As usual the trip to Thailand began a few months earlier then flight to Bangkok. I read a guide book, some books about Khmer history and many web sites of trips to Thailand and Cambodia. I recommend private web sites. The information is trustful and objective.
It took about 11 hours to get to Bangkok from Frankfurt by plane.
We took a taxi from airport to tourist zone Banglamphu(150 BHT). There are many hotels and restaurants in the district. It was not difficult to find an accommodation. The prices depended on standard. The cheapest accommodation was very simple without A/C. I highly recommend to choose A/C rooms. In May the temperature is very high in Thailand - 40 C degrees. At least we found a nice room with A/C. In the evening we had delicious dinner. In my opinion Thai food is the best in the world.
There was religious holidays in Thailand next day. Most of tourist sites were closed. We went to China Town. This is very busy district of the city. There are many shops and restaurants in Chine Town. All of them have Chinese style.
In the morning of the following day we visited Grand Palace. Thai King used to live there. I had never seen such splendour in my life. Most of the buildings are covered with gold and precious stones. There are many religious and secular buildings at Grand Palace complex. Many building are decorated with human, demon and animal sculptures. There is the most famous Buddha temple - Wat Phra Kaew at the complex. We found Emerald Buddha in the temple. There were any Thai pilgrims and tourist inside the temple. Please remember to put on proper clothes to visit Grand Palace. Shoulders and legs have to be covered.
Wat Pho temple is next to Grand Palace. There is famous statue of The Reclining Buddha in the temple. The statue is 46 meters long. It is decorated with gold plating on his body and pearl on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The soles are decorated with 108 auspicious scenes. One of the evening we spent at Phat Pong street. The street is famous of go-go clubs, hookers and transvestites. There are many ordinary shops on the street too. It's rather difficult to find naughty street atmosphere. It is better to visit Patong on Phuket. You can find more information about Patong below.
A trip to Chiang Mai took us all night. At dawn we reached the destination. We had morning coffee and went to look for accommodation. We found a room with A/C for 600 BHT. Chiang Mai is very nice small town but there is not so much to visit. We bought mountain 1 day trekking. The mountains are not so high but it is very difficult to hike when temperature is above 40 degrees. Almost all the time I was sweaty. I drank a lot of water. In spite of difficulties the trekking was very interesting. We hiked in the jungle. I had an opportunity to see exotic plants, very dangerous spiders and huge nest of termites. We also passed villages of highlanders. Immigrants of Burma lived in one of the village.
Although the trekking was very tiring it was very nice change of ordinary sightseeing.
The last stage of the trip was very lazy. We went to the south part of Thailand. First we went to Patong on Phuket. The city was quite big, noisy and busy. We found accommodation in a hotel. Two Dutchmen were the owners of the hotel. In the late afternoon we swam in warm water of Andaman See.
After delicious dinner we went to famous Patong street. In the night the street is famous of hookers, transvestites, go-go bars and street pedlars. The pedlars sold cigarettes, condoms and Viagra. The hookers were young and pretty. Some of them looked like innocent school-girls and the other like Mistress. There were many transvestites on the street. At night it was difficult to distinguish them from real women. Many male tourists drank beer and looked at dancing girls in go-go bars. There were extreme sex shows in some clubs e.g. banana show. From time to time hookers joined the guests of go-go clubs. At the beginning they chit chatted with the men. Then they tried to attract potential clients. The hookers had different prices for customer. Older and well-dressed man had to pay more then younger backpacker. There were also specials offers e.g. sex with one girl – 1000 BHT but with 2 girls only 1500 BHT ;). Some men preferred to spend one night with a girl but many guys paid for company for 7 or 14 days. The hostess and her clients spent all the holidays together. Most of the clients were at their forties, fifties or even sixties. They left wife and family in western countries and relaxed with beautiful young Thai girls. I spent at Patong street almost all night. It was very interesting experience.
Next day we left Phuket and went to Phi-Phi by ferry. The island is very picturesque and has very good tourist infrastructure. There is no car on Phi-Phi. Some local people provide transport service. They pushed carriage with luggage of tourists. To avoid any collision they cried phi-phi. This is the origin of the name of the islands. Most of the time we spent at beaches and swam in warm Andaman Sea. One day we rented a canoe. It was great fun to go by canoe on the sea. We reached different coasts of the island. There were plenty of monkeys at one site of the Phi Phi. They accepted the people as a source of food. Many tourists gave fruits to the animals.
I was disappointed with coral reef. It was damaged by Tsunami in 2004.
There were a lot of pubs and bars on the island. The most popular was Irish Pub;). I preferred Thai pub with boxing show. Locals fighters made a show for tourists. The fights were hard but nobody was hurt. At the evening there were a few fights. Later the tourist could try Thai boxing. The award was an alcohol drink. I was surprised to find out that drunk girls were more interested in the fights than men. Most of the amateur fighters were so boozed that they were not able to locate the opponent. It was very funny.