Considering how long it's been since my last post, blogging obviously isn't my forte. I've never been good at keeping a diary either but I always find myself buying quirky journals that end up getting used once. But "New Year, New You" and all that jazz, right? Maybe.
Before I start on all my could-be-wonderful New Year's resolutions I thought I'd play catch up on the last months of 2012, which I should have already written a blog on. *Slaps wrist*.
I went to Thailand: Bangkok, to be precise. Considering this was my first visit to Asia, I was amazed and spellbound by the Eastern culture and cuisine. After being introduced to the local lager, Chang and traditional Thai food I found it hard to imagine returning to my Western diet. The street food looked incredible – especially in China Town, where indoor dining looked unlikely and unnecessary.
If you've seen The Beach, you might know of Khaosan Road and Ko Phi Phi, the former is great for travellers looking for a fun night and the latter I am yet to experience. Khaosan is like a Mecca for all traveling to Bangkok; it's neon street signs, extra-loud music, cheap accommodation, tourist tat-shops, and lively clubs make it a mixing pot of nationalities and definitely a night to remember. My favourite spot on the street was an Irish pub, it stood directly across from an identical bar and they both have sound speakers big enough for a concert in Wembley, so you can imagine the music battles that happened every night – the other bar usually came out on top, but that's why I preferred the Irish pub: you could watch everyone across the street going mental without fear of your table being used as a dance floor. If you ever go to Khaosan make sure you venture into the upper levels, if you'r lucky like me you might stumble upon some live music and good air conditioning.
Yes, I went to a Ladyboy show. It wasn't very good. Our private taxi driver (only £40 per day! And we went all the way to Pattaya on one of the trips – that's like driving from Newcastle to Leeds) took us to Mambo, which I think is in the Silom district, and it was £15 each with a free drink. Afterwards it was like a cattle market trying to get pictures with them, which I might add, you had to pay for.
If you've been to, or ever go to a boxing match in Bangkok please tell me what it's like. At £40 a ticket I had to opt for a cheaper form of entertainment for the evening; a tuk tuk to Silom or Khaosan, a decent Thai meal and a couple of Chang usually cost no more than £10. I didn't get to do the trip up the river Kwai or visit the old capital, but trust me, one day I will.
Buddhism is something that has always intrigued me. War, science, money and other complicated creations mean that I don't believe in religion. I guess I do believe in God or spiritualism, or something, but I'd rather be free in choosing what I think is right rather than what a book or someone else tells me is right. I think there should be a reference/guide book full of morals and teachings from every religion called "The Route to Happiness and Equality" or something similar – a "guidebook" for "referencing" not a "rule book" for "abiding". But, back to Buddhism! Seeing monks as young as 10 and as old as 80 was truly endearing, and the dedication to worship over there is inspiring.
The Thais really do seem to take that attitude with them everywhere. Definitely the friendliest and happiest people I've ever met. If that's what Buddhism and Chang does to you, I want in!
I think I'll leave Christmas/New Year for the next blog, this one has taken me long enough to write already.
Happy New Year!