MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2006. BANGKOK, THAILAND. All roads lead to Bangkok, at least when travelling in Asia. The overnight Thai bus (700 THB) from Nong Khai, just across the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge from Vientiane, was actually quite good: Clean, toilet on board, a/c, dinner. Our scheduled arrival time was supposed to be 6 a.m., but we arrived at 4 a.m. The driver had a lead foot--a little too fast for my comfort. The bus dropped us off at Khao San Road, Bangkok's backpacker area. Although I would prefer to stay elsewhere, I wasn't about to go roaming around Bangkok at 4 a.m. in the morning. So I plopped myself down in a cheap place in the heart of Khao San Road (Siam Oriental Inn; 550 THB) and will be spending the day arranging for my onward journey south.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2006. BANGKOK, THAILAND. Sean, a friend I made on my last visit to Bangkok, took me on a boat ride through the back canals of Bangkok. We then toured his law school at Ramkhamhaeng University, where I met one of his professors, James, a former civil litigator from Illinois who last practiced in Los Angeles and now teaches.
Tomorrow night, I plan to catch my second overnight bus trip in as many days to Koh Tao, an island off the southeast coast of Thailand known for excellent diving. From Koh Tao, I'll catch boat to Koh Pha Ngan and perhaps stay for its world famous monthly Full Moon parties on Hat Rai beach, the next one scheduled for next week Thursday, September 7th.
I've purchased online a one way ticket from Singapore to Sydney on Quantas for September 17 ($375). So I have a little over two weeks to make my way to Singapore. At the speed I'm going, I don't think I will have time to visit Malaysian Borneo as I originally planned. Oh well, more time to spend diving and lazying on Thai beaches.