Trip Start Dec 25, 2011
134Trip End May 10, 2013
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Before coming, I had concerns about the food. But actually it's been fine! And I've generally really liked it. I've eaten street food, in cafes and restaurants. I have tried a variety of local foods and snacks. And ordered from Chinese-language-only menus, where I'm not entirely sure what I have ordered. But I've also had my fair share of McDonalds!
The language barrier was another concern. It's been a problem sometimes, especially with rogue taxi drivers who drop you somewhere random. But overall, they don't expect a white person to speak Chinese, so they either just ignore you, or accept silent pointing!
One thing that I really don't like is all the blatant staring
Overall, despite the above, I have enjoyed most of China - but I won't be rushing back any time soon.
I left Beijing in the morning, for the return 2 metro and 1 airport train journey, back to the airport. I'm popping (can you call it popping when it's a 6 hour flight?!) back to Bangkok to pick up the rest of my luggage I left there over a month ago. I'm looking forward to thawing out and eating some red curry!!
Check in was a bit ridiculous. Not only was I asked for proof of onward travel (noone else was being asked), I had to show a credit card. Why?! Then security was even more ridiculous, since when did you have to go through the scanner several times just because you have a camera in your bag
We left at 2.30pm, on time, through the thick smog covering Beijing. Aside from the constant staring and photo taking, the flight was fine. I even had a tv to play with (that's quite novel for flights through Asia!).
I landed at 7pm. 31 degrees (at night time!). That's a bit of a shock coming from just 4 degrees (at its hottest!) in Beijing! A very welcome change. Getting off the plane was like walking into a hairdryer. Oh how I have missed this!
Wow. Bangkok airport; land of the white people. The Chinese won't know where to look! I feel like I'm in England. Its a bit of a shock coming from a foreigner-free China.
I only have 2 pages left in my passport and I'm still going to quite a few countries before I come home. So it's now fairly critical where it gets stamped. None of this stamping in the middle of a free page rubbish anymore
The airport train, then 2 metro trains into the city (£1.40) felt like they took forever. Well they did, nearly an hour and a half. I'm sure it was a lot quicker last time I did this.
First things first, some Thai food!! No red curry in this restaurant, so next best thing. Green curry :) So good!
Reunited with all my copious luggage and dive equipment. Im not looking forward to dragging this all round with me for the next few weeks now!! After another re-sort I got rid of a load of clothes that no longer fit. Although it hasn't really made a huge amount of difference....
It feels a long time ago since I woke up in China!
Monday 18 March 2013
I've been to Bangkok several times now and have already been to all the touristy sights. So a day of relaxation. Life is hard.
After a nice lie in, I booked myself in for a massage and headed over to the spa just before lunch. Last time I had a massage in Thailand (Chiang Mai) it was actually pretty good, so I have high hopes. 90 minutes of being pulled and pushed - this one as a bit different, with the lady using a 'hot compress' a hot ball that was pressed all over my back. It was really good. I went somewhere fairly expensive, you seem to get what you pay for with these things.
Other jobs for the day; stocking up on cheaper toiletries and snacks for the next few days! I love 7-11.
Despite not meaning to, I found myself wandering around. And what is a day in Thailand without a temple! This time, a Hindu temple - Sri Mahamariamman temple. All around, the shops were full of flower garlands and incense. Really pretty.