well i am now in seedy pattaya, 2 hours east of bangkok and its pretty much what i expected it to be. i decided to head for here after spending a few days in khanchanaburi. arrived last night after a 4 hour bus journey, via bangkok.
when i got to khanchanburi i managed to find a cheapo room, near the river kwai. first thing that struck me was the size of place in general - they advertise it as a little town when in reality its a decent size. the main draw for me of going at all was the tiger temple run by monks, where you get to sit and stroke etc wild tigers. i have met so many people who have done it and said that its an awesome thing to do. so when i got there i looked into it striaght away and was told that now no one is going there because of a dispute with the tour companies. nightmare and i was gutted. a couple of days later i made enquires and found that if you get a taxi they might take you.
in the end it took me standing on the street for a couple of hours flagging down random folks to get one booked. the only other problem was a lack of people to go with me - in order to share the cost of it. went back to the guesthouse and basically acted as a tour guide for the temple and managed to get 5 other people to come along with me. result.
the day was really good and the tigers were great. got a few pictures of me stroking them and cuddling them - wild, non chained tigers. hopefully the disposable camera did its job and they will come out ok. afetr we return 'my' group went out for a few drinks and a meal and i felt like a tour operator - although no one gave me a tip! that night two of them, an aussie couple, stayed up with me to watch the england game and spent a small fortune drinking sangsom. all three ofus felt shocking yesterday on the trip back to bangkok, before we split and i went to pattaya.
i did a tour of hell fire pass the historical site, erawan waterfalls and then a 2 hour train ride back along the railway and over the bridge. it was pretty good and very cheap - last minute and cancellation of another trip meant they gave it me for half what it should have been.
the waterfalls were probably the highlight, as it is a 7 stepped jobby. the walk upto the 7th step was long and steep but worth it for the swimming. no one tells you about the fish, i mean you can see them, some pretty big but no one tells you what they do. the little buggers bite you, well clean you as you sat there, which was strange/painful/strangely nice.
my cheapo room turned out to be a bit of a nightmare really - i got bitten badly everynight by ants on my feet - again. so they are back to being a real mess. thats one thing i will def not miss about asia.
so i think i will stay here tonight and then maybe head back on saturday or sunday to bangkok before i fly out on tuesday.
everynight untill i leave will be taken up by watching the 5th and final ashes test, in which i have no doubt england will stuff it up.