One Night in Bangkok...Happy Diwali!

Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Actually it was two nights in Bangkok...but I sort of like the song so I'm using a bit of artistic license on my blog entry titles.  My boss invited me to Bangkok where she and her husband own a condo so I took her up on the offer and flew out there for a quick three day trip.  To my friends in the U.S., a weekend trip to Thailand may sound excessive, but here in India it's like a weekend trip to Mexico.  There's a direct flight on Thai Air from Hyderabad to Bangkok that departs Friday night around midnight, arrives Saturday morning in Bangkok around 5AM local spending all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Bangkok...then catch the 8PM flight Monday night back to Hyderabad and arrive home in time to get a good nights sleep before work the next day.

The Friday night I left was also the kickoff to Diwali in India and the town was rocking!  Literally.  At one point I thought we were under attack as it was so loud outside with fireworks my windows were shaking.  The locals celebrate Diwali by setting off fireworks for 3 days straight...and these are not your standard US based fireworks...these are professional grade mortars available for purchase to anyone with 400 rupees.  Needless to say I bought a few (dozen...a few dozen) and invited people over to pop them off.  I'll try to post a video on this site of Sonny setting one off...hopefully it will not be too large to upload.  But enough about me popping fireworks and pissing off my neighbors as I'm off to Bangkok!  Before taking the trip to the airport, I drop off my keys with Bec as she's going to house-sit while I'm gone.  It's good for me as I'll have someone I trust looking after my apartment...and it's good for her as she has no power at her place, thus no TV, no internet, no AC, no refrigerator.  My boss and I upgrade to business class for the short 3.5 hour flight and we both were asleep within 10 minutes of takeoff.

Saturday morning we arrive around 5AM, somehow sleepwalk through immigration and customs and into a cab for the 40 minute trip to the condo.  We end up at the condo around 6AM and I pass out in the guest bedroom for another 4 hours.  We're supposed to meet some of my bosses friends at one of the larger malls in Bangkok for lunch so off we go.  I had my first Starbucks in several months, hand a great burrito for lunch, did some DVD shopping ($2/each for new releases) and then we all (me and 4 women) head off to get a Thai massage.  Unlike a massage in the US, this traditional Thai massage was all of us in one room wearing matching pink pajamas (me too...dear god) all getting bending into various positions by unusually strong Thai women for TWO HOURS!!!  It was somewhat nice...but I could do without the pink pj's.  One of my new massage friends (Rosi visiting from the US) wants to grab some sushi so she and I meet that night to grab some great sushi and then head over to Bed Supperclub.  The cover charge was steep...but the place was rocking and I even had to give my buddy Step a call to rub it in a bit as he and I had visited Bed on one of our previous trips to Bangkok.  After dancing for a while, we were both exhausted and I was home in bed by 1:30AM

Sunday is Chatuchak day.  Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest market in Thailand and according to wikipedia, the largest in the world.  I've been there before on previous trips to Thailand so I was excited about doing some Christmas shopping and picking up some stuff for myself.  Despite the late night before, we're up by 9 and off to collect the others for the market.  I picked up a great Buddah wood panel wall hanging, some tshirts and a couple Christmas gifts.  Some of the other girls in our group did a lot more damage than I did.  We had lunch at the only restaurant in the Market and caught a taxi home to get cleaned up for a nice dinner at one of the better Thai restaurants in the city (forgot it's name).  As it was my last night in Thailand, I sent Bec (my house-sitter) a message saying I was having a great time and didn't really want to leave...she replied that I should stay longer as she was enjoying my flat back in Hyderabad too much (not having power in hers).

Monday morning I woke up around 9/10 and headed off to Khao Sahn Road.  Khao Sahn Road is the backpacker hangout in Bangkok and probably one of the most famous streets in the world for travelers.  It's full of cheap hostels, cheap restaurants, black market clothing stores and many, many more shops to keep one entertained for an afternoon.  I was craving some red meat so I stopped in Gullivers for a hamburger, did some shopping, watched a movie shoot and got a foot is rough.  Back to my bosses condo to pack and it turns out my wood panel Budah print is too large for my it's now my carry-on bag.  I picked up 4 bottles of Australian red wine to bring back as well so that needs to be packed carefully.  Off to the airport by 6PM for the uneventful 3 hour flight back to Hyderabad.  Back "home" by 10PM and asleep by 11.

I will definitely be making more trips to Bangkok while I'm so close...good times...and good food!
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