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48 Hours in Bangkok

Bangkok is a bit like every other bustling, sprawling big city.  Add intense humidity, overpopulation and the sheer amount of things on offer and people trying to offer those things to you and it is easy to get yourself in a bit of a flap when trying to decide just what to do in Bangkok.

Despite consuming various tidbits of Lonely Planet’s literature on the subject, reading various blog posts and listening to others’ recommendations, I didn’t really have a clear plan of how to spend my time in Bangkok.  On reflection, I probably should have devised a bit of a plan considering my time was limited and the list of “essential things to do in Bangkok” is fairly extensive.

To the annoyance of Sam, my travelling partner, I can’t help but be a wanderer and prefer to step outside, set my sights on some vague landmark and meander around until I find it; or something else more interesting.  That’s exactly how I spent 48 hours in Bangkok, with varying degrees of success.

When I say I didn’t have a plan, that’s a little bit misleading.  While I didn’t sit and write down an itinerary or map anything out, I did read countless travel blogs on the city and had mentally noted a few places to see and a couple of things to do.

A Klong Cruise

klong river cruise

The Chao Phraya River runs through Bangkok and has a network of canals, or klongs in Thai, which run from it, forming network of streets with rows of wooden houses built above the water on either side.

Taking a long-tail slow speed boat through the river passages was a really interesting way to see Bangkok from a different perspective and get some insight into how people live outside of the city centre.

As you pass by the homes on the klongs you will spot the odd fisherman fishing from the edge of his home, monks wandering towards their riverside temples, women in boat shops selling everything from water to wooden frogs and lots of waving children making their way home from school.

The tour itself lasts about an hour and a half and included a final stop at Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.   Wat Arun was the first temple that I visited and one of my favourites due to its commanding location on the riverfront – definitely worth a visit.

Khaosan Road – Backpacker Haven?

walk on khaosan road

After being advised by a Thai government official to leave Bangkok immediately and almost definitely avoid the Khaosan Road area, it would have been easy to skip what many consider to be a my daypackbackpacking mecca. By the way, it’s important that you have a backpack that’s strong and inconspicuous to keep away pickpockets. I have a Deutek – Rangermade has a good selection of day backpacks, check it out.

But I thought to myself I could hardly come half way across the world and not visit the most famous backpacker hub in the east, if not the world.  So later that evening after the river cruise, I headed back across the river from Wat Arun for 3 Baht (6p) and made my way towards Khaosan for some grub.

So what did I think of this backpacker haven?  In a word, disappointing.  It reminded me of a poor man’s “strip” to be found in most European package holiday destinations across Spain and Portugal.

As you would expect there were lots of stalls selling Chang t-shirts, guys wandering around encouraging tourists to eat scorpions on sticks and a sea of backpackers in baggy hippy pants with a perplexed look on their face (me included).

I don’t really know what more I expected but I just felt a little let down.  I didn’t feel the electric atmosphere that perhaps I had imagined, the hustle and bustle of backpackers interacting and cajoling, chatting about their next stop and their aspirations for their trip.  It was more like a reasonably busy night on Sauchiehall Street/insert local town street containing the most clubs and bars.

I strolled up and down Khaosan and round the corner to Rambuttri Village which I much preferred.  Despite only being a few streets away, it had a more relaxed feeling and given that it was pedestrianised, had a more intimate and inviting atmosphere.  The street is lined with bars, restaurants and street food vendors.  We sat at the busiest place and devoured a few delicious Thai dishes and after a disappointing start had a very pleasant evening.

Toast at Siam Square

toast yum

A new day required a new mode of transport – time to try out Bangkok’s BTS ‘Skytrain.’  Staying at Suk 11, we were only a few minutes away from the BTS station, Nana.  Being a Scot and all, by the time I reached the station I was close to collapsing from heat exhaustion.  Stepping into the chilly train carriage was wonderfully refreshing.  The BTS is clean and very efficient and my preferred mode of transport in Bangkok.

With no idea of where I was heading, I remembered reading something about Siam Square, although I couldn’t remember what exactly.  Anyway, I hopped off at Siam station, only three stops away from Nana.

I was to discover that Siam Square was where all the cool kids hung out and looking like your quintessential tourist, I certainly didn’t fit in amidst a crowd of youngsters who could only be described as “fierce”!

Siam Square is full of high end shopping malls which are all equally impressive.  If you are unemployed and penny-pinching like me, I would advise skipping the shops and heading straight for Siam Paragon’s food court – it is UNBELIEVABLE!  Compared to the UK’s equivalent, normally home to a Burger King, Pizza Hut and Nando’s, this place seemed like food court heaven.

