The wedding was just last week and I have missed a lot out about the wedding and some of the bits might be in the wrong order but I was drunk most of my holiday.
I'm an old veteran of the Thailand "naughty" since and have worked and holidayed there on and off for the last 20 or so years, first time I was there I was 10 with my parents.
My brother whom I'd only really just met a few years ago (long story) went to Thailand to study Thai food (he's a chef by trade). Anyway he's been there two years now and loves the place.
I had an email from him telling me he was going to marry his Thai girlfriend, oh no I thought. Having indulged in the naughty side of life in BKK and seen some of the…….let's say simpletons get taken for a ride and I was concerned.
Now my brother Mark has been in country for 2 years and is the Head chef of one of the better pubs in town. If you haven't been there before I recommend that you check it out they do a very nice Sunday lunch (meat is to die for) & the bar seems to have more residents and proper expats there rather than your sex tourists. <I actually removed the name of the bar to preserve your brother's anonymity – Stick>
My wife hasn't traveled that much and she has always wanted to go to Thailand after my stories of the way of life etc etc and my "Knight in shinning amour" attitude to the poor bar girls and poor…well I can't really tell her what I got up to when I was there. We decided to go.
Day 1. 12 hours on a BA flight from London to BKK, not too bad in business class. We arrived on a Saturday night at approx 18:00hrs. We search for twenty minutes for my brother (who is 6ft 3") and eventually see him towering over everyone else at the airport. He is with his bride to be, Nai. They sort out a limo and off we go to the hotel. We get to the Swiss Lodge in Soi Convent, great hotel, small enough to offer great service, and we had the biggest bed I have ever seen.
We go to the bar my brother works for a few drinks and there we meet up with some other invited guests for the wedding and my sister and her husband. Several beers and G&T's later we are all in a bit of a state. We go for food in a hotel nearby but I don't recall the name, near the BHS hospital and we have a great meal, we order bits of everything from the menu and then try and work out what's what. Nearly had an embarrassing moment when we tried to send back the lobster we hadn't ordered to discover it was in fact a shrimp. WOW. Afterwards the girls decide to go home and the boys decide to take a walk across the road in Soi Cowboy (I think anyway).
We go into a couple of bars and watch the "shows", I don't know what has happened since I was last here but it seemed that the Thai girls had discovered KFC and McDonalds, all of them were fat ugh. My brother decides to take us to the Nana Plaza…….ah somewhere I know. We go straight to the top floor and into a bar with some good looking girls…….oops I mean boys (God I must have been drunk), we then go to Angelwitch and watch a show of lesbians and leather domiatrics that was by some of the best looking girls I have ever seen there, great. I'm sure that on this floor there used to be a bar called Hollywood run by an Australian called "Cat" short bleach blond hair looked a bit like Billy Idol (anyone know what happened to him?). <He went down to Phuket where he was in charge of a bar and then I believe he *may* have returned to Australia – Stick>
Day 2. Woke up at 0900hrs by wife who is raring to go shopping, I am in bits. We go to the Emporium and I go to a tailors with the same name next door to have a couple of suits and shirts made, not my normal tailor but recommended by my brother.
Day 3. We go to see the Grand Palace, we hire a guide when we get there. Not a bad tour although the guide was very difficult to understand. BE AWARE of the con that goes on there. If you take a river boat (as we did) to the Palace you have to walk about 300m to the entrance, you will be approached by men in white shirts that look quite educated and they will tell you that no one is allowed in the palace today as there is a ceremony on, but there a better place to go across the street AKA a gold shop. We didn't fall for it but a lot that were behind us did. You can hire clothes at the palace to cover yourself if you haven't gone correctly dressed. Afterwards we hired a boat for an hour to look around the back canals of BKK. It's very poor but very interesting. Unfortunately it rained so hard that we were soaked and could hardly see for most of the trip.
Day4. Mad crazy around the sites looking at temples and palaces, is it just me or have the tuktuk drivers and taxis gotten worse for trying to rip you off? I take my wife to a beauticians and we both have a facial/foot massage and my wife has her legs and bits waxed, only 700 baht for both of us. That evening we go for sushi, really good and soooo cheap. We had about everything on the menu.
