The Return

Knee significantly better, I had another stop in Bangkok on my return to Bhutan. On this trip, I'd arranged to see an old colleague from Japan. She and her husband were now living in Bangkok and he gave me some advice on how to spend the day. Since I was interested in cheap electronics and DVDs, he suggested Chatuchak weekend market and Patpong. I figured that between these, I'd be able to fill in the day between the wait for my Drizabone at the airport and our rendezvous in the evening. Luck was with me, and instead of the 5 hours I was expecting to wait, the coat arrived in half an hour. That left ample time for me to check into a hotel and go shopping. Unfortunately, Street 1 was full so I had to drag my bags around for half an hour looking for another affordable but secure (I had my laptop with me) bunking place. I ended up at the Grace hotel, which was the same price and larger, but dirty. I wasn't sure that it had even been cleaned after the last person since their soap was still sitting in the bath. I decided to use my own towel and vowed to book Street 1 when Marie and I come at the end of the year. The Skytrain, a monorail that runs high above the main roads, ran all the way to the weekend markets so I got my first taste of the excellent public transport that Bangkok has to offer. The markets were a bit of a let down. There were whole blocks of stalls selling all sorts of Thai cushions and carvings, but I had neither the bag space

By |June 19th, 2005|Categories: Bhutan, Thailand|0 Comments

Heading South

If you'll excuse the euphemism, I'm referring to the fact that this page catalogues my first trip to Thailand, a stopover on my way to Australia from Bhutan. The airport was like any other in South-East Asia, large, worn and crowded with the braying of taxi drivers. I avoided them, knowing that taxi is the most convenient and most expensive way of leaving an airport, and I'd been an international bum for months now. The shuttle buses were likely to be better, but I'd been reliably informed that the airport bus would take me right to Sukhumvit where I would stay. At only 100 baht, my choice was confirmed and I watched the rain for the better part of an hour while the bus carried me into town. I was travelling without the Lonely Planet again, but my informants had told me that Thailand had only 2 or 3 seasons, depending on who you asked. It was either hot, hotter and hottest or hot and hot and wet. Whichever way you looked at it, I was here at the worst time. Wet express ways surrendered to wet streets crowded with stalls. The bus stopped and I looked around wildly for any sign of where we were. There was nothing obvious, so I asked the driver and had to repeat myself a few times. When he eventually understood (this was also my first trip to any country without being able to speak even a single word in the local language), he said that it was. Despite the famous composure of Thais who consider anger the worst of rudeness (I'm told by someone who used to live here), there was something in his tone that said he

By |May 17th, 2005|Categories: Thailand|0 Comments