I was thinking of how to tackle the gangantuan task of blogging about my amazing, long- awaited (by me) holiday in Thailand . I decided that the smartest way to do it was to break it up into digestible chunks so I don't bore you. Firstly, I want to go back! What an amazing place! (please expect outbursts like this declaring it's amazing -ness throughout the blog posts). What a fantastic experience! Scooting through Bangkok traffic in tuk-tuks, jewel-coloured taxis and air-conditioned buses, shopping in endless malls, visiting amazing temples, speed-boating to tiny islands, snorkeling in clear blue water, taking pics with tigers, jet skis in Samui, longtail boat river rides, waterfalls, being accosted by ping pong shows,gem merchants,ladyboys, tailors and massage parlours ! It was the best experience ever - I want to go back and do it all over again (but maybe this time in Krabi, Hua Hin and Koh Lanta)
At the beginning when we decided that we'd like to go to I became quite overwhelmed with all the details and where to go and all the names and flights. All I knew is I wanted to go to Bangkok, Phuket and come hell-or-high-water Koh Samui. It was all so daunting - I didn't know how to start nevermind where! How people book these things all on their lonesome is beyond me. I was exhaustively googling, buying guidebooks asking advice and still I was having a cerebral meltdown. I needed a travel agent! After much searching and trying I found Nisha - the only person who went out of her way to give me exactly what I wanted out of the holiday . Every little detail was taken care of - what awesome personal and professional service - within a budget! Hah! No generic package deals here! She is extremely patient (considering what a neurotic freak I am) with good,honest advice. We are from now on booking all our holidays with her. Okay you might think I'm gushing or seriously pimping out her services but the before and AFTER sales care was impressive. The tickets, hotel transfers, airport taxes, accommodation was all organised and included in the budget. Everything was labelled and sorted and was completely effortless. *Gush,gush,gush*
Postnet Suite 39. Private bag X1 , Glenvista , 2058, South Africa Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgContact number : +27 11 432 4409 , Mobile : 0725982051 Fax : 0867437266 Skype: nisha.chhikaCK2010/054456/23Seekers Travel Broker , a division of TOURVEST
Also it was a family holiday - my parents , my husband's mum and the Smoo(my husband) and I . This upped (is that a word?) the stress factor a bit. Bizarrely in Thailand , they had a "bring your old people on holiday drive" . LOL, I kid you not. So the day finally came and with an amalgamtion of anxiety and excitement we set off to the Land of Smiles.
|At OR TAMBO, getting some morning noms|
After Checking in at OR TAMBO, Jhb. A cuppa at Capello's
|Wooo! Chicken Mayo|
|Can't remeber what this is ? Think it may have been the Colloseum?|
|The Tambo Duty Free - it pales in comparison to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport's|
(more on that later)
|Thai Airways! WooHoo Bangkok here we come|
Thai Airlines - Great , friendly service and really awesome food! They were constantly offering snackies and drinks. We tried to sleep on the plane , but no luck - it was a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong 11 hours. There is only so many movies and episodes of Modern Family you can watch. At least I cleared the Super Mario Game.
Finally we landed! I was bracing myself for some extreme humidity but it really wasn't that bad. I wish I took some pics at international arrivals - there is some beautiful art on the walls. The airport is huge and it took us forever to get to the bag carousal. Once done we met out guide , Daisy from Toureast (arranged by Nisha) , who took us to the hotel. Then off into the busy morning traffic of overcast Bangkok. Full of an astounding array of Toyotas and the occasional spattering of swanky German engineering (compared to the suburbs of SA where BMWs, Range Rovers and Porshe Cayennes are so whatever). There were bright taxis everywhere and the motorcycles! I believe there are 1,2 million scooters in Bangkok. They take up any available space on the road. If this was Johannesburg some serious road rage would have taken place but everyone, even in the heated hub of traffic, is calm and patient. Also there were absolutely no junky, super old, rusty, smoking cars on the roads! Nothing!
Daisy was super friendly and informative, chatting away on the way to the hotel. I was also glad that a reputable company like Tour East ran tours because I didn't want to "shop around" and get a terrible tour. Daisy even checked us in at the hotel ( we didn't need to do anything). Checking in was relatively quick and I was glad that the rooms were free so early in the morning. Compared to the islands Bangkok was more bang!bang!bang!. Daisy was not pushy but we thought let's get the most out of it in terms of tours and things. I told the hubby that while we were in Bangkok I'd love to go on a river cruise and see The Grand Palace, Siam Paragon Patpong and taste mangosteens ( this was done after much guide book reading) We decided that on that day we would go for a relaxing river Rice Barge tour and then an early morning Grand Palace tour. I already know what I'd like to do the next time we go to Bangkok - the floating markets, the Temple of the Dawn and Chatuchak Weekend Market - one of the world's largest markets http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-market/popular-markets.htm.
After a pleasent, air conditioned ride we arrived at our hotel , the Eastin Hotel. Makkasen,1091/343 New Petchburi Road | Makkasan, Rajthevee, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
http://www.eastinbangkokhotel.com/gallery-en.html. I'll do a full review in a separate blog post.
Below are some website pics of the hotel
|It really is beautiful|
|The Glass House - where we had breakfast noms|
|The bathroom - very important consideration|
|The Glass House|
|Attica Sky Bar|
|The pool on the tenth floor|
Below are my pictures
|The hotel looked snazzy but look at the outside just opposite!|
Who cares , it has it's own aesthetic. Bangkok is a heady mix of old and new
|Hotel Lobby , Eastin Makkasen|
|Early morning traffic|
|Rose-flavoured welcome Drink|
|Hotel's Spirit house - more about that later|
|I love you Bangkok!|
A bit of Breakfast. Don't worry the spread id huge. The
fruit with all the little black seeds is Dragon Fruit
As part of the display for the hotel spa. Sometimes you could get
the pleasant aroma of lemongrass esp in the bottom lobby
One of the acidic-coloured taxis just outside the hotel. We were
were a bit early and waiting for our tour guide in the bottom lobby.