So I only spent the 1 night in Bangkok after my night train and in the general craziness of Bangkok I got whisked away in a strange tuk tuk that went all round the houses to take us to a PingPong show…. It is one experience I will not be putting into words…
I bought my ticket back when I was in Bangkok, so when I turned up at Butterworth station I found myself 2hours early as my ticket had been printed in Thai time and not in the Malyasian time it actually left! So I spent 2h sat next to a plug charging up my devices while waiting for the (now delayed) train to arrive.
The train was tiny, only 2 second class AC carriages, 2 beds heigh on each side. At 2.45pm I found my seat (with a misty window) chained my bag under the seat and settled in for the 20h+ journey.
At about 4pm a man walks round with a menu for that nights dinner. You could pay in either Ringet or Baht, I ordered a chicken cashue nut and rice set and was told it would be ready at 6. At about 4.45 he came back and set up my dinner table for me.
5pm we were all thrown off the train for border control. I left Malaysia, and made my way over to the Thai counter only to be thrown back into Malaysia. Great! Lesson learnt, never leave a country without your exit stamp. I found myself sitting in an office waiting for a man to unlock his stamp set whilst being told about his son who study’s in Manchester. (All the police here seem to have relatives studying in Manchester). Then the inevitable question about which football team I support comes…. He quickly realised I have no interest in football and let’s me go back to the Thai border with my passport now all in order.
I’m then told the train doesn’t leave until 6.30pm so I sit in the sun on the platform listening to a man tell me about why he retired from the US to Malaysia. I jump back on the train at 6, just in time for dinner, which is actually quite nice.
8pm they come round with another menu, as this time our carrages have joined a bigger train with a dinner cart. I turn the food down and wait for the man to turn up and make my bed.
I had a surprisingly good sleep and at 9am asked the man to turn my bed back into a seat. I turn down breakfast (I brought my own) and wait for the train to arrive in Bangkok at about 12.30, (22h 45mins total journey).
Bangkok is crazy. I’ve never been anywhere like it! Full of bright lights, unbearable heat, drink and strange oddities. I spent 5 nights here, which is way too long as I felt I did it all in a couple of days. By the end of it I was more than ready to move on.
Coming here straight from the power restricted and cold Nepal was such a shock, probably more so than when I first arrived in India.
I met lady boys, was offered ping pong shows, ate a scorpion pincer, tried the local beers Chang & Singha and experienced the crazy Khao San Road on a Friday night. They sell fake IDs birth certificates and degrees on the side of the road. 7elevens are everywhere and the city seems to never sleep!
The one thing I did enjoy though is the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre. It was right up my street and had an amazing exhibition on called ‘the great artists of tomorrow will go underground’.
I also loved getting endless massages! Leaving Bangkok we took an overnight train to Surat Thani, the train was another class compared to any of the Indian overnight trains, it was clean, more spacious, I got delivered an evening meal and my bed was made for me at the end of the night. I’d happily do that again.