Thailand - 3
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Camp and days information: Tuesday, 3rd May - Friday, 6th May 2005

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Rose House Hotel




39C and incredibly humid

Phad Thai, curries, loads of drinks!

We thoroughly enjoyed our last days in Bangkok.  It was incredibly hot with temperatures ranging between 37C and 39C, with a high level of humidity.  Everyone, both locals and foreigners were perspiring as they walked through the streets and markets.  Michael and I drank copious amounts of water and cooldrink.

We spent the majority of the time shopping.  The area surrounding our hotel is very much the clothing and accessories oriented.  Michael took me to this massive five storey building with stall upon stall of clothes. Unfortunately, most of them are for summer and we really need winter clothes, but we managed to find some jerseys, a few sweatshirts etc.  Michael also spent a fair amount of time in a massive IT and electronics plaza buying stuff for the computer.

In my search for someone to mend my broken sandals, I found a really interesting local market hidden in the dingy depths behind the open and airy market aimed at tourists along the pavements.  In one section, the people were making the most elaborate show costumes with brightly coloured feathers and sparkling sequins.  They sat spread-eagled on the floor concentrating on applying each bit of decoration in just the right spot.  In another area there were rows and rows of clothes pressing stalls where the steam hissing all around you made the heat even more oppressive.  Then there were seamstresses sewing everything from school uniforms to evening dresses and suits.  There were the usual Thai market obstacles of wandering food vendors dispensing their wares in plastic bags filled with chilli spiced contents and people nattering in the corridors.  Navigating the narrow alleys along the dirty, potholed floors required some concentration to ensure your foot didn't inadvertently sink into a puddle of foul water.  I was fascinated by it all as the locals were by me, I am not sure they get too many "farangs" wandering through.  I did manage to find out where a cobbler was and the lady drew me a little map.  It was a good half hour's walk and then he wanted a ridiculous $5 to fix them - I could buy a new pair for that, so I declined and walked back to the hotel with two ice lollies to cool me down.

We bought loads of shoes for Michael and a few for me.  I bought little things for friends and family too.  I went down to Khaosan Road and eventually managed to find 21 CDs for Ashley's birthday to replace the ones stolen in Australia.  The Cambodian ones were much better quality (and cheaper), but I didn't have much choice!  I bought myself a beautiful amber pendant and found some matching earrings.  We had to buy another hold-all to fit everything in.

We spent most of Thursday night packing everything and caught a taxi at 05h00 on Friday morning to take us to the airport.  While we stood waiting for a taxi to drive past the streets were already coming alive around us - the majority of people really do work hard to earn a living here.  It is sad to be leaving SE Asia, but we will definitely be coming back...