Hello from Bangkok!
I know it's been only 3 days since the last post, but so much has happened that it seems like ages. So, at first I travelled to Schiphol with my favourite friend: public transport. Contrary to my expectations everything went smoothly and I was 3 hours early. Finally in the plane at midnight, I planned on getting as much sleep as possible. However Turkish Airlines planned differently and chose to wake me up at 2 AM for my supper..
Arriving in Istanbul at 4.15 AM, I tried to sleep a little on some benches before the first Metro into the centre at 6 AM. Hence I was already at the Galata Tower by 7ish, 2 hours before it opened. Thus I strolled in the neighbourhood and had breakfast at a nicely overshadowed by grapes cafe before getting up the tower to see possibly the most beautiful panorama of Istanbul I could have imagined.
After that I took the cheapest boat ride imaginable (2 lira or 1 euro) along Kiz Kulesi, an island with just the Maidentower on it, situated between Europe and Asia. Then a little Mosque Tour and walking towards the huge aqueduct. In the afternoon I went to the Summerpalace (Dolmahabace or something similar) which is an impressive architectural feat, pretty similar in its effect as Versailles but a different style of course. In the huge queue I met Raihane, a French girl travelling around Eastern Europe by herself for 3 months, for the 3rd time. She had loooots of stories (even more than I!). At some point I asked why there were these massive holes in the queue, which looked very strange. Explanation: those parts were in the burning sun, so the queue was broken up in the shady parts.
After that I decided to wonder around a little again, got a bit lost but a woman very kindly brought me back to the subway station I needed, and on parting she gave me a little note with "Gook luck, see u =)" which just made me feel happy. I got off around Aya Sophia and had Gozleme with Ayran, before strolling down a park filled with people and with a very merry atmosphere. Then back to the airport again for another night flight.
This time an American from the Philippines started telling me about his east-asian adventures, before my American neighbour (coming into the plane a little later) spilled out his. They're so easy to talk to! Then watched Sherlock Holmes the movie before dinner at 1 AM, and a couple of hours of sleep before breakfast at 6 AM and a bit of the last Harry Potter to fill up the time. When arriving in Bangkok, I met a Belgium guy who resides in Thailand with his Thai wife. He gave me very good tips and helped me get around the public transport. For the last part I took a tuk-tuk to the hostel, who stopped on the way at a tourist information point, where I got sold a day-tour for tomorrow to see the floating market, River Kwai and the Tiger Temple. However, wandering around the centre a bit on my way to Chinatown for dinner I discovered that 2500 Baht was too much for such a trip. Oh well, being ripped-off was eventually going to happen.
After a veeeery long walk along the river and the Grand Palace I arrived at the food part of Chinatown, where I ate fish noodle soup and a crab fish fried rice with fish sauce. Both delicious but the first one was hot!!!! Met an English couple with the same guide as me (hence eating at the same food stall) with whom I spend the evening, before getting a tuk-tuk back. I tried getting the bus, but there was no way I could figure out which bus to take and everything, with the bus drivers not speaking any English and it also started raining. To conclude the day, 2 girls entered my dormitory with whom I watched the film "The King and I", a kind of Disney movie situated in Thailand. Hilarious =)
Well, off to bed since I'm being picked up at 7 AM and thus miss breakfast here.