A Travellerspoint blog

Balls up number one...

... the night that was almost spent on a sleeper train!

sunny 35 °C

Hello hello!

Well here I am in sunny Chiang Mai - only been here for a couple of hours but I love it! It is much more 'Thai' than Bangkok, and bordering on a national park (jungle type!) so green and lush and generally pretty!

So why the balls up I hear you cry? Well... before leaving London we booked train tickets for the sleeper train from Bangkok; the overnight 14 hour journey is reputed to have fantastic scenery on route and is generally an adventure in itself. We decided to splash out and booked a first class air con cabin (it was a bargain we thought at just 20 quid). We were so excited about the experience... however a little sad to be leaving Bangkok. Incidently before I forget - our last day in Bangkok was spent chilling big stylee! We had a lie in, chilled in our room for a bit and then in a bid to avoid the midday sun (and my bout of heatstroke) we decided to visit a spa! Well - I decided to visit a spa! As all of our other friends are already down in the south waiting for us to join the party, Chris had no option but to come with me - or else sit in the room on his jack jones! The spa was delicious! I had a manicure and pedicure while Chris had a 'man facial' - he was a little dubious but loved it! It was just three ounds each for our treatments which took just under 2 hours. We then went to the salon next door and had the 'full body treatment' - again Chris was a bit unsure but I convinced him to give it a go - get in touch with the old feminine side! For just under 10 pounds we had a three hour session - firstly the body is cleansed all over with a herb wash, then we had a full body scrub (which tirned my new french polish yellow damn it!), followed by an hour long aromatherapy massage. It was sheer bliss - apart from when the lady who I am certain was a lesbian started massaging my boobs! I quickly shook her off lol! Our treatment continued with a session in a thermal sauna which was yum and then ended with a 40 minute long hydrotherapy milk bath - I loved this bit but Chris got bored after 10 mins and kept shouting through the wall and asking what the point of lying there for so long was!!!

So back to the disaster... after checking out fo the hotel we got a cab to the central station. Our train was delayed by over 40 minutes which was horrible as it was so hot and terribly fumey - it made it quite difficult to breather. Eventually it crawled in and was a dump! We were so disappointed - we didn't care about it being old and crummy - but we had hoped it would have some charm and character a la Darjeeling Express in India. Nope - not a drop. It was an aluminium hell hole with manky cushions and bedding. Ah well we thought - it will be fun no doubt. I then highlighted to Chris how wise it was of me to pre purchase sleep sacks for us - haha! I decided to make a film on my camera to bring home and show mum etc... at the end I thought I would zoom in on my freshly manicured feet to show off my pretty toes! As I looked down the ugliest cockroach in the world ran from under me between my feet. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!! I screamed like a baby girl! It was horrible. Chris laughed but after I convinced him I would be unable tp sleep with it it our tiny dirty den he got some fly spray and covered the floor. Next thing it came back out... and trhen another one... and another... then they were everywhere. I was totally freaked out - yes nobody likes them but I have a genuine if irrational fear of them and a panic attack started to come on. The man next door advised us to ask to have our carriage swapped as he had none in his... I tucked my feet up on the chair and curled into a tiny ball trying to calm myself. Then one ran across my foot... that was it. I was off the train in a flash. I did not give the slightewst shit about the plans we had made at that point - I just needed to be as far away from that carriage as possible. Poor old Chrois had to follow and sat looknig confused as I sobbed my heart out in the middle of the platform! Through gulps I managed to apologise for ruining our plans but explained I would probably have several thousand asthma attacks due to panic if we stayed on the train. To cut a long story short we ended up stranded in Bangkok... luckily I managed to find us a room near the station anfd we booked in for the night. Then disaster two struck - I had to give them my credit card for security... um where the hell is my credit card?!? At the previous hotel. Oops. I had forgot they had it and they forgot to return it at check out. We had to hot foot it all the way back to Khao San Road where luckily my card was waiting... the hotel were very sweet and apologised for forgetting to return it. We decided to make the best of a bad situation and hang out on Khao San for one last time. Bad move, very bad move........... we drank some lethal Thai drinks and didn't get home til 6am this morning - eek! Which left us 45 to sleep before we had to rush to the airport for the last minute flights I had managed to buy so we could still go to Chiang Mai! I bought them for Chris and I to make up for ruining last night. So... we boarded the plane where Chris slept and I spent most of the journey in the toilet feeling very sick. lesson learnt - I will not be drinking samsong ever again heehee!

