Anthony and Erica on the road to Mandalay 2006 travel blog

A quieter time on the Kaoh San Road

Wat Phra Kaew, Royal Palace, Bangkok

Protector demoon, Wat Phra Kaew

Storm clouds building over Wat Phra Kaew

Protector demon, Wat Pho

Different textures, Wat Pho

Detail of mosaic, Wat Pho

Protector demons, Wat Pho

Bangkok is very different from Yangon, almost a different world. High-rises, flyovers, traffic jams, new shiny stuff, etc, etc. Kaoh San Road is also very different from anywhere we have been the last few weeks. Our (poshish) hotel is on the next street to Kaoh San, so we went straight there from the fab space-age new Bangkok airport. Kaoh San Road is very much a traveller's street/area, like that bit of Khatmandu I can't remember the name of. Personally, I love it, but I can see why some people would hate it. It is crowded, noisy, bright, full of people from all over the place, and pretty buzzy. I love it! The shopping there has improved since I was last here, so we scrapped the plan to go shopping in some mall, and just loafed around Koah San Road, and though drink is still relatively expensive, had a bit to drink after our yummy Thai curries. It is also worth mentioning that Thailand had a military-led coup a few months ago, and to be honest you would never know unless you read the papers or watched the news. From a foreigner's point of view it is business as usual.


The tuk-tuk drivers around Kaoh San Rd. are a lot more rip-off than I remember, so after some heated discussions with them, we walked down to the Royal Palace. This was distressingly crowded. We have been spoilt by Myanmar, and aren't used to crowds. Amazing place though, and great murals depicting the Ramayana, but we preferred Wat Pho, the home of a huge reclining Buddha where we went next, and a lot less crowded. The temples that are called Payas in Myanmar, are Wats in Thailand and Cambodia. Kaoh San Road is great for street eats, very cheap too, though we tend to do sit-down eating. In the evening we left the entertainment and bedlam of the main drag and holed up in a quiet and funky boutique bar up a side alley. It was a nice way to end our time away together.

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