Surprised by Bangkok.

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Check in at The Swiss Lodge.
I have been studiously avoiding Bangkok on this trip. We managed to avoid it even as we were traveling to Phuket and to Chiang Mai. The reason is that I’ve been here before (over 10 years ago) and here’s what I remember: heat, humidity, pollution, crowds, and lost tuk-tuk drivers. I really had no desire to return and experience it again.

But it turns out this is the best departure point for India. So here we are. And I am very pleasantly surprised so far. Maybe it doesn't suck after all!

Our driver picked us up at the airport and drove us to the hotel in a very cool huge old Mercedes. The traffic was light (good timing on our arrival) and the air was quite clear, with sunny skies. We checked in to a suite at The Swiss Lodge, a rather dated establishment in what seems to be a pretty good, central neighborhood.
Steve with a bowl of mayo and stir-fry for lunch.
The room is OK. At least there’s space to spread out, and finally we have a decent Internet connection again.

We went out exploring and found a Starbucks nearby, multiple 7-elevens, plus scads of shopping options. As we walked along the street, Steve said, “Wow, this reminds me a little of New York.” There was so much going on, everyone moving fast, and such diversity of people… it was seeming a little bit like New York. It was pretty cool!

We went to a nearby shopping mall for lunch at the Banana Leaf. There was a line of local office workers…a good sign! I had a delicious papaya salad and tofu soup, while Steve had a salad that was drowned in mayo and stir fried noodles with pork. Pretty good.

From there we explored the mall a bit, and Steve bought some sunglasses and a new Patagonia shirt.
Updating my TB map.
Our clothes are getting travel worn, and it’s nice to replace things every so often. (Because of the luggage situation, if we buy something new, we have to leave something else behind).

After enough time at the mall, we went back to the room where we hibernated the rest of the day and evening. We worked on our computers (Steve had “real” work, while I had travel planning and TBing to do). I had a little in-room work-out (no fitness center here), and we watched TV downloads from iTunes. (Axe Men is the dumbest show I have every seen. ) We were in such a lazy mood, we didn’t even go out for dinner. We just snacked on peanuts and our fruit plate. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a being from being a traveler, and play the part of a vegetable :^)

cmgervais says:
I noticed lots of changes from my last visit. It seemed cleaner, and that Sky Train is great!
Posted on: Jun 05, 2008
newtampo says:
Would like to say the same as ToneK, glad you feel better. On the first few lines, thought "wow you should come back again" and yes you did! Now everything is changing from the last ten years, can't say that it's a great city but it's not that bad, right? :)

Have fun!

Posted on: Jun 05, 2008
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Check in at The Swiss Lodge.
Check in at The Swiss Lodge.
Steve with a bowl of mayo and stir…
Steve with a bowl of mayo and sti…
Updating my TB map.
Updating my TB map.
The Swiss Lodge.
The Swiss Lodge.
Bedroom decor circa 1983? The Swis…
Bedroom decor circa 1983? The Swi…
Our room at The Swiss Lodge.
Our room at The Swiss Lodge.
My favorite Thai food, papaya sala…
My favorite Thai food, papaya sal…
Chillin.
Chillin.
Bangkok
photo by: Deats