Today I left Bangkok and headed down the express-way towards the infamous resort of Pattaya. The traffic was as crazy as you would expect with speeds fluctuating anywhere between 5 and 120Km/h for little apparent reason. Stopped off for some lovely food before reaching a secluded beach next to the Sanctuary of Truth – a remarkable temple-like building built apparently entirely of wood and nothing else. Headed back to Bangkok in the evening along the toll road for some food and a beer. A wonderful day, despite spending almost seven hours in a car.
Posts Tagged thailand
Another scorching day, I headed out on the skytrain early on in the morning. I headed back down to a section of Chinatown where engine parts are salvaged, repaired and sold. Every workshop seemed to specialise in a particular piece – engine blocks here, drive shafts there. From this area I walked back towards another section of Chinatown where I used my dice to get completely lost in the maze of narrow market areas. I also visited a few Wats and Temples. Heading back to the hotel I then set off again to another market area, before returning to the hotel once again to try and make a time lapse of the sun setting. Life is so intense in this city!
Up early I lazed by the pool for much of the morning – probably not the most sensible thing to do as I was already burnt! Noon passed, after which I headed towards Siam Square from where I caught the skytrain back to the hotel. After a shower and change of clothes I headed out on the skytrain once again, this time down to the river where I took a ferry boat back up to the Grand Palace. A long walk followed as I made my way through Chinatown and the Indian quarter before catching a Tuk-Tuk back to the hotel. I headed out again for some food before returning at 10pm.
After a lazy morning relaxing and doing some urgent laundry I headed towards Chinatown with its bustling maze of narrow streets and stalls. First stop was a temple where I witnessed various religious rituals. A visit to a restaurant was followed by a journey on the ferry boat downstream to the Shangri-la hotel and a closer inspection of my favourite building in Bangkok – an unfinished colossal high rise (which I can remember from my previous visit). A quick visit to another Chinese temple was followed by another ferryboat trip back up the river to a beautiful restaurant overlooking the river for a proper feed and some drinks. A very cheap taxi ride brought me all the way back to the hotel after a wonderful day in the city. Okay, so it looks like I’m not going to make it to Cambodia – not really bothered as I am having a wonderful time in the big smoke!
Up much later than usual feeling just a little worse for wear from the night before – not going to make it to Cambodia at this rate! Lazed around in the morning before heading out mid-afternoon to the weekend markets, a huge sprawling area of stalls selling everything you could possibly want, or not want to buy. From the markets it was on to the park and a kayak around the lake. In the evening it was time to head up to the top of the tallest building in Bangkok for a feed and to marvel at the crazy city below. Expensive, but well worth it for the experience.
Up and out by 9:00am, heading straight for several of the large markets and malls. Immersed myself in thousands of stalls selling everything imaginable. Returned to the hotel late afternoon before heading out for some food. After a Singha beer I decided that I would bite the bullet and go and celebrate 1,000,000,000 seconds of life in style so promptly hailed a Taxi that took me to Glow club – pretty much the only nightclub that I could find on the internet that didn’t feature dodgy woman. Danced in to the early hours to more than a few good tunes, including one which I hadn’t heard since being submerged under stars near Barrington, which was over ten years ago.
Getting up was much easier today – I’m so over jet lag, but to say that I am still a little red is an understatement. I took a metered taxi to the Grand Palace. The driver, upset that I wouldn’t agree a fare beforehand tried to take me in completely the opposite direction but was on to him in a flash! 350 Bhat took me into the palace and surrounding temples. A complete tourist trap, but as spectacular as ever! Took some photographs before returning to the hotel in the late afternoon via a thouroughly enjoyable Tuk-Tuk ride. Chilled out by the pool as the sun went down and managed to get a few more photographs of the skyline after the sun went down. Headed back out into town for some dinner – I can’t get enough of the food stalls!
Got up and down to breakfast at around 7am, but returned to bed, really quite confused by the jet lag. Headed out for a quick reconisance before heading to the hotel pool on the eight floor of the building. There were no less than six couples made up of fifty something western males with large beer bellies accompanied by young Thai women – how very cliche!
Turned myself into a lobster in a couple of hours of pool side silliness. As always, I’ll turn brown in a few days but should have listened to Baz Luhrman and put on some sunscreen. Took some cityscape photographs from the eigth floor as the sun went down, before heading out in to the crazy streets again. Took along walk around the streets in the darkness, managed to set up some spectacular shots of the car light trails. Navigated from memory using the tall buildings as markers. The streets were packed with people, food stalls traffic. Grabbed some wonderful food at a street stall before returning to my hotel. Witnessed how rude some of the westerners (English) are to the local people – it’s quite shocking.
Took the train from Swindon to Reading, picking up the bus to Heathrow Airport Terminal five. Another local bus later and I arrived at Terminal four where I headed straight for departures. Checked in my baggage, before swiftly making my way through security. The flight to Mumbai was delayed by an hour due to the plane arriving late in London. Eight hours passed by quickly, arriving in Mumbai after managing to sleep most of the journey. Noted the large slum that surrounds part of the airport. I would describe the airport as a giant building site – a lot of improvement works in progress. I had to run through the terminal to catch the connecting flight to Bangkok, but wasn’t alone – virtually every English person on the first flight was heading on to Thailand. The flight to Bangkok was not quite a comfortabe as the first, although thankfuly was only four hours in duration.
Arriving in Bangkok, the passage through immigration was as slow as ever. I took Express bus 4A to Siam square from where I navigated my way across the city to my Hotel – the DMA Ramada. Bangkok is as crazy as it was last time I visited, nine years ago. Heat, traffic and so many people. I checked in to my room on the 23rd floor with ana amazing view across the city. After a quick shower I headed out for a look around, some food and a beer before retiring early back to the hotel.