Its the last few days. Who would believe that 10 weeks has gone so quickly yet memories of India seem a life time away.
We still hear from some of the gang (mainly through Facebook) who are still traveling but inevitably some have dropped off the radar.
Given this is perhaps our 4th or 5th visit to Bangkok we’ve done all the usual tours, most of the ‘Wat’s’ the reclining Buddha and the palace so there hasn’t been a lot of must do stuff left.
We walked down to Asiatique on our first evening, mainly because there is a place there that does great BBQ Ribs and i was in need of some meat.
Since we’ve been away our diet has changed considerably. Not only have we eaten much less meat, but the portions have also been drastically reduced and we now find we don’t need so much food to fill us up, which is a bummer cause we took a breakfast included package here at the Chatrium and it has plenty to tempt you.
The first morning I slipped and had Canadian Bacon (like English Back Bacon) with my Fried Egg’s, French toast and a sausage. By the end I could hardly walk and i felt pretty uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
Since then Ive started with porridge (yeah i know, with all that choice I choose Porridge) and this morning i followed the porridge with Sushi.
The rest of that day was spent lounging around the pool area. It was a bit overcast but still warm so it was a nice temperature to sit out.
Tuesday we caught the water taxi (Tourist boat) from Sathon Pier up to Pier 10 (Wang Lang) and visited Wat Rakan Kositaram. (40 Baht each).
It was much like any other Wat but it gave us a reason to take the boat. Then we caught the ferry across the river for 3.5 Baht each and walked past Wat Pho the temple of the reclining Buddha and down to the flower market. Pak Khlong Talat. This would have been a great photo opportunity had we arrived earlier but at this time of day they were clearing things away and many of the flowers had gone.
Then we hopped back on the Tourist Boat and retraced our steps to Sathon where we caught the Hotel water taxi for the final leg.
Wednesday was quite interesting as the Hotel was being transformed.
Firstly they were putting up the christmas decorations which consisted mainly of foliage and flowers with some very pretty ornaments mixed in.
Secondly they were setting up the patio for a Sikh wedding. This was a very grand affair which took over the whole out door space along the river.
From 1400hrs we could hear the music and we were attracted down to the pool area where we could watch the celebrations. There was a full stage set up and each guest (or rather each group of guests) were expected to get up on stage and dance to a particular song or tune.
Interestingly they were announced as .”Friends of the bride. Cousins twice removed. People from the village”. They would all clamber on stage in their finery, get in position and when the music started, strut their stuff. Interestingly the music would suddenly stop, mid way through and that lot would be ushered off before another group took their place.
The bride and groom witnessed all the action from a little tent set up right in front of the stage.
All the men mean time, were busy eating and chatting and they all seemed to have worn very brightly coloured Turban’s for the occasion.
We didn’t go out that night. Jaki went down to the 7 Eleven and bought some toasted sandwiches, peanut’s and a few doughnut’s and we listened to the music and watched the water traffic.
At about 2130 we led on the bed and watched some TV on the laptop before nodding off. There are two perfectly good flat screen Tv’s in the apartment but we’ve been following a few series from home which we recorded on the computer.
This morning (Thursday) were both suffering from a bit of constipation which is strange seeing as we’ve spent the last 9 weeks darting from one toilet to another.
So we wanted to find some thing to do that didn’t require too much walking.
We decided to take a Long tail Boat trip through the maze of canals that criss cross Bangkok.
Our starting point was Sathon Pier where the touts are always gathered trying to sell this trip to tourists.
We agreed with the first one to approach us that we would take a one hour trip and we would pay 500 Baht each rather than the 800 he had asked for.
When we got to our boat there was already a guy sat in his seat so we were obviously sharing.
Jaki and i tumbled into the boat which sits in the water well below the dock side and there is nothing to hold on to. Once in we were joined by two Indian Guys who got out again at Pier 9.
We were all encouraged to put our life jackets on and I was glad we did as the conditions were pretty choppy especially when the driver opened up that big engine.
Once we had dropped off the two guys we crossed the river and sat patiently waiting for the lock gates to open.
When they did, 6-8 Longtail’s emerged from the lock like spears all jockeying for position. We and another 5-6 boats went in and after a short time we were deposited out the other side.
The ride around the canals was interesting primarily because you see a side of Bangkok that is often missed. We took plenty of pictures, saw what the driver said was an Alligator but which might have been one of them Giant Lizards we saw at Lumpini Park, as well as shoals of fish.
We did stop at one point and a guy waded out to us and offered to sell us Beer. When that didn’t work he tried selling us souvenirs, but we resisted.
So I’m now back at the Hotel catching up with the blog for the penultimate time.
Tomorrow we check out of here and check in to a small hotel near the airport which offers free shuttle bus.
I shall miss the Chatrium. I shall miss Bangkok. I love just walking round it (often completely lost) and just absorbing it. I shall miss the anarchy and the humour. The traffic on the river which is fascinating. Eating by the side of the road and sitting out late at night when its still sweatily hot.
Our flight home is at 1115 hrs so with a fair wind, we should be back in Bristol later on Saturday evening.
I hope you have enjoyed following our adventures as much as we’ve enjoyed living them.
I think 10 weeks was about right but I’m looking forward to getting home.
I miss Georgia terribly. Im looking forward to catching up with mates, seeing my sister and preparing for Christmas.
Any longer and we just wouldn’t have the stamina to continue.
The packing and unpacking has driven Jaki mad.
The organising of flights and accommodation has been far more stressful than we’d expected.
Some of the accommodation has exceeded expectations where as others have left a bit to be desired.
I have given honest feed back on all Hotel’s to bookings.com when we booked through them and Ive also tried to review hotel’s, restaurants and attractions on Trip Advisor when ever possible.
But like the blog, these are only snap shots of a particular moment in time and I know other travellers have had totally different experiences.
Jaki summed it up quite nicely.
This has not been a Holiday it has been a series of experiences.
I hate to say it, but I think she’s right.
NB: there are Videos on You Tube if anyone is interested.