Leaving India and heading to Thailand to see in the new year!
28.12.2009 - 05.01.2010 30 °C
Hello boys and girls, and welcome to the 'Teenies'!! I hope you all had a fun-filled festive season? It was certainly a change of scenery for us, thats for sure!
I'm sorry it's taken me quite so long to update you on our whereabouts and the antics we have been getting up to. It seems no matter how long you sit on the internet at a time, there is always something else to do!! Hope you can all forgive me!
Anyway, so the last time I wrote, we were in India, so from Goa, we headed across India to Calcutta, where we stayed for just one day, and managed to pack in quite a lot of walking. We went across the river and then headed up to the flower market which was amazing! There were so many vibrant colours and smells, it was completely overwhelming! After wandering around some more of the city, grabbing some food and then befriending a massive Indian guy, we returned to our hotel and then went back to the airport.
We arrived into Bangkok in the early hours and with the help of Lucy's perfect Map, we managed to head to a guesthouse just round the corner from the Koa San Road (the main tourist/backpacker road). After a nap we went for a wander and managed to find a giant shopping centre, with 6 levels of computer stuff! Obviously James and Dan were in their element, and needless to say I was less than impressed. So I settled in for the long haul and sat with a book, while they filled their boots full to the brim of geek-gear! They came back when their stomachs told them it was time and decided to sample some Thai food. Now I'm not exaggerating when I say that as soon as the noodles hit their lips they went bright red and started sweating! Dan had to put an ice cream on his tongue for about 15 mins before he started to feel normal again! Lesson number 1 - Thai food is VERY hot! hehe
We then wandered round and found an even bigger shopping centre, and the main square, that would be our New Years spot. We sat down and had a drink in these weird beer areas, where they only serve one kind of beer, and they all have separate live bands on. We then headed round to the cinema and ended up booking our tickets for Avatar in 3D at the Imax for New Year's day, and caught Sherlock Holmes too!
The following day we had another wander, and then headed for New Years Eve drinks of the Koa San. After dinner and a couple of buckets of alcohol, we headed over to Central Point, where there were millions of Thai people, counting down to New Year. I should have pointed out that Bangkok was a lot hotter and more humid than India generally, which is why you have to forgive just how hot and sweaty I look in the pics of New Year!! So bear that in mind ok??? So we saw in the new year, and began making our way through the crowds and over to a club after midnight, but unfortunately, Dan didn't feel very well, so we headed back to the guesthouse. The following day we again had a pretty chilled one, and saw Avatar in the afternoon, which was awesome. We then headed over to an area we had read about to try and experience some of Bangkok's more individual offerings. I won't say more than that, if you need any further info, please just email me!!!! Just trying to protect the innocence of the more mature readers!!!
Anyway, after all that excitement we felt that we needed some culture and the following day we headed over to Wat Pho - a huge temple that houses the largest reclining Buddha, at 46m long!!! It was pretty amazing in there, and everyone was praying and walking around the huge gold figure. The whole place did feel very spiritual, and I felt drawn into making a few New Years wishing that hopefully Buddha will grant me - don't think it works like that does it!?! We then went around the sight and took in the many more buddha figures which were again all incredibly detailed and ornate.
The following day we were leaving for Chaing Mai in the evening, getting a 12 hour bus, so we decided to make the most of our last Bangkok day, and Dan and I went to the Aquarium! It was pretty awesome, and we saw some pretty amazing things, including a 500kilo frozen tuna!!! Then, once we were stuffed with dinner, we hopped on the bus, for what was possibly the most uncomfortable journey ever! The bus was an 'air-con, VIP' bus, but what that actually meant was that the seated reclined into a position that paralysed the person behind, and that it started off being completely boiling, and then when sleep fell upon us, we all turned a little bit blue as the temperature dipped below freezing!! Needless to say, when we arrived in Chaing Mai at about 7am, we were not well rested, and very much looking forward to finding a real bed!
After having a nap, we decided that while we were in Chiang Mai we wanted to complete a Thai Cooking Course, and possibly do some kind of trek. We found good prices for both of these, and booked the cooking for the following day, and the a 3 day trek after that.
We had chosen an Organic Thai Farm for the setting of our course, so we were collected from our guesthouse and then taken to a market to collect some supplies. Our guide and head chef was called Nice, and she was, although I definitely think she had an edge, and wouldn't want to cross her as she was in charge of the chilis!! She talked us through some of the ingredients that we needed from the market, and then we headed to the farm, where Nice took us around the gardens where most of the vegetables and herbs that we would be using were grown. It was fascinating to see that all of these things were growing around us, and some of the smells were incredible. We then started making our curry paste with our own mega mortar and pestel and then started cooking. The whole day was great, and it was so much fun to learn how to make proper Thia meals from scratch. I made a green curry (delicious) chicken Tom Yam soup (yummy), Chicken and Holy Basil stir fry (very tasty), spring rolls (scrumptious) and bananas in coconut milk ( I didn't actually try these as I was too full from all the other fabulous food I had managed to create!). So all in all, to sum up - you are all invited to our first Thai dinner party when we get back home, I can promise you the food will be GREAT! (don't worry we did get to take a recipe book home with us, so we know what we're doing!)
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I think this blog is becoming far too huge, so I'm going to stop there and give you guys a chance to catch up on that so far. I will try and update the next parts soon, I promise! But we are all fine, doing our volunteer work at the moment, and missing you all lots and lots!
Hopefully speak to you soon, and hope you are all coping with the super cold weather you're having apparently. I have forgotten what snow/cold feels like hehe.