Back on the road again!
8/4/15 - 12/4/15 35 °C
I now have a shiny new passport , a new credit card, a renewed sense of adventure and an undiminished longing to see what lies around the next corner. So here we go again!
Mal's Asia trip - take 2. Note the shoulder bag - exactly the same as the one I lost, but this one is going nowhere without me!
I arrived in Bangkok early this morning (April 9th) and caught the airport express into the centre of Bangkok. First impressions - this is a modern city with an infrastructure that works really well, it's clean and the people are friendly and helpful. Even the taxis run on meters so no haggling over the fare, at least, not yet. Within two hours of landing I'd checked in to my room, which was exactly what I'd expected for £5 a night - a small, cramped sweat-box with a fan and an "en-suite" bathroom: very basic, but adequate.
Spent the day just wandering around the local Khao San Road area which is where tourists of all types, though mainly very young hang out. The following day I needed to get my visa for Burma so set off early to take a boat down the river, followed by a mile walk to the embassy. I hadn't been looking forward to going through the process as most information I'd read described a long, laborious hassle. But despite a large crowd everything went smoothly and 20 minutes later I'd submitted my application and been told to return later that afternoon. So with a few hours to kill it was back down the river to gawp at the stunningly beautiful Wat Pho temple and it's enormous reclining Buddha. Later, after a 20 minute wait in a sweltering room, I was reunited with my passport complete with Burmese visa. Mission accomplished!
Pics of Wat Pho and the river
Day 3 was the beginning of a five day Thai holiday, which I fully realised upon arriving at the entrance to the Grand Palace, the home of the Thai royal family and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. There were hundreds of tourists, mainly Thais, intent on a good day out. I bought my 500 baht ticket and joined the queue only to be hauled aside and told I couldn't go in wearing shorts, I'd failed to spot the notice at the entrance demanding respect for the Buddha. Strange, as there were no such restrictions at Wat Pho. So, back to the entrance to join another queue and attire myself in a beautiful pair of light, pullover trousers. The hassle was well worth it and once inside the temple complex the crowds thinned out. I'll let my photos do the talking as words are totally inadequate.
Pics of the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple complex, Bangkok