What a week! Bangkok was so different from everywhere we've been so far that for it took a little getting used to. The heat, at night in particular, was almost more than we could cope with. However, cope we did and as a city it was an interesting one to explore. Worth a mention certainly is the range of transport available, from the lovely air conditioned skytrain to the buses that are barely more than a pickup truck, from taxis that weave in and out of the traffic to express boats that run up and down the river and are often completely cramed with people; moving around the city is an adventure all on its own.Read More
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the city are a plethora of temples and we took time to visit Wat Pho with its collection of courtyards and plentitude of golden Buddha statues. Everything is intricately and elaborately decorated, with gold leaf applied everywhere it can be. The highlight of Wat Pho is the giant Reclining Buddha which, at 15m high and 43m long, is definitely an eye opener!
We also enjoyed a visit to Ancient Siam. This is a museum, for want of a better word - a large collection of Thai buildings with everything from palaces to traditional village homes. Some of these are the originals which have been transplanted from their locations, while others are recreations. The site is large and green and relatively quiet compared to the city centre. Your entry ticket includes bike hire and we had a great few hours pedalling around, exploring some of the buildings closely and admiring others from a distance.
Our highlight from exploring the city though had to be the cut flower market. Stall after stall covered in flowers all of which were incredibly cheap. For less than £1 you could get 50 roses or a large bunch of orchids. Orchids by the bunch was a new one for us and we just couldn't resist them! For an added bonus as we came out of the far side we discovered a wholesale vegetable market with huge bowls of chillis and ginger by the bag. Before we reached Thailand we were a little worried about the spiciness of the food, but it turned out to be absolutely fine. There were plenty of non spicy options all of which were incredibly tasty, they really knew how to get good flavour out of the fresh herbs and ingredients.
Finally to round off long hot days of exploring we went for a massage on a couple of occasions. While described as a foot massage we'd actually sit for an hour as they slowly work on our feet, up our legs, onto our arms and hands before finally working on our head, neck and shoulders. While we discovered a few tendons we weren't sure existed and questioned if we were flexible enough for some of the moves in general it was a very relaxing way to finish of the day.
And that was it. On Wednesday we spent 20 hours travelling to return once more to the UK; three months of travelling all done with, finished. Home at last.