One Night In Bangkok
Okay, so I I had to do it! Yes it's a cliche, but a fun one!
Let's get the logistics out of the way first. I got to Dulles way early so I could enjoy some time in the First Class Lounge sampling the champagne. Which I did. And then boarded the flight to Narita. The flight was fine, just very, very long. Over 14 hours. There was a reason why I've been hoarding my frequent flier miles for this trip. So I could sleep. Yeah, not so much. I slept maybe 3 of them. Landed in Narita. Again to the first class lounge. Which had sushi if you were so inclined. I was not. In theory I had a 40 minute connection. Try two hours. They had to get a new plane. An A380. A guppy. Which I had never flown on before. So that was cool. First class for Royal Thai Airways was upstairs. So that was nice. Their slogan is "Smooth As Silk" which sadly the flight was not. Bumpy the whole way. We must have changed altitude dozens of times to try to find some smooth air. Nope. And the flight was seven hours. Seven LONG hours. Ugh. Arrived at Bangkok just a midnight. One of the perks of being first class is someone whisked me (and the other first class passengers) to immigration where we had our own line. Got my luggage and headed to grab where a taxi when the heat and humidity just hit me like a brick. 81 degrees at 1AM. Really. Fine. I've resigned myself to basically sweating this whole trip. I'll deal. I made it the Pullman G hotel around 2AM. Quick shower and then crawled into bed. Quick question. When it's 81 degrees at midnight, do you really need a duvet on the bed? #HotSleeping = Not Sleeping.
Up early, of course! But today was the easy day. I wanted to go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Not ready yet to brave the public transportation system, I took at cab. The guide book suggested getting there early and I was there before 10. So not bad. It's one of the world largest markets and it's kind of insane. It makes the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul look like the Galleria. The C-market is a warren of little shops selling every thing from kitchen stuff to clothes to art work and everything in between. I mean, who doesn't want a three foot tall metal statue of a Transfomer? It was fascinating, and a little too easy, to just get lost wandering the maze of little stores. Bangkok is all about the smells and the market was just a microcosm of that. You'll pass an aroma store (good), then dried fish stalls (ugh), and then come across an open air kitchen that smelled divine. So it was cool. Always on the hunt for a cool t-shirt I noticed that the new hip brand (and surely a knock off) is the Heroin brand. Yes, the T-shirt would have a famous city (Osaka) and then the word Herion. Umm. No. My favorite t-shirt was the one that said "I'm Not Perfect, I'm a Limited Edition." It only came in a tank top, so I passed, but I'm going to use that when I updated my Match.com profile! After wandering a bit and just dripping in sweat, I stopped at one of the food stands called Islam Salam where I got the curry noodles with chicken. Someone said one that if you eat spicy food you'll be less hot. They lied. Still hot and now sweating like a pig. Lovely. Which made my decision to get a foot massage in a small air conditioned room that much easier. And it was Devine. And $6. After making a small purchase, I went back to the hotel to nap. The sun was brutal and I needed some quiet time in the dark.
After a really good disco nap, I got up and put real clothes on. Pants and a linen shirt. I was off to cocktails at one of the many roof top bars. I had chosen the SkyBar at La Bua Tower since it was relatively close to me so I grabbed a tuk-tuk (and open air jeepney kind of thing) and headed over. Taxis are airconditioned and have meters. Tuk-tuks allow you to breathe the fumes of Bangkok's millions of cars and you have to barter with them. Ugh. Anyways, I got to the SkyBar just a 6PM and made my way to the roof. You actually step down from the top floor where the restaurant is to the bar and viewing platform is. Hmm, so this viewing platform is not for the squeamish. It's an amazing view, but the railing is basically 3 feet tall. There is not safety glass or netting. And you are on the 61st floor I think. So it's a good drop down to the ground. Just don't look down. I ordered a Pink on the Roof (vodka based) which was $25! It was delish, but you are paying for the view so I took some pics of the sunset. It really was quite pretty as the sun set into the humidity/smog on the horizon. As I waited for the night to fall, I ordered the Pop Star (tequila based with a pineapple popsicle in it!). Again, pretty fricken bueno! As dusk turned to night, the city lit up and it was pretty amazing. Such a great view! Well, since I really couldn't have another drink here, I went back to my hotel and changed back into shorts. BTW, I'll complain about the heat all the time, just take that as a given. Anyways, I walked down Silom Rd down to the Gay Street. Yep, that's what they call it. Shocking that it's so close to my hotel. Had three more drinks (vodka & soda), spring rolls, and chicken fried rice for $28! I'm loving the exchange rate. But after the food and drinks, I bonked hard. Went back to the hotel to crash. No late night partying for me. So that was my first night (and day) in Bangkok. Not too bad.