Yesterday we moved hostels to be closer to Koh San Rd. (backpacker's mecca in Bangkok) and to save some money. When we finally arrived at the hostel we had been so exhausted from walking so much the day before that we decided not to venture out too far from the hostel and hang around the area. This allowed us to find cheap beer ($2 for a large Chang!) and cheap GREAT food ($1 for a plate of Pad Thai. Gotta love the street vendors). Seriously, that was the best pad Thai I have ever had and we'll be going back for more.
In terms of my first impressions of Bangkok; This is a BUSY city! There are a lot of people here so traffic is crazy. Everyone knows you're a tourist right away and you're constantly being hassled (Tuk Tuk? Taxi? Where you going? Where you from? Suit? Ping Pong Show? etc.) to the point that this becomes very tiring. I constantly feel like someone is out to make a buck (or Baht) on us or scam us into one thing or other. The city is a mix of old and new and the new parts are really nice while the rest could use a little freshening up. However, no matter where you are, old part or new, the constant is the street vendors. Anything from food to clothes, to toys, to electronics, to lingerie, to anything your heart desires, they are everywhere. No matter where you walk or what part of town you're visiting, you can smell the spicy food the vendors are cooking, so that a chicken satay is never very far way.
The one thing Andrew and I have become very good at is travelling on a budget. As I mentioned in the previous post, I have become very cheap and this is demonstrated by a new way I have found to save money. We walk around the city, walk into expensive stores and eat all their samples. You would be surprised at how full you feel after eating the samples! And because you're a tourist, no one says anything to you! Andrew even sampled the bathroom at one of these very high end places :) Now that is living on a budget!
I have been feeling restless for the past couple of days as the city has begun to take a toll on me. I have been feeling like we're wasting our time here in Bangkok when there is still so much of Thailand to discover. We were able to meet up with Andrew's friend Bobby last night and give him one of our bags to hold for us until we return. After that we made the decision to visit other parts of Thailand. But after speaking with some people, we learned that parts of Norther Thailand were flooded, we decided to head South to Koh Tao.
So today we checked out of our hostel and were headed to the Southern Bus Terminal. Of course as soon as we walked out of our hostel we were assulted with the same questions (Tuk Tuk? Taxi?) but this time instead of saying "No" like we usually do, we said "How Much?" "300BHT? No Way! Too Much" and thinking we were the savvy cheap tourists, we decided to walk. The book said 1.8km...what's 1.8km? After walking for an hour and a half in the blazing sun and humidity (yes we finally have sun!) with our 35lb backpacks, and still not reaching the bus terminal, we finally decided to ask for directions. "What, 5km's more? Now way". They had to be scamming us right? But after reaching the intersection where we thought the bus station should be, and after profousely sweating for the past hour and a half, we decided to call it quits and to get a cab. For a 100BHT he took us to the Bus Station, 5km from where we were.
When we got here we were exhausted! But we got our tickets to Chumphon, and have pre-booked the ferry to the island! The only problem is that we now how 9 hours to kill, as it seems we were a little eager to get to the Bus Terminal and the bus doesn't leave until 10pm tonight!
I'm not sure if we'll have an internet connection while on Koh Tao so I'll give you a preview of what we'll be doing there: Diving and sleeping and tanning (if we have sun). That's really all I expect to do when we get there, but Andrew of course has other ideas! He is set on us completing our Advanced Diving course while there. I'll keep you posted on that progress in my next post.