Well, we’re here! It comes as a bit of a surprise to be honest, as I can safely say I have never felt less prepared for a trip! After four months of wedding planning, four days exhaustedly packing up belongings, writing thank you cards and saying far too many goodbyes, we had all but closed the car doors when we realised that printing our flight tickets, whilst not compulsory, would probably be wise! They have proven invaluable twice already. Our other errors were too embarrassingly basic to mention!
After an awkward moment at security when Dean’s bag tested positive for traces of explosives (!) we were pretty excited to discover that we would be flying with Singapore Airlines instead of the scheduled Virgin Atlantic. It was (Dad) an Airbus 380 and we got to sit upstairs – bizarre to begin with but then pretty inconsequential for the rest of the flight except for a cool little cubby hole under the window seat to put all your stuff in. The airline lived up to my expectations: good leg room (admittedly more beneficial for Dean than me!), personal entertainment screens, metal cutlery, hot towels, continuous snacks available (including Toffee Crisps 🙂 and good food of which we were conveniently informed by a menu at the start of the flight.
I wouldn’t say 12 hours flew by but, other than very fat feet by the end, it was as enjoyable as it could be. I got to watch Monsters University and The Great Gatsby but I did also learn a valuable lesson: regardless of the time, when they switch the main lights off in the plane, it’s wise to go to sleep because they know best! I didn’t.
Something else I learnt on the flight was that noodles are commonly eaten for breakfast in this part of the world. I enjoyed the experience when it was really midnight but I’ll have to report back on whether they’re so good at 8am.
We then had about 4 hours to kill in Singapore airport which was OK even in our zombie-like states. There were lots of orchids and gardens and sculptural experiences to make your wandering more pleasant. In the end though, sleeping on the floor seemed the best use of time!
Our second flight, with Air Asia, was much less comfortable (think Easyjet no frills) but fortunately only about 2.5 hours and we managed to sleep for almost all of it. The highlight was definitely being sung a welcome song by the air hostess on arrival!
800 Baht for a taxi took us about two hours through Bangkok’s rush hour to our hotel called TENFACE which feels far more luxurious than our usual standard of accommodation (thanks to the Priestnall family and Ashgate!). We were greeted with a honeymoon cake. With our own art installation, a special box of welcome goodies (called Tosakan’s Heart Box after a legend about a ten-faced giant) and free wi-fi*, we’re feeling pretty at home!
Last night we used the hotel’s free tuk tuk to go for some traditional Thai food at Baan Glob Gig before embarking on a mammoth 13 hour sleep!
Today, or what was left of it, we decided to visit China Town which entailed our first ride on the Skytrain: about 22 Baht (50p) for a couple of stops.
Then a very long walk by an inner city canal; I’ll leave you to imagine the array of aromas we experienced! It was dark by the time we arrived and discovered the bustling traffic-filled roads lined with street food sellers and colourful neon signs. By day apparently it’s the place to come to buy gold but by night it’s quite a different story with fresh pomegranate juice, shark fin and other fishy delicacies, roasting chestnuts and ducks, squid on a stick or, as we tried, mushrooms and bacon! Here are a few photos from our first day of wandering, obviously not edited so sorry if they’re a bit dark.
After a tasty Chinese meal, we made our way home, opting for a taxi instead to avoid the long walk. We had our first scam avoidance opportunity when the driver offered us a ‘deal’ of 100 Baht! Tomorrow the plan is to see old Bangkok including the Grand Palace and various temples (wats) I believe, before a very posh meal out!
Geckos seen so far: 15 (we love geckos!)
Weather: 31° and cloudy
Photos taken: 81
That reminds me, I’ve made 3 resolutions for the trip:
1. Take better photos. I’ve always been very much a point-and-shoot-lots-and-hope-one-is-good kind of person but having done 4 months of the 365 project earlier this year, I feel I know more about my camera and so I’m going to try and put this into practise, hopefully meaning less photos overall too!
2. Broaden my food horizons. Quite a challenge for me but I’ve already tried some weird vegetables and cakes and I’ve eaten meat (pork) which I wouldn’t normally abroad.
3. Chill out! Be happy to take the slow route. Be content without a plan!
* it’s actually been broken for 24 hours thus my post being out of date!