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December 31st 2011
Published: January 11th 2012
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New Years Eve
31st December ’11 Bangkok

Up for the included brekkie, back to bed to sleep until the 12 o’clock check out and then a cab to our proper hotel The Legacy Suites for 2 nights.

This was the first time we noticed how strangely quiet it was, no honking horns, the traffic is quite calm and the taxi driver is smiley and friendly! As we couldn’t check in until 2 we went for a walk and ended up with a subway sandwich for lunch! The roads are clean, no rubbish piles, no cows and best of all no one spits or pees in the street!!

The hotel is lovely and is playing calm tinkley music, there are flowers everywhere and everything is clean – this really is a treat. Our room/suite is fantastic the bed is huge, the sheets crisp and fresh. There is a massive settee with cushions for lounging on, there is a kitchen (very sensibly with no cooker just a kettle and microwave lol), a washing machine, a big fridge freezer and the bathroom has a power shower and a bath!! HOT WATER and lots of bottles of potions and lotions and interesting free stuff, bloody
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The Grand Palace
great!

We had a bit of a rest and made cups of tea and coffee just because we could, then went out to make our way to one of the main central celebration areas. We used the SkyTrain which is quick, easy to use and efficient. There were thousands of people doing the same as us and we all shuffled along in long orderly lines and eventually got to Central World. Here the police had blocked the road to traffic. In fact we began to notice there were masses of police everywhere. To get into the main area where the stage and big screens were you had to go through security checks, bags were searched and you couldn’t take alcohol or lighters in (fortunately they didn’t find mine). It was only 7.45pm but already the place was pretty full, there was a band on and lots of adoring fans holding cards with NAT on (which we presumed this was the singer’s name). They started off as a kind of prog rock band but degenerated into something bland and boring so we waited to see if they would show the Aussie New Year but they didn’t so we gave up
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From the train
and went to get something to eat and ended up at McDonalds - real Thai food for us!

The whole area was rammed with people and stalls, you could hardly move and we reckoned we would have no chance of getting transport back to our hotel at 12, there was nowhere to get a beer so we made our way back to our hotel area where there were lots of pubs and bars. Another band was set up at our tube station as well. So we wandered down the road and discovered all the pubs and bars were fronted by girlies and eventually found one with a few spare seats outside – probably as the ‘girlies’ were actually middle aged here! It seemed to be run by 2 older ladies who were covered in make up, laughing manically at any little thing the blokes said, were over the top jolly and kept screeching Happy New Year. We got our beers and sat watching all the fat old western men with the beautiful young thai women and the pug ugly young western lads who clearly would never pull at home with the beautiful thai girls and reluctant thai girls being
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On the river
pushed around by their pimps.

It just got seedier and seedier, in the street next to our seats there was some thai girls with a cd player thing with a microphone and everytime a bloke walked past a voice screeched out ‘sexy’, it was awful! Then fire crackers were being thrown in the road- which meant I was permanently jumping lol. We decided to go back to our hotel instead as there were no normal bars anywhere and on the way had to pass this really old, mega fat western bloke dressed in beige slacks up to his armpits and a fully buttoned up pin striped shirt with a panama hat on and carrying a walking cane, he was getting into a taxi with a tiny petite thai girl young enough to be his granddaughter IT WAS DISGUSTING! Oh dear I think it’s a good job we are leaving Bangkok soon!!

12 O’clock and big fireworks were going off everywhere but not for very long, but no one was singing Auld Lang Syne!! It just didn’t seem right!

1st Jan ’12 Bangkok

The alarm was set for 10 am – after all the breakfast was included
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Look what we found in a shopping mall!
and it finished at 10.30 and what a bountiful feast of a breakfast buffet it was! Well worth getting up for. Then we set off for the train station to hopefully buy our tickets for Hua Hin tomorrow. We found the station with no problems and the lady from the tourist information stand took us to the right counter so now we are all set.

We then got a tuk tuk to visited the Grand Palace, the haggling was a strange process basically the first guy says 200 baht you say no and then immediately another guy comes up and says 100 and we say yes! We had to be dropped off a bit down the road as the traffic was at a standstill, it turns out Thais’ all get 5 days holiday around New Year and they all appear to have decided to spend it visiting the Grand Palace!

So we shuffled along in the enormous queues and by the time we neared the entrance decided not to bother going in as there were that many people and most were Thai paying their respects to the King and Queen. Instead we walked through the park and along the Ko San Road (back packer area) which was great and we managed to buy a 2nd hand copy of the Lonely Planet which has proved very useful.

We wiled away and hour or so having lunch and then caught the 30p river taxi back along to the railway station – how that boat stayed afloat I have no idea as it was packed to the rafters!

That night we just stayed in and I played with all the hotel freebies, had a bubble bath and a power shower, now have 2 sewing kits, nail file, comb, shaving kit and all our clothes have been washed and dried!

Next stop Hua Hin

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