hello from bangkok! it is grotesquely hot here. i am uncomfortable to the point of feeling nauseous about 80% of the time. i suggest planning a trip to thailand not during hot season:-) fortunately there is much to see and a whole different world to experience over here, so we're fighting thru the heat.
we spent a few days in bangkok at a hostel called the phiman water view. it was a lot of fun and cost us about 6 bucks a night! we stayed in a dorm style bungalow right on the river so we had a fantastic view, especially at night. The bugs here were a bit out of control, even with our individual musquito netting around our beds. fortunately we made friends with bug spray;-) we had to walk thru winding back alleys to get to our guest house, and on that walk we essentially trampled thru many thai people's homes. the rooms were all open and their every possession and activity was available for us to see. the difference in lifestyle was most evident here, far more than on the islands where we were living in tourist land.
my favorite part about bangkok is the food carts. wherever you go, during the day or all hours of the night, there are stands of fresh fruit and juices and my personal favorite, raw meat on a stick that they cook in front of you that only costs about 50 baht (less than 2 bucks!)
we ventured to the islands after our short stay in bangkok, and after being unable to cool down for 4 days, the trip to the ocean was more than welcome. not that i don't enjoy the thais regularly commenting on me being the whitest and sweatiest person in sight! sending all my lovin back home, along with a serious jealousy of your reasonably temperatured environment. lovefromkt