We landed and headed to our pre booked lodge - after the luxury of our posh hotel in Bangkok it is a bit of a culture shock; we are staying in one of the cheapest places here to balance out next when the island accommodation is pricey. Its fine - and most importantly it appears to be cockroach free (I made Chris check inside the cupboards, under the bed, in the bed, etc... so far so good! The people are lovely and the garden and facilities make up for the basc and a little garish room - it is an ugly dark red with weird rambly furniture! We are going to stay tonight and if all goes well and it remains as spotless as it seems we will remain here - but have some others places lined up for backup should those damn roaches pay us a visit!!!

I am so paranoid right now its untrue - everytime I feel something brush against me or I knock something I jump thinking its another one on me again!

Tonight I have agreed to go to an Irish pub so Chris can watch the Arsenal match - my one and only western intention of the trip! Tomorrow we are going to the CHian Mai Thai Cookery School - I am so so so excited. I will write again tomo and tell you all about it.

For now I am off to buy an adult sized romper suit to protect my skin in bed from any bugs which may decide to come in when I am sleeping! Oh and to stock up on some food - I am now over the hangover and HUNGRY heehee!

Hope London is treating you well...

Adios amigos...


ps Mum don't forget to wrap Tigue up at nightime - he gets cold and needs comfort ;)

Posted by Louweazel 03:26 Archived in Thailand Tagged train_travel Comments (0)

Day Two

S**t - it is hottttttttttttttt

sunny 36 °C

Just thought I would drop you guys a lil line or two to check in - I am just in the internet cafe searching for a spa!

All is well.... today got up early afteran amazing nights sleep due to exhaustion! Had breakfast (which included egg fried rice and wontons heehee!) and prepared for a day in the heat (yes mum I had a hat and suncream galore!). Decided to walk from our hotel on Ko San Road to the Grand Temple but after about 5 minutes realised we had no chance due to a. the heat and b. the millions of tuk tuk touts who really bug you! So jumped in a much welcomed air con cab and he dropped us at the gate - for 12 pence!

Grad Palace is beautiful - all of the temples are. At the Grand Palace we saw the infamous emerald buddha and sat with the monks. After the Grand Palace we headed to Wat Arun - we had to take a river boat across the river to get to it. It again was stunning and I took lots of pictures. We got the river boat back across and decided to stop for some much needed lunch - I had phad thai and coconut juice... it was yummy yum yum!

After lunch we went to Wat Po - which was welll and truly open despite every tout telling us other wise 'why you don't come to my shop instead lady' haha!

After several hours in the heat I had a touch of heat stroke and managed to vomit which was hideous - but I sat in the shade and had a rehydration treatment and after half an hour I was ok. To treat our weary feet we indulged in a reflexology foot massage at the Wat Po Massage University -it was heaven!

A short cab ride home and am now back at the hotel. I am going to lie down for an hour ith a cool flannel and relax then head up to the roof for a dip!

Tonight the plan is to visit China Town for dinner and the market - then to head to Sumkhumvit to an Irish pub owned by the brother of our flight attendant who has promised us a free beer! I feel it is essential to visit an irish pub in each country i visit!!!

Anyhoo money is running low on the timer so I am off for now.

Woof woof to Tigue... and mum don't worry I am fine!!!


Posted by Louweazel 23:52 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Arriving in Bangkok

OMG its hot hot hot!

sunny 34 °C

I am here - to be precise in Bangkok. Landed approx 4pm and arrived at the hotel around 6... its gorgeous - v. cheap comparitively to home but possibly in the upper bracket for here - albeit that was a conscious decision. After semi unpacking we decided to take a dip in our rooftop pool which was heaven on earth following the muggy trek to Bangkok.

Following the swim a shower was had and Kao San Road was hit - several buckets of Sompang later I am feeling relaxed and excited about the journeys ahead!

Bangkok is far less congested and musty than I had expected.... it is noisy and busy but not tragically so. Had some Phad Tai for dinner which was a. yum and b. a treat at 14 pence!

Keep getting propositioned with 'eh lady you wanna watch ping pong show' - I fear its a seedy thing thus am avoiding lol! Clearly I know not what it means...

I do hope this reaches you safe and well and not in the midst of a heat wave at home - that would ruin my buzz... however it is 36 degrees here so 'life aint too shady'.

Off to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho tomo then going to indulge in a 70p massage - its a hard life.

Miss mum, John and the pooch mucho - Tigeuy I send you a woof woof. Mum gets a hug, and Johnny boy... get out of my room!!!

For now, auf vidersehn pet etc etc.......

A soon to bronzed butt Louise.xxx

Posted by Louweazel 23:49 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Six days to go...

