Bangkok - Day 1
31.12.2012 - 31.12.2012 34 °C
We arrived in Bangkok in the afternoon and it was a real shock to the system! Heat, humidity and a lot of organised chaos! We managed to find our hotel pretty easily - took about an hour by train and people were very helpful in pointing us in the right direction.
When we arrived we were told we had been given a 'flee upglage' to a suite on the 40th floor! Our room is all glass fronted with amazing views over the city. Feels like we have walked onto a set of James Bond
We set out to find something to do as it was New Year's Eve and ended up finding a nice Thai restaurant down the road and had a delicious meal - we even shared thai fishcakes as a starter - i was very impressed with Greg!
We considered going to one of Bangkok's famous roof parties but were so exhausted we decided to go back and watch the count down and fireworks from our room. It was such a lovely view and at midnight 1000s of fireworks erupted across the city - very impressive! We were in bed and asleep by 12:30 too so not sure the roof party would have been much fun.
Today was our first days exploring and we got off to a very slow start - slept till 11:30!
We went straight to book our onward train trip to Chaing Mai on the 3rd only to find out that the tickets are all gone and the only way is to book through a little tour company who have a availability if we book accommodation and excursion activities through them as well all at heavily inflated prices- luckily we had our wits about us and declined the package. Managed to get a flight for only R100 (£8) more than the original train price which saved us 10 hours on the train!
We moved on to the grand palace to see all the various Buddhas on show (emerald, reclining, golden - you name it there was a temple with one in). It was New Year's Day which meant that every Thai in the town was there to pay homage for the new year. We had to cover up so Greg had to buy some hippie pants with Thai elephants on and we had to remove our shoes and shuffle through the temple along with the masses. Even though there were so many people everyone was respectful and quiet. The temples are really beautiful and they had loads of different Buddhist activities going on with monks everywhere. People were bring flowers, incense candles etc and monks were giving 'lessons under big awnings everywhere.
After that we walked along the palace walls and there were 100s of food stalls selling anything from fried quail eggs, hotdog rolls with ice cream, fresh fruit, and a lot of things with claws and tentacles that made Greg cringe as we walked past. The were also ladies selling bird cages with little birds to set free, flower arrangements, pictures of the king with a New Years message with his two dogs dressed in gold robes!
There are little restaurants on the street corners with a mobile kitchen and a few tables and chairs and people flock to them to have their meal! Tomorrow we will try ne out.
We took a river boat back home which was very interesting, the people were packed like sardines and the was a little Thai man screaming commands through the loud speaker. Everyone listens to him and do as they are told!