We ordered a taxi from the hotel in Hanoi to take us to the airport. You pay me said the manger. We have contract, you no have to pay driver. Ok I thought he seems pretty convincing.
A couple of our party had had problems with the local cabbies changing the fair at the last moment. One girl had been locked in the cab until she paid up.
We got in the cab and he immediately put on the meter. Aye aye we thought is this a scam. I weighed up the cabbie and thought I could 'ave im LOL. Of course he may have friends and be a kick boxing expert. Oh well at worst we'll pay twice.
So we sat uncomfortably for the trip and watched the meter. Anyway when we got there Jill and I opened our doors in a flash and got out. The cabbie got our cases out and without a word or smile got back in and drove off. Phew ........still reckon I could've 'ad 'im.
Hanoi International airport was fun. Our flight was on the board but there was no Thai airline desk and no one seemed to know if or when there would be. The airport was quiet so we went for a beer. An hour later we went in search of the desk again and found a 300 deep queue. Where had they all been hiding?
Anyway we got checked in and went on board.
Arriving in Bangkok could not have been more different this time. A 2 hour flight. Off the plane in a jiffy. Our bags were on the carousel in no time and we were through passport control and in our taxi in double quick time.
30 minutes later we walked into the sumptuous lobby of the Hilton. We like this place.
A high floor facing up river we said. 23rd floor and a view to die for.
We threw our bags down and went for a beer. Later we sank into the huge bed and slept.
Next day after a cappuccino by the river and its off to Khosan rd for some shopping . I bought some fishermans trousers, some T shirts and some other bits. When the stall holder shows you pictures of his children and wipes a tear away you know you are close to a bargain. You smile, me smile, we both smile good deal.
We had a fab day wandering around and stopping occasionally for a cocktail. That evening we crossed the river and had dinner in Thai Sala. They had music followed by Thai dancers. Its all very precise with subtle foot movements and fingers shapes.
Next day we decided to go Nana on the Sumkhuvit Rd. This is one of the main roads in the commercial area. It has Soi (Rds) leading off it. The low number Soi are the sex trade areas. Last time in Bangkok we had stayed in this area.
We went by Skytrain to Siam then changed for Nana. There are some huge shopping malls here. We eventually ended up in a bar we had visited when we came out for my nephew Deans wedding.
It didn't do food but you could get a beer and a w****. Jill was the only western woman there. Otherwise it was fat middle aged men and Thai girls.
We pottered around the area then headed back to the hotel.
That night we decided to treat ourselves. The Hilton has a circular bar on the top. Its called the 360 bar for obvious reasons. It was dimly lit with soft music playing and we had prime seats. Two Long island ice teas and the world had been put to rights.
Then, down the 31 floors in the glass outside lift to the riverside restaurant, for dinner. It was a lovely evening . We hit the pillows just after midnight with the alarm set for 6.30 and an airport pick up.
Our taxi was prompt and we headed for BKK airport. It was a 1 hour flight to Phuket where we were met by our next taxi to take us to Khao Lak.
We had thought it was a 2 hour drive. Our meet and greet lady said 1.5 hours but it only took 1 hour.
We had been to Ko Samui a few years before for Deans wedding. On that occasion we booked the Royal suite which was a beach front bungalow. It was amazing.
This time we had gone for a very special end to our adventure. We booked the Superior beach front apartment. You know how it is.....does the brochure match the reality?
Nope....... it exceeds it !!!!
This wasn't a room. It wasn't even a bungalow. This was a beach front house. Its massive. It has a living room, bedroom, two showers, three toilets, two balconies. A deck area that is bigger than our garden at home and a private pool/Jacuzzi looking out to sea.
When we arrived and walked on to the deck other guests looked over to see who we were. Our butler shooed them away. Ok we don't have a butler .Oh but did I mention the sunken bath which is a bit like a footie club bath and big enough for the whole team !!!
Tomorrow we will venture into Khao Lak town.