Next morning, bus to Bangkok. We opted to pay the $2 extra each for the added luxury of an AC bus with toilet. Shame we had neither. Oh and it didn't have any suspension either. We spent the next 6 hours on the bumpiest ride ever. Imagine being in the back of the bus, bouncing through potholes and dust in the heat for 6 hours. Not fun but we figured it would be something to laugh about in the future, which we now do...
FINALLY made it to the border, where we had to get our packs and walk to passport control in 95 degree heat. One through Cambodia, had to walk about 1k to Thai border - which seemed to take hours to get through. Did I mention it was hot?
Finally made it through, bought 2 gallons of water to drink, but then there was no connecting bus in sight, no tourguides, no signs, nothing. Wanderede aimlessly for a good 10mins until we finally spotted the other cluelss backpackers. Sat in a heap with them and then got escorted onto the minivans to take us to Bangkok. More like limousines as it had AC and plenty of room to stretch.
Arrived in Bangkok (for the second time) and decided to hit the Kao San Road, which we missed first time around because we were basking in Sheraton luxury. This road is a larger version of Bourbon Street - runs 24/7 and is lined with street vendors, shops, bars and restaurants and guest houses. And backpackers. Found a place to stay and decided to break our own rule. We hit McDonalds and hit it hard. And it was excellent...
Spent a couple days in that general area. And we actually saw what we never thought existed. A pick and mix trolley of assorted insects. Yes there was a large selection of fried worms, grasshoppers, scorpions, beetles, etc. Ready for eating. They put them in a plastic bag and top them off with a spray of soy sauce. Mmmmmmm. Needless to say we passed but did see several Thais taking advantage.
Highlight of our second time around was the Thairish Pub. Fantastic Thai band singing western tunes, great drinks and a pool table as well. L didn't last long this time - in fact, he lost to a girl! But to his credit, she was very good... Holding his head down in shame, we decided to go listen to the band. Wasn't long before I was dancing with the locals who didn't speak any English. L decided to join in at one point and showed them the Geltner move (fictitious lick the finger, bum slap). They loved that -- and it's sure to be the next craze in Thailand.
We had such a great night there and were about to close the place -- until we saw the news flash on the tv that another earthquake hit Sumatra. Total buzz kill, we had to get to a tv to hear more. Didn't get much until the next morning, heard that there was no threat of another tsunami. Though about 1,000 dead, not too severe. Phew. And we were also cleared to head south to Koh Tao which we had booked the previous day.