Bangkok – Day 5 – Biking Tour, The River Cruise and Drag Queens

This morning we travelled by train and ferry in order to reach the Co Van Kessel bike tours – the bike tour had been recommended to me as being something that was quite out of the ordinary so we turned up for the morning tour not knowing really what to expect. After being given the mandatory safety talk and introduced to our bikes we set off. The tour began by taking us into the back alleys of Bangkok’s Chinatown – the shopfronts we had grown used to seeing are really only a very small part of what there is and the tour really uncovers behind the scenes. The first stop was a Chinese temple – this had none of the elegance of what we had seen at the grand Thai Wats – this was a real religious environment for the everyday Chinese to worship in rather than being place to be photographed, giving you the feeling that you were actually disturbing the religious aura of the place. After much weaving and twisting we then arrived at a food market – I use the word food quite loosely as there were many things which I am not sure we in the West would consider to be foods but also the standards of hygiene being used were of an entirely different order as well – the sea cucumbers were possibly my less favourite looking ‘food’ but there were one or two others also vying for top spot. The next stop was the flower market but this was not until we had traversed an alley with a tree growing in the middle of it meaning that even the bikes could only be got through with much struggling. All of the alleys are home to small house/shacks where people live, often many to a room, some from the countryside coming into the city to seek their fortune. The flower market was hugely colourful both interns of what was being sold and those doing the selling, funnily enough the market had oriental versions of most of the different types of people who hang about markets the world over – we were dying to see the Thai version of Del Boy. A short ferry ride across the Chao Phraya river – which is a bit like the old Frogger game – and we continued our journey first to one of the buddhist temples there before stopping for a bite. The journey continued on the other side of the river through shopping areas and past canals before we hit the ferry again and journeyed back over the river to our start point. I cannot recommend this tour enough it is just one of those things which challenges your perceptions of a place. Even if you simply want to enjoy it as a bike ride and city tour it is great as it is not too strenuous and great fun but also if you want something that gets you thinking this is also the tour for you. A great many people in Bangkok live in hovels and eat things you and I would turn our noses up at but they simply get on with it! Though as a last parting shot on this – most ‘hovel dwellers’ also had mobile phones is this becoming a basic human right lol

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DSC00500 DSC00497 Liz being eaten alive – shock. It appears that mosquitoes love the taste of Liz-flesh almost as much as i do so she is being bitten at an extraordinary rate – see attached photographic evidence. DSC00536 Wat Arun is another of the ‘must-see’ sights in Bangkok – originally built by a herd of buddhist mountain goats or at least I believe this to be the case such was the angle of ascent! It is presently undergoing some renovation work which is returning the iconic landmark back to its former glory but even those temple ruins still awaiting TLC are a sight to behold.DSC00551 The night saw us indulge ourselves a little in one of the many night cruises that traverse the river. Whilst we waited for our boat we had a beer and watched some of the boats arriving for their passengers. Most were quite as you would expect and involved a theme – however the boat for the Chinese well-to-do arrived to the Star Wars theme! Most strange, I expected to see waters dressed as Chewy escorting the guests on board but alas this was not to be. Begs the question are they the side of good or are they the dark side – well as Monty Python say, ‘we love Chinese’ lol. Our trip was most enjoyable as the food was excellent and the river seen, as it should be seen, at night fully lit up. The undoubted highlight of the night was a pair of drag artistes – one a slim fellow singing ‘I am what I am’ and the other a Chunky Oriental singing Lady Gaga. I managed to get a photo of the slim one sat on my knee and it has not affected my sexuality at all lovies – I think. A most enjoyable end to a most enjoyable day!

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