Our flight from Sydney to Bangkok was great - movies on demand and we even managed to sleep a bit. We'd booked a taxi to pick us up as it was gone midnight when we landed but actually we could have found one - the airport is huge and only a year or two old - knocks the socks of Heathrow.
Our hotel was one block away from the infamous backpackers hangout - the Khao San Road - and the area was lively and busy even at 1am. We later realised this is because NYE and 1st Jan are holidays so the Thai's were out in force all weekend.
The first morning was spent organising our visas for Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia - we have given our passports to a travel agent and someone will stand in line for 3 days, 1 day at each of the embassies to get our visas for us. We met two Irish girls in Australia who had done the same thing with the same agent and they had recommended the hotel where we stayed and where the agent is based. We'll get them back when we return from trekking in Chiang Mai - more on that later. We also booked a night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and a 3 day trekking trip in the mountains.
In the afternoon we set off on foot, despite being offered the services of a tuk-tuk - crazy things, to Wat Pho. Wat in Thai means Temple. There are hundreds of temples in Bangkok and we visited just two as the two we went too were more like castles with outbuildings.
Afraid this PC doesn't have a memory card reader so I can't upload any pics.
Day Two... lazy morning then more temples! We went to the Grand Palace but it wasn't open because it was New Years Day but the adjoining Emerald Buddha Temple was open and was free for the day! Experience in crowds is prequisites for visiting a temple on a national holiday...the London Underground at rush hour or leaving a Man Utd game at Old Trafford qualify. The vast majority of people at the temple were Thai and there is no such thing as queueing - you'll see from the photos it's one big huddle and everyone pushes to get in, and then pushes to get back out. Surprisingly no one stood on my toes!
Took local river boat down the river for 20 Baht each and got off downtown and jumped on Skytrain. The river boat consisted of a few seats at the front and an open platform at the back with the side restraints resembling a queue-maker thing you'd see in a shop or at the airport and they don't tie up the boat at stops you just jump on. The Skytrain however puts the London tube to shame with air con and tv's in each carriage.
We got off Skytrain at the MBK Centre which is a huge western style shopping centre near Siam Square (which actually isn't a square but a square block of shops). MBK had two department sort shops, one resembling IKEA but the rest was a load of rubbish.
Day Three - Day trip to Kanchanburi, the River Kwai, Elephant Riding and Tiger Temple!
Today we took a minivan trip to Kanchanaburi which is where Allied POW's under the Japanese forces built a railway line from Thailand into Mynamar(aka Burma) and many thousands died and we walked around the graveyard. Also