Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fishy Flight and Broken Bike

I took the train back into Bangkok and made my way to the famous backpacker area of Khao San Road. This area of Bangkok is a world apart from where I had stayed in Bangkok on the previous time in the city. This has more foreigners than locals and just about everything is there for them. I think the menus were only in English with no Thai on them at all. The street was somewhat busy in the day but really comes alive at night. I did not do a lot in Bangkok again other than walk around some and enjoy being in a place were everyone spoke English.

I flew from Bangkok to Undon Thani which is not that far from the Laos border. I looked at flying to Laos but the flight was about twice as much plus there is a departure tax for flying out of Thailand that is not imposed when leaving via land.

I have worried about my backpack on a number of different legs of transport on the trip but never thought I would have a problem with flying. I have had my bag setting on the top of busses, in aisles of buses when people are pucking on the floor and other than being wet and really dirty on a few occasions it has been OK. My bag made it to Udon Thani but it must have been packed in next to a load of fish. My backpack was a little bit wet and stank of fish. No worries a little bit of soap and water seemed to resolve the smell but for a person that doesn’t like to eat fish it was a little bit funny.

Me and my fishy backpack made our way via mini-bus to the border town of Nong Khai. I put the one picture that I took in Nong Khai in the central Thailand section even though it should really be in the Isan section but it was the only place in Isan I went to until after Laos but that is getting a bit ahead of myself. Here is the picture and the right side of the river is Laos and the bridge you can sort of see under the sun is called the Friendship Bridge and it connects Laos with Thailand.

I spent a couple of nights in Nong Khai and wanted to visit a sculpture park but my good luck with bikes came to an end. The hotel I was staying in let me use a bike for free but once I was about a kilometer out of town the chain seemed to have a split in one of the links and it wrapped around the rear derailer and bent it. There would be no more riding with this bike by me so I walked back to the hotel and told them about the bike and decided I did not really want to see the sculpture park after all and had a beer instead.

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