Siam Paragon’s food court is so incredible that it even has its own “streets” dedicated to your favourite course such as “Sweet Avenue”, a personal favourite.

While I was passing through Sweet Avenue, I noticed a ticketed queue for a café called “After You”, with a frenzy of people taking selfies outside and some very excited looking customers inside.  Too curious to keep on walking, I decided to take a ticket and see what the fuss was all about.  After about a ten minute wait, my number was displayed on a screen and I was beckoned forward. After being seated I asked the waiter what most people order.  He looked aghast and replied “toast!”  Not to be embarrassed, I quickly replied, “I’ll have some toast please.”

What followed was the best toast ever!

Aerobicise in Lumphini Park

If you are feeling a little lethargic after all that toast, then why not head to Lumphini Park to watch the sunset, stroll around the park amidst a sea of joggers or join in with a crowd of aerobic dancers!

Lumphini Park provided a welcome break from the chaotic streets of Bangkok and as I strolled around the park during the early evening, watching the sun set, I couldn’t help but think to myself…”I want more toast!”

Back Home to Soi 11

After seeing a few of the sights during my 48 hours in Bangkok, I headed back to one of the most popular streets, Soi 11, for some more delicious street food before hitting the hay and heading to the islands the following day.

Every person that I have spoken to about their time spent in Bangkok has had a completely different experience, however I hope my two days in Bangkok has given you some ideas should you head there anytime soon!  Whatever you do during your time there, I’m should it will be memorable in some way.Have you visited in Bangkok?  How did you spend your time there?

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The Top 10 Best Lonely Island Music Videos of All Time

lonely island the wack

There’s no doubt about it that people LOVE The Lonely Island videos. They earn laughs, love and Emmy’s! The Lonely Island has released two full length albums, Incredibad and Turtleneck and Chain. Their third album, The Wack Album will be available June 11th, 2013.

They have released 29 music videos since 2005 and still going strong with their newest one Spring Break Anthem released on May 8, 2013.

Of all those videos, I’m going to do my best to break down the Top 10 Lonely Island Videos Of All Time! God damn this is going to be tough…

10.) Space Olympics

A lot of The Lonely Island’s songs tend to be a bit off the wall. Perfect examples are Trouble on Dookie Island, Punch You in the Jeans, Like a Boss, After Party and of course Space Olympics. Space Olympics aired on SNL in 2008 and showed up on their Incredibad album. While the song only features Andy singing, the video features other SNL cast members and an appearance by Michael Phelps.

9.) The Creep

I think this song is funny and catchy.  It also inspired me to get my creep on as well.  The song and video features both director, actor, comedian and King Creeper John Waters and Nikki Minaj.  The dance they talk about in the song was created by Jorma.  They wrote the song back in 2010 after Incredibad but waited to record the song.  They wanted to wait for John Waters to introduce the song, as they were all fans of his work.  The song later appeared on Turtleneck & Chain and made it’s debut on SNL on January 29, 2011.

8.) Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie and Clyde

Shy Ronnie is a hilarious character. He’s a hardcore rapper but gets shy around Rihanna. He can only bust his best flows when Rihanna isn’t around. Rihanna and Ronnie hooked up once before on an SNL Digital Short in an attempt to educate some kids in school. It was a funny skit but for some reason never made any of their albums. Their second song however made it’s way onto their Turtleneck and Chain album.

7.) Jizz in my Pants

The first time I heard this song was when it first aired on SNL on December 6, 2008.  I cracked up SO hard.  The song eventually became the first official single from their first album Incredibad.  Due to this song alone, Incredibad was the first album I purchased on iTunes.  The video still cracks me up with the appearances of Justin Timberlake, Molly Sims and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

6.) I’m on a Boat

Fans of this song will instantly sing it if they are ever on a boat.  Lonely Island has made songs that become anthems for the most trivial events such as riding on a boat, having sex, throwing stuff on the ground and even Mother’s day.  The opening sequence is very funny as you never expect to see T-Pain beside Jorma till they pan the camera over.  This was the second single from their debut album Incredibad and also contains 17 uses of the word “fuck”.

5.) Jack Sparrow

This song single-handedly make Michael Bolton cool to everyone again. The way he’s supposed to sing a big, sexy hook turns it into a musical rendition of the The Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  He doesn’t stop there.  Mr. Bolton also references Forrest Gump, Erin Brockovich, and Scarface which eventually leads him to say “fuck” and “pussy” which are words I thought I’d NEVER hear Michael Bolton sing.  Jack Sparrow aired on SNL on May 7, 2011 and found it’s way on their Turtleneck & Chain album.

