Bangkok or Bust?

Trip Start Nov 03, 2009
1
16
40
Trip End Jul 15, 2010


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's a tad difficult to know where to start with Bangkok as It tends to get such a mixed reaction from those that come here. Many people absolutely love the place and many wish to get out as soon as they arrive. For us it's been a city that has been extremely infectious in it's vibrant and cosmopolitan approach and buddhist influence throughout. Not to mention the King & Queen, Thai's love their King that's for sure.
We were driven from Hua Hin on the morning of the 21st and arrived around 1pm in BKK. We stayed with our incredibly gracious hosts Ernest & Saisampan at their rather swish Bangkok apartment located opposite 'The Royal Bangkok Sports Club' and with Lumphini Park to the back. On Ratchadumri Road for those familiar with Bangkok geography. It's a very business orientated part of the City and very close to all the main shopping malls, embassies & finance centres.

To say this apartment was lush wouldn't really be doing it justice, it was on the 13th floor but listed in the lift as the 14th due to superstitious reasons which we found quite funny. We had a gym, swimming pool and sauna on the 24th floor to use at our pleasure and our hosts took us out to eat at two of the most prominent restaurants in the capital over the course of our stay with them.

During the day on Thursday after we had arrived from Hua Hin Saisampan decided that Sofie and I needed some pampering, either that or she was horrified at our dishevelled states and felt the need to make us look more presentable again. I hadn't had my haircut in 3 months, Sofie's Blonde hair had 3 inch black roots coming up and our feet looked like they had walked 1000 miles and could do with a slight tune-up. 
So off we all went to get pedicures and manicures - no joke. I've never had a pedicure in my life and the amount of dead skin piling on on the floor in-front a rather surprised Thai lady testified to that fact! Sofie came out with blue toes and sparkly blue finger nails and i came out with feet looking shiny and new. The life of a flashpacker eh?

Thursday evening saw us taken for dinner at '100' which is basically associated with the Royal Sports Club and serves excellent Thai and Western cuisine, it was literally over the road from the apartment so a quick stroll in the 30 degree heat of the night and we settled down to fine wines, great food and wonderful company for a few hours. Air-con included of course. The food was superb and the service a little bit quick for our liking (all courses came at once), but no matter it made a lovely change from street food and the inevitable Pad Thai meals we had been used to previously so we went all out and ate 3 courses washed down with a fine New Zealand white wine. Brilliant.

Friday saw us whisked to Siam Discovery Mall for haircuts and colour (sofie on the colour not me!) as Ernest & Saisampan were heading to Krabi  for the weekend the next day so they were going anyway and very kindly booked us in too. It's great having a Thai person to sort all this stuff out for you and travelling becomes almost effortless when this happens, lucky us in a nutshell.

We then got taken on Friday night to what I can only describe as probably the best restaurant we have ever been too; The Mandarin Oriental. Incredible food, wine, company and setting all whilst kicking back and overlooking the river. Quite the setting I can assure and i got to drive our private boat back to where we caught the BTS train. No crashes occurred.

After saying our good-bye's to our fantastic hosts Ernest & Saisapan on Saturday we headed to the backpacker central mecca that is Khoa San Road, although we decided to stay Rambuttri Street. There we awaited our friends and new partners in crime, Si & Phil.

As we had the best part of 4 days still to play out in Bangkok we did the tourist thing (more later), wandered around the new area we were living in and sorted out our visas for Vietnam (bit of hassle but generally quite painless thankfully). A common recurrence that seemed to happen quite a lot was bumping into people we had previously said good-bye too. 

On our touristy day we basically hopped into a "special sponsored government discounted day" tuk-tuk which was effectively a very clever scam that didn't actually scam us at all as we sussed it very early on. If the guy had been honest from the start he would've walked away with more baht for his 4 hour effort, but instead insisted on taking us to a tailors for a suit, a jewellery gem store in-between going to the temples we wanted to go too. Was a funny day for sure but at least we saw all the major Buddhas/Temples/Palaces we wanted to check out in the city.

That's pretty much it really for Bangkok. We ate very well, drank well, got pampered by our dear host's got used to the jet set city lifestyle for a few days. Then simply packed up our gear, met up with Si & Phil who landed from London and headed back to the beach to the island of Ko Chang, which is fairly near the Cambodian border.       
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Comments

liamk57
liamk57 on

slumming it as usual I see!!!

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