Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bangkok - the arrival.

 I left home with my travel essentials and
 return air ticket with four nights of hotel accommodation booked.  

The rest I would worry about when I got to Bangkok.
I was going to wing it.  
Been a while since I just went along and 
left things to whim.

Probably one of the best airport shuttles in the world.
Paddington station to Heathrow in 15 minutes.
No other city can beat that and I never take it for granted.

Since when did Heathrow start looking like 
Westfield shopping center?

Best thing about long haul flights - catching up with movies.

Finally got to watch Skyfall-
 sometimes you need to be in a situation where
you have nothing else to do for 11 hours.
Got into a cab at the airport.
Asian taxi drivers are a tribe of sorts.
A quarter of the stories from Asia is about taxi rides aren't they?

This guy "collected" money.  
So he asked me to add to his collection.  I gave him a 20 p coin. 
He wasn't impressed and wanted paper money! 
I felt like telling him I would like to start a collection of money too.
But only 50 quid notes. 
Got any of those, I asked.
 All of a sudden, his English no good one lah.
 Arrived at the Metropolitan hotel.
8 years ago I stayed next door at the Banyan Tree and
 thought I really wanted to try staying here.
Bit of a cluster of sky scrapers on this road.

Banyan Tree - this is the hotel with the bar at the top.  
Sorry didn't go up there this time...
Checked the closet and they had a nice touch with the yoga mat just in case you felt  like doing some yoga.
My room - very minimalist.  
So not me but was nice to have a sparse setting for a change.
Lovely welcome tea and exotic fruit plate.
Love the dragon fruit - it looks like the eyes of a cartoon character.
Tastes like a watery pear with the black bits like the texture of raspberry seeds.
First thing I do when I arrive at any hotel with 
a pool is go straight to it.
This was a scene pool - as in be seen but no real swimming.
Jet lag hit me hard so had to cancel dinner with friends and went to  bed at 9 and got up at 1 so ordered room service.
I was traveling alone so when I ordered my drink but 
two portions of food they had to rub it in and confirm. 
Curry and rice and pad thai for one people? 
Yes, for one people.
I am on vacation.

After eating I decided to go to the flower market.
I had already been there last time I was in bangkok but it left such an impression I wanted to go back.
 Plus, it was one of the few kosher places that was still open in Bangkok.

Thought I had left football behind in England but Bangkok was up in the morning to watch Real Madrid play Manchester United.

The temple right next to the flower market in Chinatown.

I will say that if you go to the flower market - 
try and go during regular hours.

Because of the time of night - it was geared mainly for the wholesalers whereas last time I went I went during early evening.
 So they were geared for both passer by's and wholesalers so the display wasn't as enticing.

That is less than one pound for a bunch of fresh roses.
 So in dollar terms, a buck fifty!

The display not great and you had to just order the flowers inside.

Love love love these flowers.  
All different types of orchids.
A bunch of orchids was about a dollar each!
I would be paying twenty times that in London plus the variety would be zilch.  

These lotus flowers below were more expensive at about ten dollars a bunch.
 But these are mostly for ceremonial purposes and for the altars of the Buddhas.

These just looked out of place in a Bangkok flower market...

These are garlands that people hang everywhere from altars to the home and taxi cabs.

I adore the way they handle flowers in the Southeast Asia.  

These are wreaths made with just the flower heads.
I wish we had more wreaths all year round and not just Xmas.

Then right next to the market were people just sleeping 
on the floor.  
Very incongruous after seeing so many pretty flowers...

So got into a cab where the driver was buying fresh garlands 
for his taxi.

Could you imagine any other country where the cabbies go to the flower market for his daily flowers?

He said in the universal language of pointing to his tummy and making wind noises with his mouth that nature called.
He  left me for a while in the petrol station-
with the meter running.

Then he played the universal taxi language of I don't know where your hotel is and got out of the cab in the road to ask questions of where my hotel was...

I gave up and walked because things comes in threes and I didn't want to hang out in his cab any longer.

I walked past these street stalls with the most amazing omelettes.  
It was an eggy street.

Mini fried eggs in the making.

They were just selling loads of fried eggs.
In the morning, I went out to get one of my favourites - 
Pomelo juice.
Freshly squeezed - the bags are proof of morning work.
It tastes of oranges, clementines, and lime.
Soo refreshing and only about 60 cents!
I love how there are flowers everywhere in Bangkok and in the most unexpected places.  
Orchids for the hand towels in the loos.

An oasis in Bangkok - Lumpini park.
Very few parks so this is a lovely respite for the citizens and me.
The sky train - the main source of transport in central Bangkok because the traffic is terrible.

Believe it or not, this is the highway - not a parking lot...

My tuk tuk ride - sometimes on short trips this is the way to go.  
But as long as you have a vague idea of where you are going.

Sleepy dogs are universal. But rather a big dog for Bangkok.

Traditional Thai building which is hard to see in Bangkok.
I looked closer and realized it wasn't a general cornicing but they were plates!
I absolutely adore this but don't think I will start putting plates outside my house...

