18th January 2018
Initial fears that Bookings manager had done it again with a dark alley hostel next to a large Wat (a Buddhist temple) were unfounded. Sally had found an old Thai colonial house, The Orchid House 153 http://booking.com with a large clean room and minimal chanting monks. Far enough away from the madness of the Khao San Road that a good nights sleep (essential these days) was had, it was time to explore.
Bangkok is an amazing city, the teeming mass of humanity has its own unmistakable odour, well where we stayed anyway, of a heavy fish sauce mingling with the dozens of street food stalls and the occasional waft of sewage. The best street Pad Thai is a walk past Victory monument, wait 40 minutes for a table at Thip Samai, well worth the wait. Paradoxically the place seems a bit cleaner and less frantic this time round. A daily Thai massage for £3 should be considered essential.
Shaking it down and the journey out, a bit of Bangkok exploration. A first time visit to the Jim Thompson house, an American architect and businessman who revived the then
flagging silk trade which attracted clients from all over the world. He built and designed this teakwood house which houses his art collections. In 1967 it is said the Jim Thompson walked off into the Malaysian jungle never to be seen again, proving every day is a school day, well worth a few hours of your time. A visit to the sprawling MBK shopping mall where everything you could imagine is for sale, a copied Panerai watch costs £50. Onto Lumpini Park where the usual people watching was only just about average, it is time to move on.
Phase 2. Koh Lanta tomorrow, find a beach before Island hopping through the Andaman’s into Penang. A bit worried that 55 days will not be enough.