Surat Thani to Bangkok
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 12 of 12 › view all entries
November 26th, 2006 – by: cygnus16
I decided to spend the remaining few days of my trip in Bangkok, so I booked a "first class" sleeper from Surat Thani. Instead of arriving at 10:00pm it finally rolled in at 1:00am. I was told by a railroad official that the train, which originated in Malaysia, had been delayed due to muslim insurgency problems at the border. After a night of grinding, screeching , stop and go lurching, which almost knocked me out of my upper berth a couple of times, we finally arrived at Hualampong Station around 1:00 PM. From there I rode a tuk tuk to my hotel on Sukhumvit Road. I find it not only more economical to take tuk tuks, but these guys usually know some great short cuts that taxis can't navigate. Also, it's more fun. I spent a good part of my time in those final days in the air conditioned Siam Shopping Center, which was, in late November, all decked out in Christmas decorations. There was a wonderful display of Santa with his reindeer - all in white Christmas lights - on the Sukhumvit side of the shopping plazza. I enjoyed watching Thai people take photos of one another riding in Santa's sleigh. On my final day in The Kingdom I got a day long pass for the Skytrain and spent the afternoon getting off the train at various exits to explore different neighborhoods. At one stop I thought I had suddenly landed in the Middle East. I noticed three consulates in that block: Iraqui, Egyptian and Syrian. At an open air Egyptian restaurant, from which there emanated the sonorous sound of middle eastern music, there were several elderly arabs in white robes and with long, white beards drinking tea. On a rack in front of the restaurant was a large assortment of "hooka's" (smoking devices). That's Bangkok......a crossroads of many cultures.
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