Altars everywhere you look in the city.
Outside a shopfront.

In front of office buildings.

Pagodas on top of the office buildings or out on the ledges.
See bottom left corner...

One of the few colonial style buildings in Bangkok.

Thailand was never properly colonized so it is rare that you see these types of buildings here.

Had lunch with a friend at Nahm which was a restaurant in my hotel.
Great food but then realised they have a sister restaurant in London at the Halkin Hotel in Belgravia...
Jet lag was getting me bad so went to sleep soon after to order another round of midnight snacks.
This time I was much cannier and ordered three starters to escape the judgemental gaze of my eating habits.
So I went down to the lobby to keep busy and took a picture of it while it was empty.
I was using the hotel computer in the lobby because there is a limit of what the iPad can do.

Everytime a male guest came in, let's just say he was outnumbered.
There was one German guy who came in with a 
well endowed fifty year old woman , a skinny twenty year old, 
and a katoy, the Thai word for tranny.  
If he didn't know now, he was soon to find out.
I must say I have a complicated relationship with Bangkok.  

I love it then hate it.

It is so spiritual and floral and then it can be so seedy.

But I guess that is the what makes it interesting.

I have more posts on Bangkok as there was rather a lot of things to see, so you can choose which ones may interest you or not. 
I will just put it out there when I have time for you to view.

For now, I am off to catch another flight...xx


  1. Amazing pictures! Can't wait to see the rest of your trip, I really want to visit Thailand xx

    1. I think you would really enjoy it - it is somewhere that you could go with family, friends, or alone!

  2. My husband was just raving about the Heathrow Express to me the other day. I don't know why but he always gets a car, which takes forever. This time they got the express and loved the wifi etc and how clean and fast it was. Melbourne Airport should take a few lessons..... All those stinky cabs would definitely be out of business. nothing like holding your breath for 45 minutes from the airport into Melbourne city....
    As for your trip photos - love them. The flowers in Asian countries are so lovely. They have a lot of thought and craft behind them, always placed somewhere special. I haven't been to Bangkok in 21 years, so I suspect it's changed a lot since then. The food you had looks delish, and you certainly did well to find traditional Thai buildings in amongst the skyscrapers. Would love to hear more! xx

    1. It is funny how one would expect Australia to have gotten their act together on stuff like that!

      I hope you like the Jim Thompson house - wondering if you made it on your last trip? Xx

  3. I love settling down for a movie-fest on a long plane journey - with a drink in my paws, of course.I think you're brave wandering out by yourself at that hour. I'd have strangled the taxi driver. Love to see that flower market in full swing, those blooms look gorgeous.

    1. I would have cussed him out but my Thai is non existent! I am looking forward to watching some more movies and trying out a few hard liquors on the flight...

  4. I enjoyed your post which brought back so many memories of our stay there a few years ago. The sky train, tuk tuk and dragon fruit are instant reminders of this vibrant and fascinating city.
    Lovely photos of the flowers and wreaths.

  5. Oh Naomi sounds and looks wonderful - not too sure about some of the food but.... I love the idea of taxi drivers taking pride in their cab by decorating with flowers, but this delight is definitely offset by him making poo poo/wee wee gestures yuk! I think you made the right choice getting out when you did.

    The buildings look so imposing, but then I didn't expect anything less. Enjoooy hun xx

    1. The food is so tasty and for the most part nutritious! You should check it out next time xx

  6. I'm with you on Paddington to Heathrow - what a difference that has made.

    Like Sulky on long flights, I like a drink in my paws with 4mg of valium on the side, I have such a party to myself before conking out.

  7. Love this post :) I hate the long flight to Asia - I cried the last time I went because my TV didn't work and I was sitting next to a woman who smelled like death. But when I finally got there, and had a good sleep, I was once again enthralled by the beauty and colour of everything around me.
    Absolutely love your story about the taxi driver! So relatable!

    Much love,
    Jennifer x

  8. WOW - thanks for the tour and letting us see ur vacation - i love "winging it"

  9. Lovely post!!!
    Do you like to follow each other?
    let me know...
    See you soon...

  10. Love this movie.

    If you get a sec, check out my latest 2 posts 'Channeling Audrey' and 'Nautical with Orange Accents'. Hope you like it.

    Have a great Wednesday,

  11. Just catching up on all the posts. Hope Bangkok is fun. I'm already excited to read your next post. Thanks a ton for the comments on my travel post. Great ideas and I need them. Really appreciate it!


  12. I LOVE that you ordered 2 entres!! Have a wonderful rest of your trip...Can't wait for more!!

  13. Looks amazing!! I'm so jealous!!

    Rachel @ AMomentInTime.

  14. heahtrow definitely looks like a mall - i couldn't believe it!

  15. Guys, I tried to reply one by one but I am having huge connection issues so just want to say thanks for coming by and I still have a few more countries left! Xx

  16. Sounds like you are having fun there!! Enjoy the rest of your trip.
    Look forward to hearing about your next trip.
    Catherine xo

  17. Mum and i went a saw this at the Cinemas


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