Category: My Daily Life

Travel Diary: Lumphini, The Golden Buddha and Khao San Road

The jetlag was starting to ease off, and we woke up bright and early with a full day planned.

We immediately made our way to Lumphini Park, a 57.6 hectare park right in the middle of Bangkok. When we arrived at the park, we made sure to stop off at the Starbucks for Ross’ first experience of pure joy.  Yet again, it was hot as hell, so coffee wasn’t very appealing – iced coffee, however, was another story.  I had a caramel iced coffee (deliciousness in a cup), and Ross had a plain iced coffee (rookie error).

It is a very active park – there are exercises of all kinds taking place – jogging, cycling, roller blading, Thai chi, martial arts, dancing and singing. There are also massive monitor lizards walking all around the park.

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We walked around for a while but it was SO hot. This was the hottest day by far. We finished our iced coffees in no time, bought ice cold water, and finished that in no time too. We went paddling on the river in a swan boat, while monitor lizards and baby tortoises swam past us. We saw some Buddha statues and petted all the stray dogs. I’m so embarrassing.

We then lay on the grass underneath a coconut tree and I vividly remember saying to Ross, “Remember this heat, I never want to forget how awfully hot this place is.” It was horrendous, no jokes.

We couldn’t handle the heat any more (especially after working up a sweat on the outdoor gym sets), and quickly made our way back to the air conditioned MRT.

It was time to make our way to Wat Traimit or The Golden Buddha. It was a mission to get there, but my word, was it spectacular. It is 5.5 tonnes of pure gold and it is the worlds largest solid gold statue. It is literally breathtaking. And huge. I found that entering these temples always brought an overwhelming sense of peace – perhaps it’s the people praying all around you, and silence everywhere or the awe of what has been created but I could have sat and stared at this (and many other Buddhas) for ages.

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Once we were all Buddha’d out, we decided to make our way to Yaowarat or Chinatown. We stopped at China Gate which was TOO DAMN COOL.

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We walked to Chinatown which wasn’t far away, but my goodness, was this a culture shock or what?! It is INSANELY busy, hot and smelly. There’s weird food being sold everywhere, people push into you. It was not what I would describe as enjoyable. Especially in that 34 degree heat and humidity.

This is Ross’ culture shock face:

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We stopped off at Wat Mangkol Kamalawat which is the largest and most important Chinese Buddhist temple, and it isn’t a tourist destination at all, we were surrounded by monks and locals. It was an amazing experience. We still had some time left over, and didn’t find any food that looked appealing so we decided to go to Khao San road. We battled to find a taxi. The taxi drivers can be quite mean, and were refusing to use their meters which means you end up paying way more money. This is illegal, but they try to take advantage of foreigners. We eventually got frustrated in the heat, had some more Starbucks, and then rather hopped on a TukTuk to say we had at least had the experience of one (even though they are also pricey). These guys drive like nutcases but it was fun nonetheless.

Khao San road was another world. It was like being teleported out of Bangkok to the land known as ‘Backpacker’. It was far more commercialized than anything we had seen, and even the shopping was more expensive here.

We were tired after walking all day and found an awesome little massage place called Charlie’s.

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We had a foot massage, amazing, and then walked about 20 meters up the road, looked at one another and with a knowing smile, walked back for more. We had the little fishies eat the dead skin off our feet..

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After which, we discovered the cheapest Thai massages ever at Charlie’s – a two hour, that’s right TWO HOUR, Thai massage for the equivalent of R170. We couldn’t not have one of these, and we proceeded to have two hours of pure bliss.

By the time we had finished, it was way past dinner time and we found a vendor on the side of the road selling food. Ross had spring rolls, and I had a big portion of Pad Thai. The Pad Thai cost me R15 and it was the best Pad Thai I have ever tasted.

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We then made our way back to the hotel in agreement that this was the BEST. DAY. EVER. It was amazing, and I was already starting to feel like Thailand was a privilege to visit.

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Travel Diary: Chatuchak and MBK

We overslept and missed breakfast the next day, thanks to jet lag, but I was happy to get as much rest as possible, I was feeling exhausted.  We woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and made our way to the MRT Underground, and then connected to the fancy Sky Train that is super-fast and gives you a great view of the city as you travel through it. (more…)

Travel Diary: The Journey to Bangkok

‘Travel on Christmas day’, they said. ‘The airport will be quiet’, they said. ‘The plane will be empty’, they said. By ‘they’, I mean ‘I’. Was I wrong, or what?!

It turns out Christmas Day is a busy travel day. We got to the airport quite early – I have a thing about being late – and after checking-in, we had some lunch and waited for our long journey to begin. We obviously did some duty-free shopping – you can’t not do it! Ross was very excited about Toblerone. I have trained him well. (more…)

Ross and Andy in Thaiheesy – The Video

We are back from our amazing trip.. I have so much to tell you all! But before we get into all of that, I thought I’d share a little video I made of our holiday with you. Enjoy! :)

Bangkok, Patong, Phi Phi and Krabi. Temples, buddhas, food, partying, swimming, snorkelling, monkeys, elephants, and a whole lot of happiness.

It’s official – I fell in love with Thailand.

Goodbye, 2014

2014.

You have been the worst year of my life – and many other people can say the same thing. Perhaps you were here to test me.. You have done your job, I have been tested and I am now finished with you. (more…)

Gone Kitty

Our cat Coco gave us one hell of a scare on Sunday. She is an extremely timid and quiet cat. She runs and hides at the smallest noises. That said, though, in times of danger she gets aggressive. She is also the kind of cat that wants to explore the ‘hood, which we try limit her ability to do. She has only ever explored our complex, however, and has never made it out into the big, wide world. Frankly, she wouldn’t cope.  (more…)

This Boot Was Made for Walking

At midnight on the 4th of October, 2014, I decided to do something very clever – the running man.  Sober.  It was at my amazing friend, Noelani’s bachelorette, and we were all dancing together in a circle.  Now, you know how girls dance all sexy, and dance low to the floor while swinging their hips?  That is not me.  I am not a ‘sexy’ kinda girl.  So, instead of attempting to be sexy, I decided to do the running man in an attempt to make people laugh instead.  And laugh, they did.  You see, the girl dancing next to me had spilt her drink (and lemons) on the dancefloor, without me seeing. (more…)