On the visa hunt

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End Mar 29, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, November 15, 2010

Our 20 minute stop at Khorat turns into a 50 minute stop but we still reach Mo Chit station, Bangkok, just after 04:30 having both slept much of the way.  The station is heaving with people even at this hour and we have to queue jump to get a taxi for the 15 minute ride to the New Siam Guest House where we arrive about 05:00.  They have my name in their register which is a good sign but tell us that they are full overnight and we will have to wait for a check-out.  We sit to begin our wait but another couple arrive and dont want to wait so the chap goes off in search of an alternative.  He returns about 15 minutes later to say that everywhere is full.  I wasnt expecting Bangkok to be this busy so am glad that we made a tentative reservation to get priority for the room.  I check the internet and we eat breakfast whilst we are waiting and are given a room at about 08:00.  A quick strecth out in the aircon comfort of our room and then we are out catching a taxi to the Regent House on Rajdamri.  The agency tell me that we should apply for a 2 year visa and not the 5 year as I want but I insist and we will have to wait and see what the embassy think of things.  At the very least I would expect to get 3 of the 5 years granted.  We catch a BTS Sky TRain from the visa office to the river then take a boat back to our guest house.  Our usual noodle shop is closed so we are relegated to somtam and chicken back in the room.  After a rest we leave at 15:30 to go back to Mo Chit bus station to buy a ticket for our return journey tomorrow night.  When we get back we take our normal evening stroll to Santichaiprakan Park next to the river near our guest house in Banglamphu.  The gardens here are very nice in the evening with great views over the river at sunset.  There is usually a lot of jugglers practising here and a large aerobics session but tonight it is quiet; cant even buy an icecream as the shop is closed.  This is the home to the last surviving Lumphu tree that gave this area its name - Banglumphu - and a photogenic small fort complete with canon.  There is also a dramatic view of the Rama VIII bridge over the Chao Phraya.
We go out for a walkabout at 18:30.  The riverboats and guest houses have looked really busy all day and tonight is no different with the bars buzzing.  We walk around and stroll along Khao San Road - well, you have to dont you - and the place is crawling (a good choice of word in some cases) with farang.  We leave the bustle behind us and make our way back to the river and the New Siam Riverside Hotel where we enjoy a huge tuna baguette with a coke i their riverside gardens.  Back to the room before 21:00 for a shower and much needed sleep.
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