Bangkok - still crazy after all these years

Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
Trip End Mar 16, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our first and only full day in the vibrant city of Bangkok. We met up with our travel group the previous night and without sounding like the start of a joke - there was this German couple, an Australian, three Irish and (including us) two British couples.
Our first experience together was completing the paperwork (emergency contacts etc) which required a pen and was performed in almost exam like conditions as people seemed initially nervous to "break the ice" or was it something else?
I reached into my rucksack and pulled out my pen. As the meeting kicked off with an introduction from our CEO (Chief Experience Officer) I noticed that my pen, which was out in front of me on the table, was in fact a "Join the British Army" promotional pen. Oh what to do?- how could I retrieve it without anyone noticing, what would the Germans think I was trying to say, what about the Irish? and what about the Thai CEO? (re Malaysia and Singapore). Furthermore how did this pen even find its way into my bag in the first place! Luckily I think I snuck it away without anyone noticing.
Had to set the alarm for 7am this morning which was a real shock to the system. The river was a lot bigger than I remembered, in fact not surprisingly Bangkok was a lot different to how I remembered it 25 years ago with perhaps the exception of the Koh Sang Road (backpacker lane) and the Tuk-tuks - both of which were still both cheap and mad!
Boarding the tall boat on a busy River with a swirl was both fun and challenging. Luckily we were soon off the busy river and into the canals and the amazing riverside shacks - which if found in Kingston Upon Thames would have been dismissed as derelict boathouses, not family homes!
Next up we visited Wat Po and the famous reclining Buddha followed by lunch. The newly wed Irish couple opted for chicken and cashews again (nothing wrong with sticking with something you like).
We were left to our own devices for the afternoon and opted for the Grand Palace. We waved goodbye to our fellow adventurers as we headed off in the afternoon heat and hordes of photo-taking Chinese tourists.
After a quick shower and coffee back at the hotel we walked across the road, narrowly avoiding the traffic, to the train station where we boarded the overnight to Chang Mai.
We had a very cheap meal on the train and I joined the Irish couple with yet more chicken and cashews. Then a man came along and made the beds in what turned out to be an old Japanese sleeper train. I still can't work out how he transformed the small seats into a six foot double bed.
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rhiannon hatcher on

Wow you two are having a great time ... the info and pics make me feel I am there with you!! Looking forward to the next update xxx Mum

Michele on

love the photos....and the escapism... you look like you are going to have the holiday of a lifetime!!!.... keep the narrative up, really looking forward to the next episode xx

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