Our plan after Sapa, Vietnam was a boarder crossing into Laos then to the Gibbon Experience, which is a stay on a nature preserve in tree houses were the endangered gibbon monkeys live. But after some research we realized it was not ideal spot to cross the border and the travel would have been long and exhausting. After a non-stop month in Vietnam we were too tired to attempt this and chose to fly back to Bangkok. Our plan is to end our travels next year in this part of the world and hit up Myanmar, Laos and northern Thailand.
Once again we stayed at U-baan Guesthouse in a nice Thai neighborhood away from all the craziness of touristy parts of Bangkok. The city was extra lively with an active protest against the government going on and the Loi Krathong festival, which takes place the night of the last full moon in the traditional Thai calendar. During this festival people make buoyant decorations usually made out of banana leaves in the shape of a lotus flower, which are then floated down a river to cast away their misgivings. We took a local ferry down the river to watch the events. To add to the adventure our ferry broke down then towed by another ferry until we finally switched boats. Very cool to watch but also sad to see the beautiful boats pushed under the docks by all the passing waves. Once it became dark lanterns were set off over the large bridge downtown looking like floating constellations.
By foot we wandered the city for a couple of days taking in all of the sites from a distance, as we never paid an entrance fee because we were never properly dressed at the temples. For men and women no knees or shoulders could be showing, and we were being cheap. We climbed Golden Mountain, shopped on Khao San Road (famous from the movie ‘The Beach’), and walked outside of the Grand Palace, the reclining Buddha and Wat Arun. The best part was a little café called Old Town Café that we stumbled upon that had delicious coffee and Affogatos (ice cream and espresso).
Thai boxing was the next adventure where we got ringside tickets. Also known as the martial art Muay Thai it is a combat sport using hands, feet, elbows and knees. The ring is scared in the Thai culture and women are not allowed to touch it. Before the fight a ceremonial dancing warm up between the fighters ensues. There were 8 bouts each with 5 rounds with the main fight being between heavy weight Russian fighters, which were strange to see in Thai boxing. The locals taking bets and yelling during the bouts was as entertaining as the fight itself.
Enjoy the pictures! Our next stop was Koh Tao, more on that soon!