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Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 1 of 23 › view all entries
Starting off at work is always the worst way to begin travelling. I'd rather get up in the middle of the night and do that half awake, last minute packing exercise where you check you've got your passport and flight tickets at least 10 times, stumble out of the house and realise that you forgot to get washed and dressed.
I was dropped me off in the morning so I could walk straight to the station afterwards. I looked really silly walking through the office with two months worth of survival gear (toothbrush, credit card, passport, board shorts and a pair of pants) strapped to my back. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this. I looked even more stupid frowning all day because I'd forgotten my glasses. Not a good start. Anyway, after 7.5 hours of pretending to do work, while massively down-playing the excitement of the impending journey which I'm about to undertake to my colleagues, the time had come. Of course, being dedicated as I am, I still left work late - much to Lee's annoyance, I'm sure.
The journey to the airport was quite swift, after initial fears of the trans-pennine route being flooded following a heavy 30 second down pour which pretty much screwed all public transport in the UK and that slightly large lady who got stuck on the top of her car somewhere near Birmingham. (I need to find a picture of that). The flight to Qatar was quite pleasant, mainly because I fit in plane seats (unlike Lee). Qatar to Bangkok was less enjoyable because the leg room was smaller, making it a tight squeeze for myself and a knee crushing experience for Lee. He also seems to have anb uncanny knack for sitting beind the person who reclines their seat for the whole flight - even when eating and moving around the plane.
Bangkok! I was anticipating the wall of heat as soon as we moved out of the air conditioned area, but not one quite so humid. It's a really dirty heat - the sort that saturates you in a matter of moments. Fortunately, we were in the back of an air conditioned taxi pretty swiftly. A loely little tropical thunder and lightning storm gently massaged the roof of the car and didn't really want to stop until it knew we had got out and walked in it for enough time to get soaked. I'm exagerrating a little bit, it wasn't anything like the soaking we all got in China.
I didn't realise what a big city Bangkok is. Driving along the skyway at a reasonably high speed for what seemed like ages and still there were skyscrapers on either side of us. Anyway, after directing the taxi driver, because he didn't know where to go (or more likely didn't understand us because we weren't going to Koh San Road), we arrived outside Gulliver's which we knew was somewhere near the Rambuttri Inn at something like 8-9pm local time, about 22 hours after I left work. Credit to Lee - his homing pigeon instincts navigated us there before we got completely drenched. The hotel rooms were a good size, very clean had air conditioning and everything worked. Not a sign of things to come! Bed time. No, wait... what am I saying? Pub time!
We met up with the two girls from Cork, who were sat next to us on the plane. They were still a little bit annoyed that their holiday hadn't started well at all, what with one of the airlines they were travelling with loosing their luggage and only being able to narrow the location of it down to; Heathrow/Qatar/on another plane somewhere else in the world. They also didn't head Lee's advise of telling the taxi driver to put the fare on the meter and so their journey was a few hundred Baht more than ours. Quite simply, they were fucked, so we went out for a few beers and I discovered the worst kind of chatting up technique in the world ever and we all went our seperate ways. At 1.30am after all the travelling, it was definately bed time. "I wonder if I'll go straight to slee...... " zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
We got up quite early, just to really help reset our body clocks and headed out into Bangkok. The hotel is situated at the end of a lane, which is flanked by a variety of tailors. This makes leaving your hotel without being asked how you are, what your name is and where you're from (of course if you even acknowledge any of the above you will be perceived as an individual who wants to buy a suit then and there - regardless of how sweaty / tired / drunk / busy you may look)