4.) I Just made love

I think The Lonely Island made this song just so people would have something to tweet or post on Facebook after they make love. This gave people an option to announce they made love, but in a way that people could laugh at. The video has over 198 million views on YouTube. Akon comes on the track and gives the guys an amazing chorus that people can sing along with. Then the video gets funnier with the appearances of Jessica Alba and Blake Lively. I still think of this song either during or after I just made love.

3.) Dick in a Box

When The Lonely Island teamed up with Justin Timberlake, it shook the SNL Digital Short landscape. Justin and Andy created two iconic characters that people go nuts for. Their song Dick in a Box went on to win the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2007.

This dynamic duo struck again in 2009 with the Mother’s Day anthem Motherlover and then again in 2011 with 3-Way (The Golden Rule). With The Lonely Island off SNL now, it’s unknown if the early 1990s R&B ballad singers Andy and Raif will return.

2.) Natalie’s Rap

This was the second Lonely Island song to show up during SNL airtime and went viral damn near instantly. Natalie Portman’s unusual vulgarity is what makes it so god damn hilarious. While Portman is the main performer in the video, the song itself was written by all three members of The Lonely Island. They also placed it on their Incredibad album.

I feel it really launched the movement of having celebrities in The Lonely Island videos. Portman came back to reprise her bad-ass rapper persona during SNL’s 100th Digital Short along with a TON of other celebrities.

1.) Lazy Sunday

The song that started it all! Lazy Sunday was actually the second SNL Digital Short but the first music video featuring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnel. The video hit SNL in late December of 2005 and set the bar for The Lonely Island’s future music videos.

Samberg and Parnel teamed up again in 2012 for Lazy Sunday 2. In the second Lazy Sunday, there’s a line which goes “On these New York streets, I hung my fake rap penmanship. That’s how it began and that’s how I’ma finish it!” making it sound like it was going to be the last SNL Digial Short music video. However in January of 2013, The Lonely Island debuted YOLO featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar on SNL.

Those are just my Top 10. What do you think? Did I leave any out or is my order out of wack? Let me know.

Be sure to check out their newest video Spring Break Anthem and listen to I Love My Aunt.  Their newest album The Wack Album will be available June 11, 2013.

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Who Gives A S*** that Kat Von D and Deadmau5 Broke Up?

kat von d deadmou5

Earth shattering news has hit the Internets.  Tattoo artist & Reality TV star Kat Von D has broken up with DJ Deadmau5 (pronouced “dead mouse” and not “DeadmauFIVE”).

This woman has one hell of a track record when it comes to dating life.  She was once married back in 2003 and divorced by 2007.  Then from 2008 to 2010 she dated Nikki Sixx from Mötley Crüe.  After that she was dating “sure-thing/Nazi enthusiest” Jesse James.  They were dating and then got engaged January 2010 then broke up in July 2011.  They rekindled their relationship in August 2011 then split up again September 2011.  After that smooth road of love, she started dating a British rapper named Scroobius Pip.  That only lasted a few months as she started dating Deadmau5 in September 2012 but they broke up as of November 2012.

She announced the split on her official twitter page…“Man, Can’t say I didn’t give it my best.” (11/10/12 8:11AM)“Man, I sure was wrong. But at least he made it a no-brainer to break that off. #LessonLearned.” (11/10/12 8:25 AM)“Now, we can get all of the ‘I told you so’s’ outta the way … And move on,” (11/10/12 8:26AM)“Clarification: Deadmau5 and I are no longer together.” (11/10/12 8:29AM)

Here’s the thing – NO ONE GIVES A SHIT!  No one was asking her “hey, are you and Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5 real name) doing ok?”  No one expressed any concern.  She just wanted people to know thus making news sources pick it up and shove it in our face. Why can’t some celebrities (if you can consider these two celebrities) just keep their personal business or dating life private?  What’s with the constant need of attention?  They all must have made deals with the devil that in order to be famous, they have to expose all their personal details.  If they don’t they will grow old and look disgusting like normal people!

The good celebrities are the ones that keep their dating life and personal lives private.  You  never hear about their break ups or drama because they keep it contained.  It’s these reality TV people or old has-beens that show up and have to expose every little detail of their personal lives like we give a shit in order to maintain their popular status.  Every time I see an article about So-and-So broke up with Whats-His-Face I just look at it and say WHO GIVES A SHIT!

Photo Credit:

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