Blog Day 79 Sun 24th July 2011
Today we get the hell out of here and what a good day to be going too as it is absoulutly pouring it down with rain. Just going from the hotel to the taxi we get drenched. The airport is only about a 30min drive away & cost us a quarter of what we got stung for, for a 10min journey when we very first arrived here in Ho Chi Minh. We are headed back to Bangkok, our flight gets delayed only by about 15mins but when you can't wait to leave somewhere it's annoying. We get into Bangkok around 1ish, jump straight into a metered ticket taxi & 45mins later arrive at our hotel (The Manora Hotel). We decided to stay out of the way of the main strip. This means having to take taxi's to the shopping malls but its worth the peace & quite. We head straight to the MBK to have a search for a new camera hoping that we can get a replacement for before we hit the Islands. We have no idea what we are after so after a bite to eat we decide to head back to the hotel to do a bit of research.
Blog Day 80-82 Mon 25th-Wed 27th July 2011
The next 3 days are pretty much a mixture of days spent wandering around the shopping malls trying to get the best deal possible for a new camera. This is an expense we could do without, however we can't bring ourselves to get a cheap and cheerful replacement. Last night our research led us towards a particular camera that was at the very tip of our 'new camera' budget. It does everything that the old camera did but a little bit better and it cost around the same as our old camera is going for. We kind of expected electrical goods to be cheaper out here, but that is far from the case. Our old camera is more expensive out here than it is back home. WHICH SUCKS!
Trish has also decided to give up on her backpack. This is kind of a joint decision as Dan seems to spend a good deal of time carrying both backpacks when it comes to stairs and slight inclines. So now we are also looking for a reasonably priced suitcase (that isn't lined with drugs!). After 2 days worth of looking and bargaining and stressing and arguing we finally pick up a camera and a suitcase.
Back at the hotel we sort through all the stuff that we want to send back home, this consists of various souvenirs from Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. Also we decide to cut down on some of our clothes that we find we aren't wearing. We pack up the bag that we are sending home and feel really good about the fact that things are getting sorted out. Fortunately, for Dan, the post office is just around the corner from the hotel so he doesn't have to carry the bag too far. When we get there the procedure is pretty painless, and on weighing our package we discover that we have been carrying around 15kg of 'stuff'. Needless to say this is a weight off our shoulders! Hopefully it makes it back to the UK in one piece!
One evening we decided to go to the cinema as Dan had been itching to see Transformers 3 for weeks. After buying tickets we get the usual popcorn & drinks, pick up our 3D glasses and take to our seats with the empty suitcase that we had bought on this particular day. We get through all the trailers and even stand for the King (a big thing over here), then all excited on go our 3D glasses & we wait for the film to begin. All is dark then suddenly the magical music kicks in. To begin with we both think that this is another movie trailer, but it soon turns out that unless Optimums Prime is planning on kicking Harry Potter's wand waving arse, we are in the wrong movie!! We couldn't help but laugh as we got up with our shopping bags and empty suitcase and walked out. Turns out the ticket guy had booked us in for the wrong film, Transformers isn't even showing in 3D!
However the guy is really nice & gives us replacement tickets for the next evening with no fuss & we manage to blag drinks & popcorn free of charge. The next night when we appear we are sent up to the VIP lounge where we receive a free cocktail, get our popcorn & drinks & enter the cinema. It's very plush indeed, we defiantly have the better end of the deal tonight, the seats are like sofas & you get a blanket to wrap yourself up in. We watch all the trailers once again, stand for the King & then finally on comes transformers, at least it was a good film!
Another highlight of our time in Bangkok was going to the Sky bar. This is where they filmed part of The Hangover 2. You have to be dressed smartly so it's an excuse to do our hair & slap on some of make-up. Trish puts on a dress & Dan puts on he's tailor made trousers, shirt & shoes & off we go. The bar itself only happens to be about 10 mins away from our hotel so it doesn't take long to get there. Tonight of all nights however there has been some rather impressive thunder & fork lightening accompanied by a downpour. By the time we get there the rain has stopped, however they aren't letting anyone outside to the rooftop bar. They views would have been amazing out there. We decide against staying for a drink however as at 500Baht (£10) a pop it's not exactly traveler friendly. We spend an hour or so wandering around admiring the view & then once decided that they will not open the balcony we grab a taxi back to our hotel and order in a Mc Donalds, yes they do McDonalds delivery!!
On our last day in Bangkok we have to hang around until late evening when we are due to get on a bus heading out of the city and onto the islands. Starting with Ko Phangan, hopefully a chance to chill out & top up our tans.