Well, it was actually 5 nights in all; 2 days all to myself then the boys joined me for the weekend. And oh, it was lovely. Just to be back in ‘civilisation’ was a relief and I spent the first day shopping. All day. And so the second day was spent lounging by the pool, having some reflexology massage and getting my nails done. Bliss!
And my, it is HUGE isn’t it? Bangkok I mean. This was my first visit proper, not counting the dashes through the airport on the way to somewhere else, and I had no idea it was such a metropolis. So many big skyscrapers and modern buildings. Such great transport, including very cheap taxis (though they need to be with the traffic crawling as it does). And I loved how everything was kind of up a level; skytrains and skywalks, no need to set foot on the dirty old pavement, oh no. Just peer down at the traffic below and marvel at the shopping malls which come in sizes Huge and Huger. Real shops! Real food! Real retail heaven! (And real European prices… hmmmm.)
We stayed at the Chatrium Riverside so were out of the main downtown bustle. We had to get a boat to our hotel! Obvs massive brownie points from Alfie’s point of view. The hotel was very reasonable, great pool and gorgeous room with huge window and balcony looking out on the river traffic below. Downsides were uninspiring food (so disappointing, I love a good hotel breakfast) and expensive wifi.
I had a list as long as my arm of things I Wanted To Get Done, such as upload photos and videos, clean up my blog and other internet housekeeping chores which are impossible with the world’s slowest connection here in Myanmar. But I didn’t get round to it. We did find our Must Have food items; English tea, Swedish crispbread, vanilla essence, maple syrup, decent chocolate! Proper mustard, posh muesli and good black pepper. Sadly no bran flakes this time. But I did buy 2 bags of Salt and Vinegar crisps, woo hoo! And we stocked up on various medical items, mostly Calpol and Gaviscon.
Then we took Alfie to the Funarium which was oodles of fun. Just a huge warehouse for kids with padded climbing frames and ball pools and matting and slides and tunnels and ropes and well, you get the idea. Not to mention cooking classes, party rooms, storytime, rollerblading and much more. Kiddie heaven you might say. Alfie ran around with a huge grin on his face for the best part of 2 hours bless him, pausing only for some juice and a bite of fish and chips, before dashing back into the fray. Brilliant.
Mummy and Daddy treated themselves to a rather more sedate Sunday brunch at Trader Vics at the Marriot on the riverside. My goodness but it was great value. For about $25 you eat as much as you like from a vast array of cold cuts, curries, Chinese, Japanese, roast dinners, rice and noodle dishes, soups, cheeses and even a full English Breakfast Buffet. Salmon of all kinds, oysters, scallops and crab were also on the menu. Not to mention a chocolate fountain, a bewildering variety of cake and ice cream plus the pancake/crepe station and as much fresh fruit as you could carry, including the exotic, for us, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries which Alfie and I devoured by the bowlful.
Ah, Bangkok, Oriental City…