Greetings! Now that I have something to actually write about (three weeks in Thailand and Cambodia), here I am posting again. Maybe I’ll even continue after I finish my write-up!
You can see all my pictures from the trip at flickr, and read on for the first installment of my notes.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, the new international airport in Bangkok, is a massive complex, but you exit out of Customs into a space that feels cramped; this is mostly due to the large mass of greeters and touts waiting at the exit. Every guide book will tell you the same thing: unless you’re actually part of a tour group that is being greeted, head straight for the official taxi stand, which is on the first floor. On the way, there will certainly be friendly official-looking people with clipboards asking you where you’re going; these people should be politely brushed off unless you feel like paying twice what you should for a taxi ride to your hotel. You’re going to be saying no to a lot of tuktuk drivers as you make your way about the city, so take it as valuable practice.
As I had been up for about 25 hours by the time I landed, I was reasonably impressed that I managed to negotiate this and get a proper metered taxi; the awake-but-out-of-it feeling was probably the best state of mind for the 140 km/hr ride to the hotel where my friend Paul, who I’d be travelling with for the next 2 weeks, was already staying. Head finally hit pillow about midnight local time, which was about 10am according my body.
Aside from a couple typical stops (Golden Palace, Reclining Buddha), we don’t hit a lot of the main tourist attractions in our two days in Bangkok, choosing instead to wander and see the city. A few highlights from doing just this: