Bangkok, Singapore and now Brisbane

Not had a chance to write much as we’ve been so busy.

We flew from Koh Samui to Bangkok, had a day pottering round and then met Cedric in the Siam Discovery Center a week last Friday.

He’d been in Bangkok for most of ther week and seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed himself. He was staying with his friend, Guy, who has written a book about Bangkok . We went on to a bar/restaurant called Chlorophyl where we met Guy’s friend, Asif, for some food before getting cab to the State Tower where we went up to Scirocco bar at the top of the tower with a fantastic view of Bangkok.

On the Saturday we went to Chatuchak market and bought some jeans and t-shirts. The jeans were either original Levi’s or very good copies, and cost between 500-1000 Baht (70 Baht to the UK pound). After that we caught up with Cedric and Guy at the airport to see Cedric off safely.

More shopping on Sunday, some great shopping centers in Bangkok, much cheaper than KL but with a wider choice.

On Monday Vic persuaded me to go to the Silom Dental Center with her as she was getting her teeth whitened by laser (I’d have considered that too but only if they used a light sabre). I went for a “clean & polish” and checkup.

Didn’t turn out quite that simple though. After cleaning, the dentist decided that he was going to do four fillings and extract one of my back teeth. He also said that I’d need root canal work on another tooth but that he didn’t have time to do that. So I sat in extreme discomfort for two hours while several people fumbled about in my mouth, telling me not to swallow while blowing water on the back of my throat.

I emerged sore, a bit miffed and minus one tooth. Not terribly happy. The bill for my treatment came to around 4000 Baht (so about 60 pounds), pretty cheap I guess. Vic’s laser treatment came to 10000 Baht (150 quid) and gave her extremely painful teeth for the next 3 days. I tried to have some sympathy, honestly I did.

On Wednesday we flew on to Singapore, staying at Sleepy Sam’s (whoever wrote that review saying that it was like waking up a luxury resort must be on some kind of powerful drug!). Our “double room” was a partitioned off section of the main dorm room. The walls don’t go to the ceiling so you can hear every snore or murmur of the people staying in the dorm. Not a great deal of privacy really. And only twice what we were paying for an en-suite room at the Samran Place in Bangkok.

I didn’t like Singapore as much this time as I did went we went a couple of years ago. The shops seemed more expensive (certainly more than KL or Bangkok) though Vic tells me that the shoes were cheap.

At the airport on Friday, I thought I’d check out the Apple iPod Nano in Duty Free but everywhere was sold out of it, despite it being fully stocked everywhere in the city itself.

We arrived in Brisbane at about 7am, and after a long time queueing at Immigration finally made it into the city at about 9:30am.

We’re currently staying at The Bunk in Brisbane. Bit of shock that we have to pay $70 for a double room, but I guess we’ll get used to it. The room is okay (bit small) but the bathroom’s good. The bed’s despite being described in one of the guides as “the comfiest in Brisbane” are covered in that thick polythene to prevent the drunken louts that usually stay there from ruining the mattresses.

So that brings us up to date. We’re probably moving on from Brisbane earlier than we had originally thought, skipping Byron Bay and Fraser Island, both of which seem to be expensive tourist traps for people who haven’t seen beaches before.

At the moment, we’re not feeling terribly positive about Australia. Despite what Australians everywhere will tell you, it’s more expensive than the UK, (A$25 for two coffees and two pieces of cake… that’s 10 quid). All the “backpacker” places are aimed at “Working Holiday” people, with Job Clubs at the hostels and prices in excess of YHA hostels back home. They also seem to be aimed at people who just want to drink all the time, which seems to be the main leisure activity in Australia (people drinking on the streets at 10am on a Monday).

We’ll see if Sydney is any better.