It was a long flight and fairly bumpy for the first half but it settled down for the final six hours and eventually we landed at Bangkok Survarnabhumi airport. It was four o’clock in the afternoon and the heat as we exited the plane struck us full force. The intensity is indescribable, and it was incomprehensible to my English body and brain how this much warmth could be just in the atmosphere without some mechanical or other kind of assistance. We were tired but still had to get through immigration and the queue was long. But, there was nothing could be done except wait and be patient. The bags arrived on the belt well before we were there to collect them, which makes a change. A bit of a hassle to get a cab but we managed to jump the queue unintentionally. Forty minutes later we were checked in to our hotel room. Showered, a change of clothes and we were ready to go out into Bangkok city and meet my son and daughter-in-law for supper.
Naturally we lost ourselves within the first five minutes. We were staying in the Centre Point Hotel Sukhumvit 10. Sukhumvit is the name of the area as well as the street name but ALL the streets were named Sukhumvit but with different numbers. A grid system. Simple but not for a couple of jet lagged Westerners looking for a restaurant who assumed Sukhumvit 11 would be next to 10. Additionally, there were not street names on the walls of the buildings and for some reason (probably jet lag again) we didn’t notice the huge street signs on poles at every corner!
As you can see by the photographs the signs and cables in Bangkok abound in their thousands. The railway was running above our heads as we walked along. Street vendors, the music blaring our walk around the area close to our hotel assaulted all our senses. Bangkok is colourful in every way. The smell of stir frying vegetables, and deep frying foods such as spring rolls — we didn’t see any chicken feet that night thank goodness. There are loads of stalls selling ready prepared fruits; pineapple, melon, grapefruit and pomelo (a new one for me, like a grapefruit). Also of course the ubiquitous coconut! The photograph at the top is a coconut smoothie, a delicious blend of ‘things’ passed off as a mocktail.
Our hotel was wonderful and the salt swimming pool an absolute delight, as well as a must for cooling off. Even though I stayed in the shade for ninety-nine per cent of the time we were there I still managed to get sunburn and prickly heat! I went to the beauty salon in the hotel and got a pedicure, foot massage, nails painted, the full works for an astonishing 200 baht (around £4.80).
We were in Bangkok to celebrate my son Matthew’s 50th birthday. Eventually the whole family arrived in the city and we were joined by a few of Matt’s friends for a meal at Mr Ribeye. There were sixteen of us sitting around the table. I think we gave him a good evening.
A slideshow of Bangkok sights including the hotel pool, Bangkok at night, a walk around a nearby city lake which was only 400 metres from our hotel. Bangkok is a busy city and very hot.
I’m adjusting to the heat gradually. We left Bangkok last Monday to travel down the coast with a few stops, (Cha-am, Nana Beach Chumphon, Khao Lak )along the way to Phuket. More about this little road trip on the next post.