05/12/2012 - 10/12/2012
View OZ & NZ Nov 2012 on GinSmugglers's travel map.
When we booked this trip, we couldn’t get a direct flight from Christchurch to Bangkok so we had to fly Air New Zealand to Sydney for a connecting flight. The problem was that by the time we left the UK it wasn’t really a ‘connection’, as Quantas kept changing the time of the next flight leaving us with almost 6 hours to kill. In addition to that, we had to collect our baggage at Sydney and check in again - except that the Qantas check-in wasn’t open that far ahead! To top it all off, true to form, the Qantas flight was late. Well done Quantas, every single flight we took with them on this trip, all five flights, were delayed. Have I said all this before? I’m not planning to become a ‘frequent flyer’ with Quantas any time in the next millennium or two!
Finally, we were in Bangkok, flying over the city watching fireworks explode in the night sky.... did they know we were coming? We arrived at our hotel, several hours later than we’d hoped, tired but so happy to be there, only to find that we weren’t booked in until the following day. It is high season, the fireworks were because it’s the King’s birthday, so 200,000 additional people descend on the city and it’s a bank holiday weekend. We sat dejectedly in the lobby whilst a bit of sorting out went on, but at last, the President Palace people found us a lovely room and we were able to get some sleep.....
The next morning we woke refreshed and so excited to be back in Bangkok. After a fairly substantial breakfast we walked along the street outside the hotel, Soi 11, off the great Sukhumvit Road, dodging the tuk-tuks and weaving our way around all the motor-cycle taxis lined up waiting for hire. The pavement is uneven with lots of broken slabs, there are street food vendors and their hot steamy carts all along with little plastic stools and tables packed in tight. It smells of frying chillis, jasmine, incense and gasoline, it’s crowded, it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s wonderful and it’s so good to be here!
Since then despite our intention to sit in the sun by the pool and relax after our non-stop tour of New Zealand, we’ve been rushing about like a pair of headless chickens. We only had two nights at the hotel, before moving to the rather swanky Marriott apartment that we are in for the rest of our stay. I’m loving this place, you don’t appreciate a washing machine until you haven’t got one, but there’s one here and I’ve been gleefully washing every bit of clothing we’ve carted around for the past five weeks!
We’ve been shopping in our favourite department store and supermarket and we’ve visited Keith’s Bangkok tailor. We spent Saturday at the big weekend market at Chatuchak, we’ve been to the tourist market at Patpong and spent all day today out of the city visiting the Summer Palace and the beautiful ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. We’ve taken Monkeh for a ride on a Chao Praya River cruise boat, two tuk-tuk rides (which he loved!), several skytrain rides and to see the big reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. We’ve also had three Thai massages each (Monkeh only one), but tomorrow we are going to laze by the pool....... for a while that is..... before we start our Christmas shopping.......