boat, and the tunnel through the aquarium where you feel like you are under the sea. 

Shark eggs with little tiny shark embryos inside

A new born shark

Anyway, the aquarium was absolutely brilliant, so fun and interesting. There was a about a fiver in the difference between the standard ticket and the Premier Package, so we naturally went for the Premier Package, and it was the best fiver ever spent, it came with heaps of extras like a back of house tour, a trip over the tanks in a glass bottom boat, a Pepsi and Popcorn, a Happy Fish Happy Feet fish pedicure (yup our second in 2 days, those tootsies are so soft right now!) and a viewing of a film in the 5D theatre.
Happy Fish - Happy Feet! :)
What a view to have during a pedicure!
A hermit crab                                    

 We easily spent about 4 hours here and weren’t bored for a second. It’s one of the best, well designed and facilitated tourist attractions I’ve been to with equal focus on learning as fun, as well as plenty of opportunity for cheestastic photo ops (much to my pleasure, and possibly unfortunately for Leigh!).

    Playing in the kids section 


Happy Thai New Year!



That morning we decided to head down to Khao San Road to try and get our hands on some student cards (apparently will get us oodles of discounts and tourists attractions in Australia). We couldn’t see anywhere that did them, so eventually I asked someone unlocking IPhones (that was the dodgiest thing I could see going on so seemed a logical choice in my mind). Once he understood what I was on about he said “Ooooh, you want Kaoh San!”….yep ladies and gents we were on the wrong street the whole time! Turns out on our first night there when we followed Google Map’s directions, and a street sign we came across a street filled with market stalls open air, bars and restaurants, hostels, street vendors selling all sorts of yummy street foods etc, so we just assumed this was it. Ooops! So we headed around the corner for the real deal and got some student cards. Turns out though our road (turns out it’s called Soi Ram Buttri) is way nicer! Much more chilled out, with a cool, relaxed vibe. Never the less we went back to Koah San that night as it was our last night and walked around and enjoyed the buzz and some yummy Pina Coladas!

This morning we left the hotel and headed for Phuket. We’ll be here for one night as a stop on the way to beautiful Phi Phi! I cannot wait to get to a beach and swim in the sea, it’s been far too long!!!


  1. So so so Jealous. looks so AMAZING Sarah. I am living my dreams through your Blog :-)

    1. Awh thanks so much Rob! :) Delighted your reading it, and that you're liking it!

  2. You finally got to see sharks!

    1. It was awesome! Gotta try swim with some now. My head might explode!

  3. OMG, I love this blog, I almost feel like I'm with you :o)

    I am totally living vicariously through you two right now, so keep up this amazing blog.. no pressure LOL!!

    x x

    1. Yay, glad you're enjoying it! I'll do my best to keep it up alright! Xxx

  4. Looks like you are having a wonderful time. Enjoying reading about your adventures sarah. looking forward to hearing all about your first impressions of Australia.XX