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Entries about bangkok

The King & the rest.

storm 35 °C

It's our last night in Bangkok tonight. It's a funny place this city. You'll see absolute poverty right next to a five star hotel. Yet everyone seems to get on pretty well together. We took a boat up and down the Chao Phraya river this afternoon in the sweltering heat and we passed by absolute slums that were situated just a stones throw from gilded palaces. Anywhere else in the world and they'd probably be bulldozed. The juxtsposition of rich and poor manifests itself in things like the Bangkok Sky Train (BST). You just don't ever see poor folk on it. However, as you ride in its air conditioned luxury you can look down on the hoi polloi below. Another unusual thing is the pictures of the king and his wife staring down from lots of buildings. Weird and disconcerting stuff.

Another thing that surprised me was how Western influenced the place is, you can't move anywhere without being bombarded by advertising: in the train, in the station, walking down the road,it's omnipresent. Everyone seems to be chatting into their I-phone or some other gadget. By everyone, I mean those who are not poor.

We head for Chiang Mai tomorrow but we'll be back this way again in two months time. I'm already looking forward to returning. Despite the openly seedy element to the city it's a really nice place. The kids don't appear to notice that side of things though, they're too busy stepping over cock-roaches and rats to ask any hard questions.

Posted by goldenmaverick 09:35 Archived in Thailand Tagged boats river bangkok poverty Comments (2)

One night in Bangkok

overcast 34 °C
View there and back again (a nugget's tale) on goldenmaverick's travel map.

I had forgotten how awful air travel was. We've never travelled abroad together as a family, we usually just hop in the car and head for West Cork. For a bunch of kids who'd never been on an airplane they took it all in their stride. As for me, well I didn't take it as well as the kids. Sleep deprivation, airplane food, a numb arse. The perfect storm for a grumpy dad.

That said, we arrived in Bangkok and our taxi driver was waiting there for us. Very nice chap whose English was nearly as good as my Thai (not the 80's band http://m.youtube.com/?client=mv-google&rdm=m4vdvn21b#)

The hotel is good. A small mix-up around the beds but no big hassle. The lobby has six tailor shops with no one in them. The place is full of Indian families on package holidays with the odd Western tourist, or in our case, six odd tourists. We took a stroll around the neighbourhood last night and bumped into a friend from Dublin. It's a small world but I wouldn't like to have to paint it.

The heat is pretty full-on. It's about 34 celsius in the shade. We took a trip on the Sky Train today to get our bearings. The nearest station is called Nana so the kids will remember that easily enough. We'll head out later to see what's going on and to meet up for a drink with our friend and her family. More short-sentenced news to follow.

Posted by goldenmaverick 23:30 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok indians heat Comments (0)

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