Explored Bangkok on foot for a few hours, found it very difficult to find my way around due to crap maps and crap street signs. Found little of any interest. Contacted Jon who lives in Bangkok (my brother in law's cousin) but he works in the week so i'll see him on Saturday. Feeling bored and a bit miserable. Looked at a couple of cheaper hotels as 650B is quite expensive for the area, they were around 300B but nowhere near as nice and i couldn't bring myself to take a drop in comfort while i am already a bit low. One thing that always cheers me up is good food and i'm eating plenty of that for about 75B a time - tonight was Thai red beef curry - fantastic! Got quite drunk and ended up talking to a nice german girl in Gullivers but she was leaving early the next morning (she probably just said that to get rid of me!) She was spending only 150B per night for her room so i am feeling far too extravagent now.
DO NOT DRINK CHANG BEER! I have the hangover from hell. Managed to go out about midday, saw Wat Phra Kaew, the royal palace and Wat Pho. I got drenched in a rainstorm then took a tuk tuk. I saw a huge reclining buddah, a bigger standing buddah and more smaller buddahs than you could shake a monk at. Now quite bored with Bangkok, temples and buddahs! I felt rough all day. Had some excellent spicey pork and even treated myself to ice cream, plus a coke for 135B. Can't drink tonight so sat in my expensive room and watched 'Cable Guy' and the middle east conflict on the news. I am planning on getting away from Bangkok straight after i meet Jon, don't know where.
A restless night with a bizarre midgit dream. I phoned Jon and got a cab to his house which was an adventure as the driver spoke no English and i didn't know where I was going. We chatted, i met his wife and daughter, we went to the mall and had food, then Jon and i left for Sukhumvit to meet some of his mates, then on to Nana where we saw some of Bangkoks characters - ladyboys, prossies, that sort of thing! Somehow managed to get back onto Chang and ended up a little tipsy!
Hungover again! Checked out at last and got a tuk tuk to one of Bangkoks two train stations. After several visits to tourist information i was yet to get any info on buses or trains as they don't speak much english (stupid bloody foreigners!) but i was hoping that i might get to Chantanaburi to see the bridge over the bridge over the river kwai. I found out i had picked the wrong station for that and the staff just laughed when i told them i just had to get out of Bangkok and asked where the next train was going to. One was going through Chumpon which is a ferry ride from Koh Tao island. I hadn't planned on heading south yet but then i hadn't planned anything much and i liked the sound of it despite the 8.5 hour train journey. The train was clean and comfy and pretty cheap. All the windows were open so the wind blew through as we went but it was still warm. The scenery was green an beautiful and i spotted some westerners further up the carriage. 4 young English kids got out at my stop so i asked them if they too were getting the early morning ferry which i had booked with my train ticket, unfortunately they had booked an overnight crossing but the bloke that came to pick them up took me as well and we all went back to his small travel agency. I chatted with the 4 young 'uns while we ate at a nearby restaurant (tom yum soup) and they were very nice. They left for their ferry and i hoped to meet them on the other side. I stayed the night in a very basic room above the shop for 150B. Feeling glad to have left Bangkok.
The ferry took 3 hours and the crossing was very calm (thank god). There were about 60 people on the boat and i spoke to an English girl named Liz most of the way - she had done some travelling and some volunteer work in Laos. When we docked there were several dive companies wanting us to come and see there accomodation, Liz had booked when she was in Chumpon so i went with her to Dive Buddah situated right on the beautiful south coast of the island. Liz and I ended up sharing a room which is basic but we have a private bathroom and a fan. I read and slept on the beach for a while and then we had a one hour dvd with another 14 people who were all to start a four day PADI diving course. Yet again i had fantastic food at lunch and some lovely steamed fish in the evening. I spent about 2 hours reading my new PADI text book then tried to phone Nan but she was engaged. I am loving it here already and it is nice to have someone to talk to.