Unique Sights in Bangkok: Ko Kret Island and Nana Nightlife

After three weeks of vacation in China, I’ve been back to work in Bangkok for summer school. The lessons have all been enjoyable, and included reading stories like, The Rainbow Fish, a fish who makes friends by sharing his beautiful scales, and the classic tale, Three Billy Goats Gruff, which we reenacted with homemade masks. 😀fshAs well, this past weekend I had my first set of visitors from Wisconsin who I took on a tour of the city. 😀

Lebua State Tower in the background – the set of The Hangover II

We eased into the weekend by visiting an isolated community of Mon villagers, located in Ko Kret, an island about one hour north along the Chao Phraya river.

Ko Kret Island

kk2To get there, we took the express ferry to Nonthaburi, then a taxi to the pier, and finally a motor boat to the island. 😀

The Mon people are Burmese descendants, and one of the first ethnic groups to settle in Southeast Asia.

photo courtesy of Lonely Planet

During a brutal genocide by the Burmese Army in 18th century Myanmar, the Mon people fled to Thailand and sought refuge on the isolated island of Ko Kret.DSC_1790

Since then, they have made a good life for themselves on Ko Kret, selling earthenware pottery, and maintaining a peaceful relationship with the local Thais for their devout Buddhism – a true happy ending for these kindhearted souls. 🙂

clay pottery made by Mon villagers

During our visit, we strolled around the island, which is a series of concrete paths surrounded by green countryside. DSC_1791There are no cars on Ko Kret, and some spots are barely wide enough to ride a bicycleDSC_1789

Everyone there was friendly, laid-back, and not pushy with selling their goods. We wandered the paths casually, and admired the houses built upon stilts in the marshland. We even past a little boy riding his bicycle carrying a rooster under one arm. Country living at its finest! 😀

Ko Kret home filled with vintage goods

For lunch, we feasted on Thai staples, like this sweet pork with bok choy and rice. The dollar menu never tasted so good! 😀DSC_1798

As a hidden gem, Ko Kret has also established a microbreweryChitbeer.

Chitbeer- it’s good chit. 😉

For 3 USD you can be sipping a tasty Bavarian wheat bear or pale lager, relaxing on their wooden deck, feeling the summer breeze, and sipping the day away. 😀DSC_1797

Now in the evening, we headed back downtown to see a bit of Bangkok’s wild nightlife.

Nana Nightlife 

Nana Plaza- red light district of Bangkok

As a comical start to our wild night out, we decided to visit a condom-themed restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms.

life-size mannequins wearing condom clothing

Bangkok truly has it all, and everything is at your disposal. 😛

PicMonkey CollageFF
Cabbages and Condoms restaurant- mannequin wearing an outfit made of condoms.

Now despite the semi-raunchy theme, the restaurant is well-known for its delicious Thai food, and surprisingly classy ambiance.SAM_3028_1We relaxed on their patio while dining on an array of Thai cuisine: red chicken curry, pork fried rice, and shrimp stir fry. IMG_9098After that, the night could only go downhill from there. 😛

Wild nightlife is not really my scene, and in Bangkok, wild is an understatement.

It’s really no surprise they filmed The Hangover II here. In Bangkok, expect the unexpected.thehangoverpart2-1024x768-550x550That being said, I try to see the comical side of most situations, and took the night out as one of those moments I’ll look back on and laugh.

It felt like a scene from To Wong Foo, as clusters of ladyboys (a.k.a transgenders) sauntered around me in their tube dresses and stiletto heels. These ladies are seriously on point with their hair and makeup, by the way. F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! 😀wongLikewise, I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous performances, as I got hit on the shoulder by a dirty ping-pong ball. I just wish I had a way to erase that mental picture. Some things cannot be unseen! 😮

Side note: this bar was located in Patpong Night Market, and not Nana Plaza.

After recovering from our night out, we spent the next day lounging at the hotel pool, and treated ourselves to a relaxing foot massage.IMG_9118I was wary, since I’m ticklish (afraid I would kung fu kick her in the face), but the masseuse was very firm and I had no problems. For the ultimate relief, the service even included a head and shoulder massage. Absolutely phenomenal! 😀12931020_10154120674234726_5972373691946318181_n

Cost: 8 USD for a one-hour foot massage (including head, neck, and shoulders)

Anyway, after a comical weekend together, my friends bid farewell, leaving me with a taste of Wisconsin on their way out- a package of fresh cheese curds brought all the way from Sun Prairie. Delicious! 🙂12923321_10105169094949167_8831383748788684712_nAnyway, as the ultimate end to this week of laughs, today we celebrated Songkran festival at school.

Songkran is a nationwide water fight that takes place April 13-15th, as a way to celebrate the Thai New Year20160408_135752Stores have been stocking the shelves with water guns of all kinds, and today the kids came packing heat! 😛

Frozen-themed water gun

At 2 PM it was game time, as the kids and teachers ran around soaking each other from head to toe in ice-cold water. Here’s a short clip of how it all went down. 😛

Overall, although I’ve been back at work these past few weeks, it still felt like vacation. Enjoying life and having a laugh with friends has proved to be instant relief. 😀

That being said, tomorrow I’m flying to southern Thailand for an actual vacation, island hopping and spending a week cruising the Andaman sea on a scuba diving liveaboard. There will be plenty of stories to share and lots of adventures to be had! 🙂getting-there-similan-islandsUntil then, please enjoy this video I made from my previous three weeks spent in China.

Take care, have a laugh, and enjoy the weekend everyone. 😀

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