Day5. Minibus arrives to take us to the village where the wedding will be, Mark (my time & distance struggling brother) had told us all the journey would be approx 5 hours long……hmmm 7 hours and 30 minutes later we got to Chiang Mai. To add to the problems on the journey there were 12 of us in an 11 seater minibus. We arrive and check in at the hotel. We go out for a few beers but the town is dead so we decide to get an early night as the wedding is early the next day. Sorry did I say early I mean *king early.
Day5. 0500hrs oh yes…we leave the hotel to go the bride's family home where the wedding will take place, same mini bus, it's only though it's only 20 minutes away…..1 hour later we get there. 0600hrs and we arrive at the best looking and biggest house on the street.
Nai's family are there to meet the farangs. Outside a lorry pulls up and starts building large marquis and putting up tables and chairs. We hang around for a bit and then are taken out of the house and to the end of the village with the groom. Some of Nai's family come out (all in traditional Thai clothing) and start screaming and walking with us towards the house. When we get to the house my brothers feet, well actually shoes, are cleaned and then we are all taken into the house. Mark has to kneel and the dowry is laid out, a lot of chanting goes on. We are then taken upstairs where there are nine Buddhist monks who start chanting. Back down stairs and the couple sit/kneel on a temple looking type of thing and we all queue and pour water over there hands and wish them luck. The bride and groom are then tied together with string and all the wedding guests tie a piece of string around a wrist on both.
Hooray, they are married. Everyone is taken outside (its about 0800hrs by this time) and we have two tables put to one side for us. Then the food & drink starts to flow, beer, whisky, gin etc etc and a four course meal and all at 0800hrs in the morning.
After a while we farangs started to mingle with the Thai guests and although we couldn't really communicate there was good feeling and that kind of universal feeling you get at all weddings, it was great.
The meal was finished by 12:00hrs and we were ferried back to the hotel, where we had a well deserved kip until 17:00hrs when the reception begun (or was that 18:30hrs Mark?). The reception was a massive hall filled with tables and a big stage that had a band playing The Beatles (I was impressed). The food was great and the two farang tables had waiters that kept a non-stop train of food and drinks coming.
Now most weddings that I have been to finish late and you have to pry the last few off the bar and away home but here at 2130hrs everyone (Thai that is) just got up and left, and on there way out they picked up a few bottles of wine or beer from the bar (naughty). So soon it was just the farangs left, about 30 of us.
I met some very interesting people at the wedding, names I won't divulge. One of them was a Thai lady called XXXX who was married to a Canadian (he wasn't at the wedding) who was not only a MEGA BABE but spoke perfect English and had the most
wicked since of humor I have ever come across. Her husband is a lucky man. I also met another Thai lady married to an Irishman (from Portadown) who spoke great English and loved the BBC, Little Briton, House, all the soaps, incredible.
Day 6. Travel back to BKK, not sure we want to go back to the hustle and bustle of it, but we don't have a choice. The hotel we stayed at was a pain. They stole all the cases of wine that the wedding guests didn't take and billed him for the bands room because they flooded the toilet. Don't ever stay at the XXXX 8 hours on the way back. A really bad journey, half the roads are dug up and everything is down to one lane. We arrive back at the Swiss Lodge that evening. Take wife for a Thai massage, now I know what a normal Thai massage entails and wasn't sure what they would do with a woman. We are taken to separate cubicles where the middle aged Thai girls massaging me tries her hardest to give me a hand job (you try not getting a hard on when someone is playing with your nuts) I kept thinking nan on the bog nan on the bog……..she didn't succeed, I am proud of myself. My wife said her massage was very personal but great….. A result.
Day 7: Tailor delivers clothes (after some probs) and we head off to the IT shopping center where I get a few bargains. Then we go to Asia's largest market, Chatuchak, it sells everything from spiders to food to clothes etc etc, all of it hookey of course but who care at these prices. We wander around in the rain for a couple of hours and then decide to head back as we are flying out at 23:00hrs.
Summary, it opened my eyes that not all Thai girls are "naughty". My brother's wife Nai is great and definitely not dodgy in anyway and also that the normal day to day Thais are great. I guess that the moral of the story is if you hang around in the dodgy parts of town like Nana Plaza etc etc then you will get your fingers burned so don't….
And I would just like to say best of luck to Mark and Nai for the future.
FWIW, your brother is a great cook – we dine there often. Good luck to him!