New Year's Eve in Bangkok (Day 1)

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December 31st 2010
Published: January 7th 2011
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Friday, 31st December 2010

Touching down at the modern Bangkok International Airport after a hiatus of 3 years, we were planning to say goodbye to 2010 and welcoming a brand new year in Thailand. Long queues were formed at the Thai Customs as Mr Custom Officer was taking his own sweet time to scrutinise every single details on my passport. At one point, he had even requested to see my boarding pass. Boy, I was so glad that I had not dump it straight into the toilet bin earlier. While I understood that he was carrying out his duties, I would really appreciate if he could at least exercise a certain level of friendliness.

"Was he unhappy that he was rostered for duty on New Year's Eve and missing out on all the countdown parties?"

I hoped not. On hindsight, he was certainly not a very welcoming face in the Land of Smiles!

As a result of the major hiccups at the immigration, we were more than 30 minutes late from our appointment as we made a mad dash to Gate #3 of the Arrivals. Fortunately, our hotel's driver was still waiting patiently for us as promised. After apologising to the driver, we took the same vehicle with another Singaporean family where we spent the next 45 minutes exchanging travel tales while the car made its journey to our hotel.

Arriving at the Bangkok Loft Inn in the humble neighbourhood of Thonburi, this was certainly not the most prestigious address in town. However, since little English was understood, the local neighbourhood provided an ideal training ground to brush up on our Thai vocabulary quickly. After a couple of visits to the Thai capital, we just wanted an authentic Thai experience away from the tourists' traps. Bangkok Loft Inn provided just that along with well-appointed rooms.

Leaving behind our comfortable rooms, we took the BTS Skytrain to the heart of downtown Bangkok. We headed straight to the Bangkok Cultural Centre hoping to view some exhibits documenting the May 2010 riots in Bangkok. Unfortunately, the centre was closed for holidays till 4th January 2011 - the day we were supposed to head back home. Bad timing.

For our last dinner on the last day of 2010, we decided to check out Japanese cuisine at the Fuji Japanese Restaurant at MBK Centre. I had done some research earlier and this restaurant had garnered relatively positive ratings among net citizens. My bento set dinner certainly did not disappoint judging by the sheer variety of items it contained.

A hearty, simple affair as we said goodbye to the old year. Certainly, I'm looking forward to our coming days as we slumber into sleep on the last evening of 2010 accompanied by the sound of fireworks at the stroke of 12 midnight.

Happy New Year 2011 😊

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