Sawasdee Ka, Thailand!
Just to quickly explain the title of this post, people from Jersey call themselves beans (don’t ask me why), and when we were on Khoa San Road toasting our arrival to Thailand with Chang beers it quickly became the catchphrase!
We’re in Thailand for just under two months so we will be here for the festive season. My mum and sister are flying out to meet me in Koh Samui for New Year celebrations so I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited for that. It’s been ten months since I last saw them. I’m hoping I won’t accidentally squeeze them to death. Seeing as we’ll be down in the south doing the islands over Christmas, we’re doing the north for the first few weeks and we’ll be popping back to Bangkok every now and then. However, with less than 48 hours in the Hangover city, we have definitely had a taster of its madness!
We stayed in the cheapest guesthouse we could find on a side street near the well-known Khoa San Road. We were warned not to stay close but it wasn’t actually too noisy and it was super close to everything. Khoa San Rd was everything I expected it to be – massage parlours, tattoo and piercing shops, infinite arrays of shitty t-shirts, scorpion sticks and constant wafts of pad Thai. It was a little strange but refreshing coming from India where everything is so conservative, to Bangkok where anything seems to go.
Thai food is one of my favourites. All the lemon grass and coconut milk and chillies and Mmm! There’s street food everywhere and I wanted to try everything. We washed down pad thai and spring rolls with Chang beer before the night settled in.
Oh, and we also got piercings – when in Rome! Christie and Chantal got their nose done and I had my upper ear. It’s been a few years since my last piercing, which I think is a perfectly good enough justification for me being a big baby about it!
When the sun set, the streets transformed into some sort of crazy circus filled with neon lights, balloons, Samsong buckets, drunken-fuelled singing and dancing and people waving ping-pong show leaflets in your face. We joined in with this crazy circus and got ourselves a notorious bucket which coincidentally followed with some cracking dance moves. After a few drinks I decided to try a scorpion as it’s the only time in my life I’ll ever eat one. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste how you imagine a scorpion to taste (whatever that may be), but more like an overcooked piece of chicken. There’s also fried beetles, maggots and cockroaches for those feeling extra daring, but one scorpion was more than enough for me.
Along with eating scorpions, watching a ping pong show is on most people’s itineraries when in Bangkok. We also went to one, well, the girls did. After getting a lift in two rally-racing tuk tuks to a seedy looking building, we walked into a dingy, musk-smelling room. I knew what I’d signed up for, but when a middle-aged Thai lady walked onto the stage and started the show and when everyone started cheering I thought “fuck this” and walked out. I just felt really uncomfortable being there and couldn’t sit there knowing I’d contributed to something that contrasts so much to my beliefs and values. The girls watched the rest of the show and said some of things they did were pretty mental. I waited for the girls in the dim-lighted car park outside the building and was more than happy when the show finished and we left.
Waking up with well-deserved hangovers, we ate streetfood and attempted to see more of Bangkok before our bus to Chiang Mai. We made it to China Town, ate loads of dim sum and met the cutest dog ever. I really liked China Town in Bangkok, the streets are packed with interesting distractions and you can find lots of weird and wacky things in the shops. The river is also nice to walk along and there’s some gorgeous, golden temples nearby which deserve an observation.