|With Pensiri at Lamphu House|
This trip was proving to be lots of fun and I had , as usual, been able to pack in a fair bit. Pong and Link had asked me to come back and stay with them for my last few days, but I had some serious ‘Bangkok cramming’ to do and I needed to be in the middle of the action to do it.
I had already booked my hotel, Siam 2 in Banglamphu. We had stayed there there on our last trip so I knew exactly what to expect and how to get there. It was comfy, clean and close enough to the action without actually being in it. The minibus from Kanchanaburi stopped very close by and I swaggered to my accommodation like a local … although I am sure that with my backpack, I hardly looked like one! This part of Bangkok always feels like home to me!
|Mango and sticky rice|
I was on a mission … as Alex tells me, I usually am! I immediately went to my ‘local’ dentist and made an appointment to have my teeth cleaned and checked. I only ever use dentists in Australia if I have to as they are exorbitant compared to other countries. Appointment next morning!
I met some lovely people at Siam 2, including Aussie sisters Diane and Deb and Argentine-Brazilian couple Gabriele and Cybele. It’s always lovely to meet people who you click with. Siam has a pool so a few nighttime sessions reminiscing about both Brazil and Argentina were had. Cybele and Gabriele, don’t be surprised if I do knock on your door in Buenos Aires and say hello!
|Thai coffee and green curry at the ‘local’|
My next days were spent walking around various parts of Bangkok, eating (bring Thai Street food on!), having massages (stick those elbows in, none of that ‘soft’ stuff for me!), people-watching, shopping, jumping on and off buses, which of course included meeting and chatting to people, and … I was even able to fit in some sightseeing of the cultural sort. I must say, I was a bit disappointed with Mahboonkrong (better known as MBK) Centre. At eight stories high and with some 2000 shops, it’s a shopper’s mecca. I must say, I think it has gone rapidly down hill in the last few years, and the shopping just ain’t what it used to be. It seems to be more expensive and more commercial. Oh well, I still had Chatachuk to go. This is the mother of all markets, and seriously, if you can’t find it here (15 000 plus booths!) you won’t find it anywhere! For someone who hates shopping, I love this place! I love the vibe, the frenetic energy, the mix of people, and the many, many different things on offer. As usual, I put in some serious hours, but my diligence paid off and I found and bought what I was looking for.
|Raw silk, Jim Thompson’s House|
On my way back from the market, I visited Jim Thompson’s House (the cultural, sightseeing bit), very close to Siam Square. I have been meaning to do this for years but somehow have never gotten around to it. Jim Thompson was an American who moved to Thailand in the 1940’s and in 1959 pretty much single- handedly turned the Thai silk industry into a hugely successful export business. What’s remarkable about ‘this house’ is that it’s actually a collection of six traditional Thai wooden homes which he then reconstructed in a jungle like garden. Thompson was also an avid collector of both Thai and oriental art. The guided tour was well and truly worth it.
Sunday night had arrived and I had fitted in everything I needed and wanted to do. Always room for more though! There’s always next time, and of course there will be a next time! I would be flying back home the next day, on my birthday 14 October, but with the stopover in Brunei, would not get home until the 15th.
|The changing face of Bangkok|
Another trip down, and many, many more to go!
“Dont cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” – Dr Seuss
Next: Christmas and New Year in Myanmar (Burma) … with stopovers in Bangkok … of course!
|The many faces of Khao San Road|
|A ‘nice journey’ for some …|
|Banglamphu street vendor|
|Street food … plastic table cloth and all|
|Ah Ronald … you can run but you cannot hide!|
|Pigs ears anyone?|
|Pretty clothes for the bigger woman?|
|Fake it till you make it!|
|Fried scorpion perhaps?|
|No (extra) words needed … Chatachuk Market|
Deb and Di at Siam 2
|Flowers, Jim Thompson’s House|
|Roti Ti-Mahaba, one of my fave Bangkok restaurants|
|Cybele and Gabriel|
|Thai Quit Line|
|Random sign close to Bangkok|
|Miss Tim in Ko Samet, why not Madame Joe in Bangkok?|