We had a great trip to Thailand, our first since April 2007. We didn’t have any solid plans, other than to make sure we saw Ayudhya, a place I’ve never been to on any of my 10 (or so) visits to Thailand, and to splurge on a night in a luxury hotel (the Shangri-La). I didn’t really need a vacation so badly, since we were just in Japan in June, but Zen has his school and this is his last long holiday until November, and that would be waiting a bit too long… so off we went to Thailand for a week, with a spare day before we flew, and two when we got back (a long weekend Monday).
The flight was smooth, we got to our hotel in a great location down a car-less alley near the river, near Khao San Road, so we got some great roadside restaurant food, cheap, and some beer, then walked around a bit, and chilled out in the hotel room. I went off at 6:00 to meet Val, and we hung out, had some food, then headed off to Nothing But The Blues to play some music and to listen to some great tunes! A lot of fun!!
As usual, click on the picture to see a larger version of the picture.
On my way back home, I wandered around Khao San Road for a bit, got a reminder of how crazy it used to be when I was hanging out in Thailand in 1992. Noisy, loud, gross. Cool t-shirts for sale, though.
Monday morning we had our breakfast at the place, it was okay. The plan was to go to Ayudhya by bus, two hours or so away, and cycle around the ancient ruins. But Zen was sick, so we gave that up for this year, maybe some other trip. Instead, we got a tuk tuk to drive us around some local attractions. Then we bought some beer and hung out in the hotel room.
Tuesday we had our breakfast, then I took Naoko and Zen to see a Thai kickboxing club that I’d found on my wanders the evening before; I didn’t tell them where I was taking them, though, so it was a fun surprise, they liked it.
Then we took the river taxi to the Shangri-La, checked in, and enjoyed the pool, high tea on the 24th floor with the great view of the river, and in the evening happy hour in the same place. Great place to hang out!!
Wednesday we stayed in the Shangri-La as long as we could, then took a bus to Pattaya. Got there around 5:00, were herded into a mini-bus, got to our hotel about 30 minutes later. First impressions of Pattaya weren’t great – ugly, crowded, and full of lonely old men and shops overflowing with massage girls. We found a decent place to eat that wasn’t over-priced, lots of locals eating there too, and then headed back for some sleep.
Went for a steak breakfast, then to the big shopping centre, and finally off to Na Klua fish market. The fish market was awesome – we bought shrimps from one shop, then took it to the next one to be barbecued. Washed it all down with beer! The experience was so amazing, we did it again the next day!!
Spent part of the afternoon on the balcony drinking beer and reading; I heard something rustle and looked down, it was a huge iguana, probably about 2 metres long from nose to tail! Just sitting there, enjoying the world, occasionally pulling himself forward along his belly to find another position. Then he did a half turn and moved back. The next day he did the same, and the morning after (Saturday, when we checked out) he was still doing the same thing. Moving back and forth about two metres a day, one circuit. Well, I guess that’s one way to stay in shape…
Friday we didn’t have any plans, so we pretty much just repeated what we did on Thursday – had a light breakfast, then went to the fish market again for some food. Except this time we had much more – including 1.5 kilos of barbecued shrimp, two different types! Great!! We also bought a bunch of snacks to take back.
Oh yea – here’s a look at the lovely snacks we brought back!!
See ya later, Thailand, we’ll be back!!