After 3 hours waiting at Heathrow, the flight was uneventful. Surprisingly not too uncomfortable. We actually slept for ~5 hours of the 11 hour flight - although plane sleep is not real sleep. Watched "The Invention of Lying" - quite funny. Food on Quantas not good. Princess Oksana complained about lack of extra socks!
Bangkok was a whirlwind
! Everything there seems to happen at a hundred miles an hour. We arrived in Bangkok at 4pm and got to the city by taxi - Oksana had to shout at the taxi man to uncover the meter from under his cap. Checked into the Shanghai Mansion Inn (not at all a mansion). Very pleasant place amidst the chaos of Bangkok Chinatown. They met us with a cup of iced green tea and a cool wet towel. They were very polite. Lots of bowing with hands in prayer position. Th room was decorated with chinese lanteens and had a very nice king size bed. We went out into the bustle of chinatown to be greeted by hundreds of stalls selling a vast array of different foods - 90% of which was unidentifyable. The air was rich with the smell of fried pork, roast chestnuts and tuktuk fumes! Many of the stalls had seating which seems to spread onto the busy road. We walked around in daze for about an hour before we chose a particular hole the wall that Oksana had heard of; T&K Seafood. We had coconut fried shrimp with all these amazing, mostly very spicey, sauces, and giant prawns with glass noodles fried in soy sauce, corriander roots, ginger root, pork fat, anise, garlic, onion, basil and peppercorns. (Oksana dissected it!) Well it did taste amazing! We also had our first two large Singha
beers of the holiday!
After a bit more walking we went back to our hotel. We sat in the bar for about an hour. We listened to some relaxing jazz music that mostly accompanied the singing of american songs by a girl who's voice and English was very good, but which couldn't help but be with an amusing asian accent. I actually nodded off once in the bar. I think Bangkok Chinatown is such a different world that it had caused a total release of all the stress of work. We went to bed and slept for rather too long!
Herein is a brief description or our 15 day trip around Thailand. Ridiculously I took about 2000 pictures and videos but I've included only a few here as illustrations. We tried to see as much of the country as we could and intentionally avoided places like Phucket and Ko Samui where 99% of westerners end up. It was all planned to near perfection (just the one glaring error!) by my lovely PA (wife) Oksana.