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2013 SEPT THAILAND - STOPOVER IN ASIA

Breaking the trip to Europe, stopping a few days in Thailand and Malaysia.

sunny 30 °C
View 2013 Sept ON THE WAY ASIAN STOPOVER on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

Hello all,

Well, Lyn and I are off on another great adventure.

This is just a warning email, to advise you I will be sending out blogs of our travels. If you do not want to receive these emails please let me know and I will remove you from this email list - or you can just delete the email when you receive it.

We will also be posting photos on Facebook if you are interested, if you are not yet a friend of Lyn's or mine and wish to see the pics just send a friend request and we will accept you.

itinerary:

Firstly we fly to Asia for a quick couple of days stopover before continuing on to Holland to collect some stuff in storage. We then fly to France where we are going to attempt a 120km kayak trip down the Dordogne river and a very long cycle ride from the Atlantic to Med. Travel south through Spain then over Morocco where we fly out of Casablanca mid November! Back to Asia for more adventures but will fill you in on that later.

Cindy & Lyn.

Sunday 1st Sept 2013 (day one)

Up at sparrows fart! Dawn was just cracking as we drove down the coast to Coolangatta airport. Not the best time of the day for me and I was trying very hard not to be grumpy after only a few hours sleep. There always seems to be last minute things to do, so, I'd had a late night.

Made it to the airport in plenty of time to check in, our combined baggage was 30.3kg - we had paid for 30kg so all good there. Big thank you to our lifts to the airport and going away party: Cobi, Lizzy, Miss Robyn and Mitchell. :-)

Our flight departed 10 minutes late and it was a pretty uneventful 7 hours 50 minute duration. Lyn and I both had requested aisle seats and as the plane was not completely full, we also each had a spare seat next to us. I only dozed a little as the woman sitting directly behind me was snoring very loudly - so loudly in fact she could be heard over the incessant drone of the engines mounted on the wing outside the window we were near. OMG was that Lyn sitting behind me?

Singapore: we had a quick 2 hour stopover but due to flying with an el cheapo airline aka scoot! we had to go through immigration, collect our baggage, clear customs, re-check into the next flight, again go through immigration and then find our departure gate. Or the alternative was to pay $20 and all the leg work would be done for us we, would just be able to walk directly from the arrival gate to the departure date. You guessed it we took the cheap option - hey we had been sitting for over 8 hours and needed a brisk walk anyway.

Just a short 2 hour flight from Singapore to Bangkok had us arriving at 7pm local time - wow a long day. As soon as the plane door opened we were slapped in the face with 30+ degree heat and that familiar 'aroma of Asia'.
We caught the airport shuttle to the bus station as my extensive internet research had advised we could get a public bus to the street near the hotel I had pre-booked for the next 2 nights. Of course this information was either all bullshit or the bus had stopped running just this day or for whatever reason they were trying to explain to us the end result was there was no bus. Next alternative was to get a minivan to Monument Square and get another bus to our destination from there. As this was the only option we took it and it was cheap enough at 40baht ($1.40) each plus an extra 40baht for our luggage which took the seat of a person anyway so fair enough. Arriving at the huge roundabout that is the Monument Square our minivan driver pointed us in the direction of the public bus that would continue our journey. He must have read our minds cause he suggested perhaps we should take a taxi from here - assuring us it was not much only about 100 baht ($3.50). Yep that sounded like a great idea and we soon flagged one down who offered to take us for 200 baht ($7.00)- what?? that's like double!! I offered him 150 ($5.20) but he declined so I told him to move on. Seeing our dilemma the bus driver came to our rescue and flagged down a taxi and started loading our luggage telling us this is a good one. When I enquired about the price the taxi driver gave me a rotten toothy grin and pointed to the meter - good. I handed him our hotel reservation so he would know where to go and he hand signalled (this man had very little knowledge of the English language) that he could not read it. He could not read, not due to lack of education, more lack of eyesight! I offered him my pink rimmed glasses which he took with a smile but they proved to be not strong enough so Lyn handed him her stronger lenses and this seemed to do the trick. Off we drove into very heavy traffic but before long our driver had produced a half pair of glasses (just one lens still attached to one arm) and was lowering his head to the dash board trying to see something thru this tiny piece of glass. He looked at me with a worried, panicked look on his face. With limited English all he could do was point at the dashboard and say hot, hot, very hot. Now I guessed he was not talking about me (come on - no one can look hot, hot, very hot after a 10 hour flight) and when I looked at the temp gauge I realised it was the car that was hot, hot, very hot. Luckily we made it to our destination and although we had a bit of a walk through the pedestrian only street we were happy to have made it. The meter read just 71baht ($2.40). We gave him a 100baht and left him with the hot, hot, very hot car.

Finally we made it to the hotel and of course it looked nothing like the pictures on the internet or the pictures displayed outside, but we did not give a toss at this stage. We had arrived! and now it was time to get something to eat. Nothing very exciting for our first meal - bbq & potato Thai style ($5.00) we were happy.

We had a short walk around Khao San Road, we met up with Lyn's son Patrick who is over here in Thailand at the moment on an extended holiday. He also had an long day traveling up by road from Koh Samui.

It was now after 10pm local time which meant it was around 1am Oz time so we were well and truly knackered. Time to crash, literally.

Of course on the way home we had to stop for a half hour foot massage.

What a big day! welcome to Asia.

Cindy & Lyn

Monday 2nd September 2013 (day two)

Had a great sleep on a pretty hard bed, but fabulous pillows!

I thought it was 10.30am when I'd first woken up, obviously my eyes had not yet focused as it was much earlier. I realised this as we had showered and dressed and were on the street looking for breakfast and it was just to turn 9.30. Guess it must have been 8.30 when I first looked at my watch! Not problem as we are not on any time schedule today anyway.

It was hot already and Bangkok was starting to come awake. Dropped of the clothes we wore yesterday to be washed. Crazy not to here, it only costs 25baht (85c) per kilo. There will be plenty of time later in the trip for hand washing.

We found a random place to have breakfast and sat deciding that we might not do anything special today. And just as well we had decided that, as that is exactly what we did - more of the nothing rather than special!

We met up with Patrick again and sat around catching up on what he has been up to. Went for a bit of a walk - checking out alternative hotels for our next stopover in Bangkok. We had pad thai for lunch from a street vendor for 50baht ($1.75) each. A bit of a walk around and before we knew it, it was 4pm and time for a relax back in our air con room.

Surfacing again at about 6pm, it was decided it was time for another foot massage before we had some dinner. Wow this holidaying stuff is just full of huge decisions of what to do when. Feeling relaxed and refreshed we walked a little way down the soi (lane way) and had dinner at one of the many makeshift restaurants. Clams cooked in sweet basil and green mussels filled the spot - never mind that the fried rice came after we had finished eating the shell fish - welcome to Asia where all the components of your meal will not be served to you at once!

Again a quick walk around, we managed to find the place where I stored some luggage last visit and are planning on using them again. We are leaving some stuff here as we only need to take minimal stuff with us to Europe for the bike ride. At 5baht (20c) per day, this seems like a good option for us. So now it was time to go back to the room and sort out what to take and what stays behind. Not a task we were looking forward to, but a necessary one. By the time we finished it was close to 10.30 and after such a hectic day we were ready for bed.

We don't seemed to have done much in the day and 2 nights we have had in Bangkok but this was just a break up stopover. We have been here before and it was just too hot to trot around doing touristy things.

Tomorrow we head just a little north of Bangkok to the city of Ayutthaya.

Cindy & Lyn

Posted by Cindy Bruin 20:37 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok

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