Stopover in Bangkok

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Mar 31, 2011

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

From Flores, we flew back to Bali and stayed there for a night in one of the beach resorts.  Bali was quite disappointing, it was extremely busy and developed.  After 3 weeks in Indonesia we were also getting a bit tired of people trying to sell us services all the time, so we were happy to move on having done everything we'd wanted to.
The next main stop is Vietnam, and we could fly via Singapore or Bangkok, so we thought we would come to Bangkok having missed out on it earlier in the trip, spend a few days here and use the visa we had already paid for!
There is absolutely no evidence that there were riots on the streets 2 months ago, there are lots of tourists and everything appears to be utterly normal.
Its a real surprise how developed and modern a city it is.  The airport is vast and very civilised and the taxi ride into the middle of the city is on new 3-lane roads; there are buildings as far as the eye can see in all directions, but all look new and clean without any sign of the slums on the outskirts of all the other Asian cities we've been to.  The hotels and shopping centres are every bit as contemporary as in Singapore, including even the excellent ice cream shops...  What seems so different after Indonesia is that there is clearly a large office-worker class, and so there are all the ancillary services like coffee shops and restaurants and so on.
It could all sound quite bland, but there is still plenty of evidence of the more traditional Bangkok.  So although most people get to work on the excellent monorail, there are still lots of locals in tuk-tuks and on the back of the scooter taxis.  And breakfast on the way to work means lines of hawker stalls outside the offices in the morning selling coffee, pancakes, fruits and then different stalls at lunchtime selling noodles, rice, satays etc.
We're a bit sad to leaving after 4 days, the main consolation being that its easy to come back here and in July its unbelievably hot, and seems to rain rather a lot. 
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