We had enjoyed Singapore and wished we had, had more time there, but Bangkok awaited. It was a short flight but close to our worst nightmare. It was a 3/3/3 seating and the third of our block was a guy with a young baby. Agghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
As it happened he was far more annoying than the child. His wife was in business class (lucky cow). Meanwhile we had to put up with him cooing constantly. He had a problem with his dinner tray and I offered to swap seats while he ate. He declined saying it was only a 2 hour flight. I flippantly said ' yeah but no need to have a two hour nightmare eh?'
'Oh its never a nightmare when I'm with my princess' he wetly replied. Twat, I thought and went back to my red wine.
Anyway the flight was ok. A couple of US comedy sitcoms, a few glasses of red and we were there.
Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the award for the slowest passport control in the world. In second place is last years winner JFK New York. This years winner makes our 25 stone Dunkin Donut munching home security guard look like Usain Bolt on Amphet.....it's Bangkok airports very own 12 year old immigration official.
600 people and about 8 officials. 'Next'....10 minutes later..'Next'. Over an hour we stood in line. What the hell are they looking for? We've got a passport, we've been frisked, bio scanned and had a finger stuffed up our a*** what does looking at my picture and saying my hair is longer tell them !!!!!!!!
By the time it was my turn when they said 'look at the camera' Im surprised the lens didn't break. I was ticking.
The flight took off an hour late. Now these jobsworths. By the time we hit baggage reclaim they had dumped our cases in acorner because a new flight had landed !!!
We had arranged a taxi to meet us. They smiled and said 'welcome to Bangkok, is it your first visit'. 'Nope ' said I but it may be my last if I have to go through that again. I got the feeling they were used to the wait.
To the hotel James and don't spare the horses.
We were slightly nervous. All the hotels we had booked so far had been great. This time though we were going to be coming back three times to the same one. If it was crap we would be worrying right through Cambodia and Vietnam. We had picked the Hilton because it is a big brand and had good Trip Advisor reviews.
Wow what a place. Luxury. Our room is stunning and has a huge panoramic window looking out over the river and city. A king size bed and a sofa. We debated what to do for dinner. After a shower etc we decided to eat in the hotel. Wow again. A fabulous Thai meal sat in the riverside restaurant, right at the front looking onto the river. This is dream stuff.
We took forever to eat just soaking up the view. It was humid and languid and just wonderful.
Up to bed. Believe it or not they actually have a pillow menu . If you don't like the ones on the bed then you can choose different ones and they will bring them to your room.Now if you ever watched Hotel Babylon you will know that asking a Concierge for an extra pillow is code for 'I want a prostitute'. I settled for the pillows I had !!!
A great nights sleep and up this morning for exploring.
We went down and out the front of the hotel. Wham, humidity and the hustle, bustle of Bangkok. Few cities give it to you both barrels but this place does. This is proper foreign. The only English is the Pepsi sign.
We strolled for a while to get our bearings. Walking through the market where you can buy all sorts. Scruffy dogs lay in the street while people set up their woks and cook breakfast for the locals. Dirty, smelly but amazing.
Back to the hotel as we are heading off on the river. Darling we are at the Hilton so they have a private boat to ferry us to the main pier where we can catch a boat to the Royal palace.
We love river trips. Long tail boats whizz by next to slow plodding cargo barges. Soon we are at the pier we want and we step on to dry land again. Through another bustling market.Tuk Tuks abound. Everyone is touting for trade.
Into the Royal Palace. Jill has to rent a shirt to cover her shoulders. Its very sexy........not.
Right Im going to have a little rant now. Those who know me will know Im a pretty hard line Atheist. I even make Professor Dawkins look a little uncertain on the issue.
Can someone explain why so many people seem happy to venerate either a fictitious supernatural being or royalty?
The former for which there is not one single piece of evidence and the latter which is just another person like you and me. Nothing more or less than an advanced primate.
Here we are in the Royal palace. Its amazing. Dripping in opulence and gold leaf. Wealth beyond your dreams.Monarchy like religion is draped in wealth and splendour while it preaches to its followers about chastity and piety. I think the French and Russians had the right idea. Round them up find a big wall and shoot them all.
Ok rant over. The Royal palace is spectacular.......obscene in such an impoverished place but hey not my problem.
We wandered the back streets stepping over sleeping people. One road was lined with guitar shops next to army surplus next to angle grinder dealers..........bizarre.
Our next part of the trip is to Cambodia. We are meeting and staying in the Royal Hotel the first night so we went tofind it. It aint the Hilton, but still nice. We had lunch there.
We went looking for the Thai forensic museum but ran out of time. We'll do that another day. Back on the ferry to the hotel.
This evening we crossed the river and had dinner in a waterfront restaurant. Only a couple of people in it but very nice. We were entertained first by two girls playing Thai instruments then a troop of dancers. It was lovely.
A quick hop across to the other bank on the Hilton boat and we had a night cap in a bar near the hotel before retiring to our room. We love Bangkok.