... who will insure me?!?!


Well - I have finally done it. I am going to Thailand! Not quite the round the world trip I had envisaged for this last year however following contracting Green Monkey Disease in China last June (apparently that is what I had according to my uncle 'The Doctor' Martin haha!), and then having various other health mishaps, I have spent the best part of the last 9 months in and out of hospital. So I guess you could say I have done some travelling!!!

I have booked my flights (and am shocked at the outrageous prices - my round the world ticket would have only been £300 more!) and take off is scheduled for next Wednesday - 7th May. I have a vauge idea of where I am going and what I am doing, I have had my vacs boosters, I have drawn up a list of things to pack, I just got my silk sleep sack in the post (incidently from Thailand - good old ebay!) and my rucksack is longing to be packed. All I need now is to collect my hugely overpriced malaria tablets and to find someone to insure me! Apparently having asthma requires most insurance companies to quadruple their quote - cheeky gits!

My mum reckons I should get some prescription sunglasses before I go as a. I have no glasses and need some as I am currently blind as a bat and b. I intend on reading lots out there... but I am in two minds: part of me is thinking I might be able to get some nice designer shades wen I get there for a fraction of the price. If anyone knows of any decent Thai opticians give me a shout!

So... for those reading this I apologise for the boring-ness of the current tale - I am hopeful that after I actually land in Bangkok things will become a little more interesting! So for now I shall leave you with a brief outline of my travel plans:

7 May - TAKE OFF!
8 - 10 May - Bangkok - my aim here is to visit the temples, drink some beer on Khao San Road a la Leonardo Di Caprio and the best bit - have a massage! I am going to prep my bod for the beach with a spa day recommended by a friend call 'English Lady Get Beach Bod Fast'!!! This programme involves a 40 min infrared sauna (burns 900 cals apparently!), a 60 min full body salt scrub (get rid of the winter cells!), a 40 min hot milk bath (I don't know if I am attracted to this or if it makes me feel ill - warm milk is not a good smell!), a 75 minute slimming massage (?!?!), a Sant Ropez (haha must be a Thai spin off!) full body spray tan and finally a pedicure and foot treatment. The package takes about 5 hours and costs... wait for it... 1800 baht - which is approximately £27! Get in!

11 May - These earlier parts of my trip are the only pre-scheduled... I am getting the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (North Thailand). I have found a really nice sounding hostel where I have booked a private air con room for just 250 baht a night - this is approximately £4. As activites in the North tend to book up quickly I have already arranged the following: two free days for temple and market visits, a one day trek to the Karen Hilltribes - on an elephant, and a two day course at the Thai Cookery School. Upon my return I will organise a green curry night as I hope to be an expert! I am really looking forward to cook school and hope it is as interesting an experience as I am expecting.

15 May - I am flying down to Koh Samui - an island on the Gulf Coast of Thailand. I have no definite plans here but am hoping to visit the Ang Thong Marine Park and go shark watching!

After a few days in Samui I will be heading to Koh Phangan - King of the party islands! I am assuming that the Full Moon Party will be pretty overrated and full of chavvy Brits but I figure when in Thailand it would be rude not to try the experience. The full moon of May lands on my dads anniversary - I think he would be proud to see me spend it painted in day glo body paint and dancing like a loon on a beach! He'd probably think I was insane but secretly quite like to be joining me haha!

From Koh Phangan I am contemplating a visit to Ko Tao - known world wide for its amazing diving opportunites. Sadly I am not allowed todive due to my dodgy chest - but to be honest, I am not a fan. I tried it a couple of years ago in Ibiza and ended up cracking my head off a rock and being terrified of the fish! I love snorkelling though and so may join my friends on a boat trip when they are diving and just splash about on the surface - rather like a big fat seal!

After the Gulf Islands I am heading over to the West Coast via Khao Sok National Park - I am planning on doing a one day jungle trek and sleeping in a treehouse! From Khao Sok I head for Krabiand there on the planis to spend some time island hopping: Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta and Phuket are all on the consideration list! There will of course be the obligatory trip to Maya Bay where 'The Beach' was filmed but other than that I have no concrete plans. I aim to chill, chill, chill! White sand, clear water and a Singha beer sounds a plan to me!

As we push into the second week of June I head back to Bangkok... and it will be a case of one last day where I cram my bag with as many fake goodies as I can before returning to hopefully sunny England!

I hope that as my journey begins you enjoy reading about my adventures.

Can I do the soppy bit and take this moment to thank my mum for helping my dreams come true... love you lots.xxx

Posted by Louweazel 15:04 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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