Bustling Bangers

Trip Start May 12, 2005
Trip End May 14, 2006

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Start of the trip, third time in bangers in three years. Stayed at villa guest house (the best ghouse in Bangers with the lovely Lek), caught up with our wonderfull "tour guides" Nat and Ghan and had a great, relaxing week to wind down after so much work. Very hot, but periods of rain helped to knock off a few degrees.

One of the highlights was a boat trip north up the river to the market at Nathonburi; Nat, Clare and Mark had lots of fun buying all sorts of wierd and wonderfull stuff (including some eel..), really good spinach turnover thingies and glazed bean-paste sweets (better than they sound). Got some nice photos of this market but the memory card buggered up and was sent back to Australia where the photos were retrieved (thanks Sarah and Anthony from F1 photos; hawthorn!!).

Also spent a relaxing afternoon playing scrabble and cards in Lumphini Park; an oasis of greeness in the middle of a concrete maze. Puzzled to see an elderly western lady riding around on her bike feeding the stray cats of the park; the animals appeared fairly comfortable with her, so we can only guess that this was a regular occurence (would be interesting to know her story!!!).

We just adore the food in Bangers, had some great Pad Krepow (spelling??) off the street; basically a style of stir-fry with a basil, garlic and chilli base; can be very hot, but really tasty.Another culinary highlight of bangers is coke in a bag... basically drink vendors charge you less for a coke if you give them back the bottle, so they pour it into a plastic bag filled with crushed ice and it helps to make the heat bearable. Of course, we devoured numerous bannana pancakes. Description for those who haven't been to bangers; thin roti bread, fried on a big hotplate, with bannana finely sliced onto it, then folded up into a neat little parcel and smothered with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate sauce; they are even better than they sound and every vendor has their own BP (bannanna pancake) style.

We realised that in three visits to bangers we hadn't really done any of the touristy things.. so we went and saw the big golden buddha at Wat Pho (pronuonced Poo) and to another wat which has views over the city. Bumped into a Thai girl we met last time in thailand; Jiep. She was working at a ghouse in Ko Chang ( an island near the Cambodian border), we did the don't we know you from somewhere for a while before we put thepouzzle together. Had a beer on Thanon Koh San (koh san road used to be the hippy hangout in the 80's, it is now more representative of a zoo, with many varities of inked animals of display).

Got a few of the bus routes in town down pat; which makes getting around easy and cheap...and fun, also more stimulation in the confines of a rickety public bus compared to a sterile a/c taxi.... The first decent rain of the mosoon season coincided with our arrival in Bangkok; really nice excuse to duck for cover in a random resturant/cafe, have a game of cards and retreat for an hour or so. We decided that we really needed some umbrellas, so went to a chinese bits and pieces shop in the same ilk of those $2 shops that line Smith st collingwood. Picked up two of the cheapest Chinese brollies in thailand and they have served us faithfully until here (i'm updating this from Kathmandu!!!) In china our brand of brolly was the cheapest and most populous..anyway, enough about umbrellas!!!!

Nat hoooked up a train ticket from the station near her apartment; so we avoided the main train station chaos, got a bus to Nat and Ghans, had a very civilised (and delicious) dinner at their new favorite street side stall and then jumped on the sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Had a fantastic lady-boy host/hostess running our cabin who very much liked to touch (fondle??!!) both Clare and I. In the morning we were woken up and given a very enthusiatic recital of what was one offer for breakfast...a real treat.
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