02.09.2009 - 04.09.2009 33 °C
We left Siem Reap on Wednesday morning slightly apprehensive having heard we in for a long slow bumby bus ride to the Thai border. However, the road had clearly been recently tarmaced and we made it to the border in about two and a half hours. The border crossing went smoothly but on the Thai side we had changed from our spacious coach to our cramped minibus for our four hour trip into Bangkok. We made it to the city fairly quickly but spent forever in traffic before reaching Khao San Road. Here after spending quite a while looking for hotels we found that Bangkok was significantly more expensive than either Hanoi, Saigon or Phnom Penh.
The next morning we hooked up with a tuk tuk driver to go and see some temples with the agreement being that we only paid 20 Baht for the whole day if we visited several tailors to get hime some free petrol. We headed out and visited the giant gold Budda. We visited another temple and then went to the tourist offices where we booked a three day tour of Kanchanaburi for Saturday. After this we headed up to the Golden Mountain Temple which gave views all over Bangkok. However, as you had to take off your shoes to go in and the best views were from a sun baked concrete roof you had to move quickly to avoid getting your feet singed.
After this we headed to one final tailor where I bought a suit and Alex some shirts. Then as it was too late to visit the Grand Palace we headed to the Siam Centre, a massive shopping centre, for Alex to buy Snow Leopard for his Mac (only today did we discover that there is actually an Apple shop on Khao San Road). We headed back to our hotel via the Skytrain and River boat which was good seeing the city from the river at night.
The next day we caught the river boat down to the Grand Palace and after having past about ten tuk tuk and taxi drivers telling us that it was closed for luch and we should go somewhere with them we made it to the entrance. All the buildings were really cool but it was absolutely packed with people and lots of school children trying to get us to fill in surveys. Also the two tier Thai pricing sustem for tourists made it pretty expensive. After this we headed into China town for lunch and finally had Dim Sum for the first time in Asia. Then it was back to the tailors for fitting before heading back to Khao San Road to get ready for our trip to Kanchanaburi the next day.