Published: December 2nd 2009November 11th 2009
Our trip from Adelaide to Bangkok was reasonably hassel free, after locking up the house we headed to the bus stop down the road catching the J1 directly to the airport. I was pretty happy with the seats we were issued, there were only two on each side of the plane and we were right at the back, apart from a few screaming kids in the vicinity it was a pleasant ride through to Singapore.
In Singapore we had only a brief transit of about an hour before we board our onflight to KL, which took less than an hour, a brief taxi ride to our hotel near the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, the room was extremely tiny but clean and comfortable. By the time we arrived we had been travelling for about 12 hours. It was then time for a quiet ale before we headed off to bed at about 9pm local time.
We were up at 5.30am for our Air Asia flight to Bangkok the terminal was only about 500 metres away and after a few minutes of confusion we were checked in and eating an egg and chicken McMuffin. Unfortunately a backlog to take off had
developed and we were stuck on the runway for well over an hour waiting to take off. A few hours later we landed in Bangkok, again we had no trouble getting out of the airport and on to our initial base in the city, The New World City Hotel which is close to the river and many of the main sites in Bangkok. The accomodation is comfortable and cheap unfortunately it appears to be Muslim run and there is no bar, but the little corner shops have cold beer so I dont have to go far when I am thirsty.
After a shower we hit the streets around 1pm, the weather is incredibly oppressive and I was soon sweating buckets, our first notable sight of interest was Wat Bowonniwet which we entered and proceeded to wander around taking photos and admiring the stunning architecture, apparently the king visited the day before which explained all the portraits and royal flags scattered everywhere. Here we were accosted by a tout who wanted to show us everything for just 10 baht (30 cents) it is an old scam where they drag you to shops all over the place hasseling you to buy.
Many more have approached us since this guy one even grabbed my arm which I didnt like very much.
From here we continued to Wat Suthat walking down some busy roads which were hair raising to cross a myriad of smells and sounds assaulting our senses. Soon we came to an impressive palace complex near the Mahakan Fort before finally stumbling across the Golden Mount otherwise known as Wat Saket. Finding it and getting to it are two very different things but after lots of directions we found our way to the base and began the 400 step climb to the summit, the reward being a wonderful view of Bangkok and a magnificent golden Stupa at the top.
After about 30 minutes we descended just in time for the afternoon deluge which we avoided by entering the handy New Orleans Bar for a quick drink on our way back to our room. I popped into a little shop for some beers before heading back to our room we are both really knackered. We have booked a tour for the morning to Ayutthaya.
Now I remember why I never do tours we got up at 5.30am in the
morning went down for the buffet breakfast (not sure if I will ever get used to asian breakfasts) before being picked up and delivered to the tour companies offices, after two hours we had not left the city and had had enough, neither of us being keen on a 12 hour day with a bus full of old people so we got up and just bailled. After a few minutes of confusion we walked into the Sharaton Hotel and aproached the concierge where we requested a map, from there it was easy we walked down to the Choapraya River and hopped on a boat to the Grand Palace passing the very impressive Wat Arun along the way.
On entry to the Palace I had to hire some long pants to get in but it was worth it, I cant believe the changes, I came here about 7 years ago and the crowds werent that bad, but now the place is over run with Chinese and Indians. The complex is spectacular and comprises many temples, statues and many stupa and a variety of incredibly decorated halls. One of which we didnt get to see as someone stole our tickets out
of Ruth's pocket as she was taking my photograph.
We also visited portions of the complex I hadnt seen on the previous occassion such as the armoury and the museum, it is a shame that it is so bloody hot. We then headed back out into the chaos where more touts accosted us before heading down to the Khao San road area for a drink and a wander through the markets before returning to our hotel to cool off and take a nap. We received a pleasant suprise here when they refunded the majority of the money we paid for the tour we didnt take.
We spent the evening wandering through shopping centres before hitting Patpong Rd which is supposed to be an evil den of perversions, unfortunately it wasnt that bad, Ruth and I bought some Tank tops and then went and visited a bar for the rest of the evening it was fun interacting with the old ladies trying to sell us various junk.
Tomorrow we go to Ayuthaya.
There are more photos below