Baking in Bangkok

Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
Trip End Jun 07, 2012

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday 3rd march - another relatively easy journey to Bangkok, well until we had to get a taxi to our hotel. The driver (unlike most Thai's) had serious anger issues, he wanted Ross to direct him to the hotel, even though we had given him the address. We had no idea which route he should take, and kept repeating that he was the taxi driver, and hence he should know where to go. He got incredibly irate and started waving his arms around, I swear he was about to hit Ross. Eventually I managed to find the number for the hotel and he rang them. This didn't alleviate his serious attitude problem, nevertheless we eventually arrived at our hotel - Imm Fusion Hotel. Again it was another lovely hotel, very boutique-esque, with absolutely gorgeous interior designs and a big indoor swimming pool.

That afternoon we explored the area a little, which we realised was quite far from the centre of Bangkok. We also found out how unbelievably hot and humid the city was! It literally saps you of energy, so we were relieved to go for a cold dip in the pool that evening!

Sunday march 4th - we made our way to the centre of Bangkok via the skytrain, which was really good and easy to use. On our way we stopped to visit a couple of temples, which, like the temples in Chiang Mai were very impressive. We also explored a massive shopping mall, which I imagine is their equivalent (or even more upmarket - I'm not kidding) than Harrods. There we sampled raw tuna that a chef was chopping up, which was delish! I was honestly shocked at how upmarket Bangkok was, there is clearly a lot of wealth around. We wandered the streets for a while, soaking up the atmosphere. The roads are crazy and there are permanent traffic jams everywhere you look! We eventually made our way to the river, where the royal palace and a vast array of temples lie. We contemplated going into some of the temples, but it would have been over 7 each, which (in our eyes) was extortionate, considering we hadn't paid anything for all of the temples we had visited so far. They were also incredibly crowded with tourists, so I imagine that inside the temple it would have been a bit of a sweat fest, which we didn't particularly fancy! So we just headed to a cafe beside the river and tried to take some sugar on board. Feeling absolutely knackered after a day in 37+ degree heat and 80%+ humidity, we decided to head back to the hotel to recoup!

Monday 5th march - we visited Jim Thompson's house. He was an American entrepreneur who built a beautiful and traditional Thai house, as well as promoting Thai silk to western markets. In addition to the remarkable architecture, his collection of Thai art and furnishings is superb. That evening we visited Patpong, which used to be the red light district of Bangkok, but today has become more westernised with its night Market. We had a right giggle at the signs for 'hot male', 'dream boy' and best of all 'fresh beach boy'!

Bangkok was a strange city. At the end of our few days there we kind of felt a bit underwhelmed, like we hadn't quite got what we wanted from it. Perhaps that was because i kind of expected it to be like the Hangover, or maybe for us to have a kind of Hangover Part 3 experience (maybe not!) It was far more modern and upmarket than expected and was very hard to get around, as well as being surprisingly expensive. Nonetheless, we had a good few days, it was always going to be a must-see city on the South East Asia grand tour!
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Jeff Keeble on

Great to read about Bangkok a place we love although it sounds like you were more ambivalent. Deeply jealous of the sauna like conditions even though this has been a very mild winter in Northumberland with no laying snow at all so far. Enjoyed the last batch of photos, can't wait to see the next set. You will have to explain ping pong to me when you get back ! Lots of love from the Keeble family.

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