Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Thailand Diaries - 27th & 28th May - Chatuchack Market & Chiang Mai


9AM

We have the shits.

Jack thinks it was last night's curry, but I think it was that water fountain. Bloody hell. Now, every traveller gets this at some point because of the change in diet, but Jesus Christ.


A stop that my lovely advisors on Snapchat said we had to see while in Bangkok was the Chatuchak market, and luckily enough we had a morning spare before embarking on the questionable package holiday.

At breakfast (opting for the Thai option of fried rice) we realised that the hotel staff would surely be able to confirm whether our tickets were valid or generic photocopies. I was SO worried because I'd remembered that the lady had said something about it being a new train (so not recognisable to most people, masking the fact they were fake tickets!!!) but lo and behold, she said they looked fine. Wow.

She also booked us a taxi so we could get "Thai price" fare, and off we went. I was remarking on how lucky we had been so far with the weather, it was supposed to be the beginning of monsoon season and all, but almost instantly it started spitting.



11AM

Half an hour later we rocked up to the market (the tourist side, not the animal selling side, we had been warned) and began looking around. It seemed absolutely massive, a series of intertwined market stalls fitted together and sharing one roof, then you cross the street and it's the same again. There are categories for different areas, and (obviously) I dragged Jack straight to the pottery section, determined to find nice dinnerware to take home. On the way we picked up a pair of sunglasses for about £2 each, mine were a vivid yellow and Jack's a deep blue - both in that mirrored style that makes you look like a funky bug.



After a while, however, the spitting turned into full blown rain. Heavy rain. Coming down in sheets and pummeling the canvas roofs. We dived inside, and quickly found a wholesale shop selling rustic glazed dinnerware of all kinds (omg). I took my time about it, touching up all the stock I could reach, and deciding on two little bowls that were similar to what the Tom Kha Goong soup was served in at AMA, a little dipping bowl for soy sauce (etc), a mini green tea cup with no handles (I have a thing for mugs with no handles) and a small tray that gyozas and spring rolls would fit well on. Meanwhile, Jack was nagging in my ear saying something about how I needed to hurry up because the place was flooding. I looked over and saw he was ankle deep in water. Oops.

Now, we hadn't had any vaccinations before coming. We did the research, and it's not actually necessary to get any, because there's a very low risk of Malaria and there's nothing you can do about Dengue fever except cover yourself in mozzy spray (check). However, there are a lot of water diseases, so this was a bloody nightmare. Praying my birkenstocks wouldn't start rubbing (ENTRY WOUNDS) we waded through the market to find lunch.


That is Jack emptying his shoes and wringing out his socks while I and a lady (perched in her off-the-ground stall) watched and laughed, a lot.

We found a busy place for lunch (again, listening to my Snapchat advisors: busy means safe) and had the most English choice possible, Katsu chicken and sticky rice. Yeah, I was ashamed, but we were dealing with an unmistakable gut instinct to avoid spicy food today. Although, I couldn't resist utilising some of the dip our meals came with. I don't know how they make something so hot taste so good, but that's why we came! I really wanted to eat at a street food style place, and this was an amazing mish mash of people sitting shoulder to shoulder on tiny stools, nibbling on sticky rice out of a bag and watching the cooks prepare everything from scratch under giant fans, wafting the spicy smells our way.

After lunch we located the toilet and a map to make sure we saw the best of the market. This was a bit confusing as I couldn't see any food stalls etc, and I thought it was the kind of market that locals bought spices/vegetables/meat at too, but that wasn't on there. Maybe it's because it was a Saturday? While we were examining the map, a shifty looking Aussie sounding lady came up and asked to see it too, which we allowed her to, while staring pointedly at the man hovering behind us, clearly the pair were trying to pick pocket. Again, we are on HIGH ALERT. I have an emergency 1000B in my bra.

3PM

We got a metered taxi back to the hotel to pick up our bags and go to the toilet. No longer with our own soundproof room, this was a horrific experience. You know the comedic, over the top bowel sounds they have in movies? They're not lying. It is unbelievable what comes out of you. Turning on the tap didn't mask it, there was no hand dryer, it just had to happen. I'm telling you this to warn you.

4PM

Our taxi isn't here, I think I might shit myself again with nerves. Whether or not it arrives basically dictates whether I've lost a grand, so, you know.

4:10PM

Jack has walked down the road to look for the taxi.

4:15PM

JACK IS BACK WITH THE TAXI. PRAISE BE TO ALL THE GODS.


5:30PM

Feeling over the moon, we picked up 4 big bottles of water and a range of snacks and played chess until the overnight train arrived. 


[Bangkok 6PM - Chiang Mai 7AM - 2nd Class]

I'll tell you what, I'm getting sick of fucking rice. Don't get me wrong, we have eaten the most incredible food, but everyone has their breaking point. I don't think anybody could appreciate how much rice is eaten over here, but it's a lot, and usually I don't have it more than once a week. There is nothing in this world I would like more than a sandwich. 

Jack has done the most horrific thing and put ketchup on plain rice. I can smell it and it's making me severely nauseous, so I've moved to my little cabin.

I've already visited the toilet. Thankfully, it was an improvement. They have heavy waterfall music playing where a man goes "WOOO-E-OOOH-E-OHHHHH", it couldn't be more understanding.

10PM

Jack and I have been watching "3%" on Netflix, which we downloaded for the trip. It's absolutely fantastic, would recommend! I would also recommend taking a 2nd Class overnight train, it's incredibly comfy and I'm looking forward to a nice long snooze. It's like being rocked to sleep in a womb. 

I had romantic thoughts about Jack and I squishing ourselves into one bed like rebellious teenagers, but we agree this situation is a welcome break. Are we married? My bunk is on top of his, so if I pop my head over I can see him sleeping. So cute.

I can smell someone's feet.

6:30AM

Woke up early and went to find a morning cup of tea for us both. You need to be very insistent that you require milk, or it comes with creamer powder and nobody wants to wake up to that. I came back with them just as Jack was poking his head out, eyes squinting like a little mole, and he said he loved me, which was nice.


7AM

Our transfer greeted us on arrival, looking through our documents to make sure we knew what we had lined up. Omg. I don't regret being so worried, but it looks like everything is turning out fine after all!


The hotel room is LOVELY, with a little balcony overlooking the pool. I'm so bloody happy. We have a temple tour booked for 1, but for some reason we need a nap again, so we're going to nap until then.


I was going to bulk these two days together, but the post was getting too long! I really hope you're enjoying the diary! :)


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