Saturday, 27 July 2013

Day Sixteen - Bangkok - Thailand

We left our hotel in Siem Reap and went to the new airport just outside of town which felt like a brand new national trust wildlife reserve hug. We flew Cambodia Angkor air to Bangkok which took just over and hour. You could see below exactly where the Cambodian border is with Thailand because of the differences in the way the land is farmed. On the Cambodian side there are small fields, all in different shapes, split up with palm plantations. On the Thai side the fields are a lot more grid like and a lot larger in size.

We arrived at Bangkok's airport mid morning and got a taxi into the centre of town to our hotel. This city is unlike any other place we have been too on our journey so far. Huge wide roads packed with traffic jams line the way to the city centre with the brand new sky train link weaving above it all. High rise buildings and sky scrapers make up the city's skyline and stretch for miles. You instantly get the feeling that this is a massive city with lots going on.

We arrived at our hotel to find that the room I had pre booked and paid for hadn't actually been booked! After a quick internet search I booked a more luxurious hotel which was in the Sukhumvit area of town maybe five kilometres east of the old town. We got a Tuk Tuk there which was a lot more 'pimped' our than the Tuk Tuk's we had been on in Cambodia. This one had neon flashing lights inside, cushioned seats, football stickers and it ran on gas making a sound like a teenagers ford fiesta in Southend on a Saturday night!

Once we got to this hotel the lady said we had got an upgrade to a suite as the normal double that we had booked were all taken. We ended up on the ninth floor with an apartment looking out over the high rise skyline of Bangkok. After exploring the hotel and watching a massive rain storm from the hotels sky walk to the second tower we headed to one of Bangkok's super malls to have a look around.

We arrived at the mall that was about seven floors tall and so wide it would take days to cover the whole thing! There was all the usual designer stores you would expect to see on London's Bond Street as well as all the usual high street names we are used to seeing at home too. We wandered around for a bit and decided to head back to the old part of town.

We arrived at the Grand Palace just in time for closing then decided to do a walking tour that is recommended in the Lonely Planet guide. Jamie navigated the way and we didn't really see that much - I don't know if this is because of Jamie's bad map reading (don't worry he doesn't read this) and we didn't go the right way (this is the most probably reason) or if the city just felt too familiar and the things we passed wouldn't feel out of place in London? Ever way I lost interest hence the lack of photographs covering this part of the trip!

Jamie then navigated us to Sirocco Sky Tower which was made famous by the Hangover Two Movie. We decided to go to the top to watch the sunset with a glass of wine. We got to the top then the elegant Thai lady at the top said that we were not allowed in with Jamie's oil stained top and chubby knees showing! We descended and as it was peak rush hour we decided to get the sky train back to our district. This train is amazing towering meters into the air taking you from one side of town to the other in a matter of minutes.

We got back to our hotel and after smartening up a bit Jamie chose a restaurant nearby our hotel called above eleven which is on the 69th floor of a hotel and looks out over the whole of the city. Up here you got an idea of the huge scale of the city and could easily believe you were in New York. We ordered some sushi which was the best I had ever tasted and watched the city lights twinkle in the night.

After dinner and a couple of gin and tonics we made our way back to out hotel falling into a bar with great live music then into a VW camper Paul Frank pop up bar along the way before dragging ourselves back to our hotel post midnight and numerous glasses and buckets of gin and tonic later!

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