A few days in Bangkok

Date: 24/03/2007 | Author: Gabby

We arrived in Bangkok for a couple of days with no subsequent plans. We had planned a route which involved travelling to Chiang Mai in N Thailand for a few days and then over the border at Chiang Khong and in to Laos for The Gibbon Experience (the only thing we had already booked) followed by a trip down the Mekong to Luang Prabang.
However, when we were in Manly I spoke to Helen Beales who said that she had read reports in the UK press about the pollution in Chiang Mai due to the slash and burn farming methods used in the region. Of course, I was straight on the internet and the situation seemed dire. Everyone advised to wear masks and children advised not to go outdoors altogether! Fortunately we had not booked any flights at the time and Dave and I decided we needed to monitor the situation once we reached Bangkok.
Arriving in the intense heat at about midnight, we checked in to our accommodation Centre Point Silom. A great place with huge roomy apartments (I have never experienced that before in Bangkok), a little shabby but just about to undergo a major refurb so should be really swanky in about a year. It's in a great location too - close to the Chao Phraya river and seconds from one of the stops for the relatively new sky trains - these futuristic looking air conditioned trains are the best and coolest way to get around the city!
On day 1, we took a guided tour of Wat Pho, a huge temple complex just south of the Grand Palace followed by a family Thai massage before we were defeated by the heat and retreated to our hotel swimming pool.
By day 2 we were all feeling a little more acclimatised and ventured to the huge Jatujak weekend market. I have never been there before in all of my trips to Bangkok because it was always such a nightmare to get to. The skytrains and (even newer) underground have changed that! It was a great market, sure it had an element of the usual tourist tat for sale but there were some great little stalls which we found courtesy of the The Luxe Guide to Bangkok. We were also directed to the fabulous Viva bar where we were greeted with a moist towelette before being offered the drinks menu!
We even managed a trip to Jim Thompson's House. Before this visit to Thailand I had heard of him but didn't have a clue who he was - now I know and I also know that he had built a very lovely house in Bangkok prior to his disappearance in 1967.
Our final evening in Bangkok and the official news was that the smoke and smog was clearing so flights to Chiang Mai were booked - ridiculously cheap with Air Asia. Let's hope the conditions don't change............

› Back