When we booked our tickets to Bangkok we had checked, double checked and checked again that it was in fact a coach, not a minibus. The last thing we all wanted was another nine or something hours in a minibus. We were assured, reassured and re-reassured that it was a coach. When a minibus turned up it was explained away, this minibus would take us to the coach station where we would board our coach to the border; it didn’t. This minibus was smaller than the one we had taken to Siem Reap and had more people aboard, which of course meant more luggage; the only redeeming feature of this torture truck was that everybody on it was nice (and when I say nice I of course mean English). Tom, Helen and Lauren, with whom we had partied with were all aboard and another three girls (who had also lived and studied in Manchester at the same time Tom, Helen and I) completed the group. (There was a weird guy on the bus but he sat next to the driver so we didn’t have to communicate with him.) The good company and conversation got us to the border before I had a chance to even think about how cramped I was, we crossed the border by foot which was a pain in the arse but meant we had a small amount of time to get noodles, ice cream and have a shit. (Although the pad thai I had ordered turned into fried rice because the pre-prepared noodles had finished and the vendor couldn’t be arsed to make any more (although it takes about three minutes cook from scratch).) A complicated coloured and numbered sticker system dictated what minibus we then had to get on, which became a right palaver when friends were being put on separate buses to one another. I found our bus (Lucy, Simon and I had all been allocated the same bus) and immediately reserved a front row seat, even my elongated, gangly legs could be fully extended here - a polar opposite to the last bus. After hours in a near horizontal state, (only moving for the obligatory service station stops the driver insisted on) watching movies on my laptop we were in Bangkok. Not a bad journey for minibus I thought – the second leg at least.We checked back into Rainbow Hostel and rested - this travelling is tiring work you know?!
That evening we met up with Tom and Helen, who were also staying in Rainbow and Robbie and Jo, who are family friends of Lucy’s. We ate at a restaurant on Ram Buttri which was mediocre at best, but filled the gap I suppose. Still having plenty to stay to one another and many more stories to share we accompanied Robbie and Jo back to their hotel for some more drinks; after what seemed like no time at all it was half one – the hours having disappeared into many a beer bottle by now. Robbie and Jo called it a night and the five of us left standing went onward to ‘the zoo’ as Robbie calls it, the Khao San Road to you and me. This was Mackie’s and my third time in Bangkok, and we thought we knew the drill by now; how wrong we were. It was busier and livelier than we had ever seen it, and a sense of carnival reigned down this infamous street. Desperate to join the party we sat at the first pop up bar we found and ordered our buckets of booze. Sharing every bucket meant that as soon as one arrived it was emptied, with a frantic haste of slurping and sucking; in hindsight this proved an appalling method of alcohol consumption, as the results were extreme. We did search for a second bar to visit, but none could compete on value or music as our first hurried choice. We returned with our tails between our legs full of the knowledge that variety is not the spice of life after all, and ordered yet more buckets.
When the main night club closed it only fueled the street party vibe, throwing hundreds of drunken tourists into the arms of the street vendors, who have now swapped there nik naks and souvenirs for hard liquor (sold by the bucket of course!). What happened next is anyone guess really, I did bump into two of the three girls from the minibus and had a D&M with a random Thai guy, but the next thing I remember is waking up not feeling so good.