12 September 2010

Bangkok

Pam at Chatachuk Market
If our hotel in Hong Kong was a 6 out of 10, the Davis Bangkok Hotel gets at least a 9! This is our final stay in luxurious lodgings (honestly, we are going to be staying in hostels) and we've hit the jackpot! For reasons unknown to both Pam and I, upon checking in to a modest studio room in the corner building, we were unexpectedly upgraded to a luxury suite in the main tower. Our room is huge and there is a spa and a swimming pool on the top floor. Whoever said we'd be living rough as travellers?!

Our hotel room at the Davis Bangkok
Our first impressions of Bangkok are that it is noisy, the people are friendlier than in Hong Kong (which, in truth, isn't saying much) and that it is extremely difficult to walk anywhere. Traffic jams are a constant feature of the city.

With that being the case, our ride in the back of a 'tuk tuk' (a motorbike driven two-person carriage) was amazing! We took our driver on such a long route to get back from a market we were at that his flip-flop began to burn from keeping the accelerator down for so long! We gave him a big tip for his efforts. Watch the video to see our crazy driver in action:

video

Yesterday afternoon, we went to the enormous Chatachuk Weekend Market, where there are over 8,000 open-air stalls. The sights and smells were incredible and there were bargains galore! Pam bought a long dress and sandals; I was happy to sample to food on offer!

Pomegranate - yum!
Later that night, we had dinner and cocktails on the 52nd floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel (at the 'Latitude Bar'; the 'Vertigo Bar' on the 59th floor was closed because of heavy rain). It was all very posh and we felt like kids pretending to be adults, but it was a treat we'll remember for a long time!

Fried potato spiral - delicious!
Today, we went by sky train to the river, where we took a 25 Baht (60p) boat ride to the Grand Palace, which lived up to its name. The buildings are amazingly colourful and decorative, though there are lots of con men outside the Palace Grounds who tried to tell us it was closed for an hour for the locals to pray and to spend an hour in their shop and/or restaurant!

We are now going north-west from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. We will be in a guesthouse that does not have internet, so it may be a while before our next post. Please keep commenting on the blog - we love reading them!

James 

Outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok








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