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Chapter forty one - Bangkok

sunny 28 °C

Day 150: Bangkok, Thailand 27/02/2012

So, up at 3am for our tuk-tuk to the airport. How we love these early, early mornings. At the airport for quarter to four, change the Sri Lankan rupees back to US dollars and realise the airport is a bit strange at this time, with nothing really open yet and after we get through security, we find some shops that are open and have a mooch around them. I heart SL t-shirt for Gemma.

Great flight to Bangkok, even I enjoy the food they serve and the metal cutlery and real glass are a first for me on a plane. Arrive at the airport and there is an enormous amount of ballache to get through immigration - the bloke at the front of our queue had recently had a lobotomy so we excused him for his lack of speed, social skills and welcoming persona. Catch the train from the airport, which is a modern, gleaming, glass and steel bullet, headed for central Bangkok. Alight at Hualumphong station in the heart of Chinatown after one change. We quickly find our hotel (The Train Inn), which is a stone's throw from the station and get a great room and despite it being our first experience of a shared bathroom, one of the best showers we have had in the past 5 months!

We go for a walk around the area, excited at the prospect of being in a new country and a huge city. Find an amazing noodle joint in Chinatown and get lunch for about two pounds. Continue to mooch around, mesmerised by the sensory overload that is Bangkok - amazing sights (including huge golden temple), some deafening sounds (traffic, etc.) and belly achingly beautiful smells emanating from the numerous street food stalls. I have never been so hungry, so quickly, so often as each street corner revealed a new speciality dish from spring rolls (a bit moreish!) to grilled squid to roast goose.

Amazingly, after such a long day we find the stamina to jump on the metro and head to Patpong night market, where we haggle hard to get some semi-bargains and dodging the touts for some of Bangkok's more lowbrow shows manage to somehow find our way to another food stall...

Day 151: Bangkok, Thailand 28/02/2012

Sleep well after a couple of Chang exports from the local 7/11 and a bottle of sparkling rose for Gemma. Get up and go out, walk through Chinatown again and again are confronted by so much incredible food! Stumble upon a wholesale market, where you can buy pretty much any item you can think of. In bulk. We see loads and continue to do our normal city exploration trick of walking, walking and walking some more. Head back to the market and buy a fake iPad for about forty quid. Grab another quality lunch on the go and have a walk along the river, where there are some great views to be seen, including a crappy little dog dressed up by its owner.

Eventually we head back to the room to find that the imitation tablet does not actually work. Walk back to try and change it but the market has shut for the night. Back tomorrow then I guess! More street food and another trip to 7/11 for the evening (we have visited this handy convenience store about sixteen times today, mainly for the strength of its air conditioning).

Day 152: Bangkok, Thailand 29/02/2012

Another busy day in Bangkok today! Up and out for breakfast, this time at the station. Again a bargain. Walk back to the market and the guy changes the iPad thing for us absolutely hassle free. Walk around the market again, just in case we missed anything first time. Turns out we see quite a lot of stuff we did not see before.

Get lunch in deepest Chinatown again at the side of the road. It was either pork or goose (we're not sure) and then take a tuk-tuk to visit the notorious Khao San Road, the backpacker ghetto of the world it seems. It's not quite as bad as we were expecting but it is still very busy, full of foreigners and market stalls and a KFC, McDonald's, Burger King and plenty of Irish bars. Cultural. Also notice that nobody on the road is smiling or even looking remotely like they are enjoying life.

Back to the hotel, then back to the market. Refund on the iPad. All plans to visit a rooftop bar overlooking the city are put on hold as the last few days catch up with us.

Posted by tevs 00:30 Archived in Thailand Tagged food markets thailand city bangkok busy

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