Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back to Bangkok!

After my lovely day with Pete I was kinda sorry to be leaving Phuket on Wednesday, even sorry to leave Patong, tho I wouldn’t stay here next time I come back, a wee bit too lively for me nowadays!

I was up early enough to get a bit of sun on my skin before having to get showered and dressed for my flight. I got my pal from next door to take me to the airport but not on the motorbike this time!

I was pretty blase for me, getting there a mere two hours before take off. The check in went smoothly, I’d definitely use Air Asia again, they’re no frills but no hassle either.

At Bangkok Airport I got my case and leapt into a public taxi, the drive into the city centre was pretty smooth, tho he got a little lost as we searched for the hotel. I wish he’d never have found it to be honest! What a frikkin dump!

It was one of those places that spent its entire budget on the foyer. The rooms (I saw three) were the kind of places you might go to kill yourself, even if you weren’t planning to do so! Take my advice folks and avoid the Baiyoke Suites Hotel like the plague! I was assertive at reception, and was given a full refund as well as a superior room at their 4 star sister hotel the Baiyoke Sky Hotel at the same price.

I’ll be honest, its not as nice or as handy for everything as the Heritage where I stayed when I first arrived here, I wish I’d just booked back there, oh well, we live and learn! It is kinda cool staying in the tallest building in Bangkok even if it is a rip off!

I’ve been darting about all over the place since I got here. My fave night market at Lumpini Park, Suan Lum, where I’ve stocked up on incense and eaten some great meals in the food court.

On Thursday the temperature rounded out at 101 degrees farenheit! So I wisely spent it in the trio of air conditioned Siam malls - Paragon, Discovery and Centre. I even got my teeth whitened for a fraction of the UK price in only an hour!

Thursday night saw me hanging out with the gap year casualties at the Khao San Road. Jesus! Half of these people weren’t born in the times of hippies or even crusties but there’s more white boys with manky dreadlocks than at yer average Levellers’ gig! It really isn’t big or clever kids, and if you aint got the price of a haircut or a bottle of shampoo then it’s time to go back home to your trust fund!

The 50 baht Padh Thai was pretty damn good tho. It was also the ideal place to book my trip to the Tiger Temple on Sunday. A fraction of the price of anywhere else and only to the temple, no floating markets, no death railways, nothing but the reincarnated monks! Perfect!

Friday saw me taking some sun on the 20th floor of the hotel. Perfect place for sunbathing as up here there’s a breeze which means I could stay out longer, I managed a whole two hours! Had a good old swim too.

The afternoon was spent at Wat Mahathat and the nearby amulet market, which in addition to selling a billion representations of the Buddha, also sells sunglasses and false teeth for some reason!

Everytime I go anywhere from this hotel I have to barter with the taxi and tuk tuk drivers, and it really gets boring after the first couple of times, you either pay way over the odds or agree to stop off at their "friend's shop" which is just some rip-off megastore selling over-priced souveniers and gemstones you've never heard of before - not even on QVC! So after the temple I decided to take public transport and got a bus almost the whole way back for 14baht! Then I got a 20 baht Sky train to the closest stop which still meant a walk of about half a mile, but as it was a cool 80 degrees, that wasn't a problem.

Blimey I am practically a local!



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