Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back in BKK

After a long flight, followed by a long wait, followed by a long flight, I arrived in Bangkok after my flight from Glasgow via Dubai. I stayed in the backpacker enclave of Khao San Road for a few days.

Arriving at the hotel after 21.00, I realised I shouldn’t of told then that my flight arrived at 19:00, but rather add a couple of hours on that. Still they had a room! Wasn’t that hungry, so maybe just a few snacks, mmm, fruit vendor right outside, so some 10baht watermelon, and then some grilled corn brushed with butter and sprinkled with salt, and roti gluay for desert, followed by a quick beer Chang and people watching on Khao San. Then back for some much needed sleep.
I revisited a couple of favourite spots. Off to dinner for a tasty grilled red snapper at the busy grilled seafood restaurant on Rambuttri (Popiang House). Then a spot of blues at Adhere the 13th, the kind of intimate venue where the bass player has to turn sideways to let you get to the bar!

Walking past Krua Nopparat on Phra Sumen Road, a spot I had previously eaten, it had changed completely. Looked like it had been in one of those TV restaurant makeover programs! It use to be an old fashioned crusty place, now transformed into somewhere hip and trendy. Still, it looked busy enough. A few other signs of changes, as boutique hotels are sprouting up in what used to be a staunchly backpacker area.
I headed to Rannotskin to visit the grandeur of the Grand Palace again. Seem to a be a lot of troops there that I didn’t remember last time. Wearing a busby in the 30C heat and humidity, that’ll be fun.

I hunted down the oddly named restaurant Choechittr,. Set not far from the Grand Palace, it an old part of town dominated by shophouses. Probably not a whole lot separating it from other restaurants in the area, but it had been garnering rave review. A small hole-in-the-wall place with about 4 tables. I order the mee grop, sweet crispy noodles.

In the rainy season here now, Some proper tropical thunderstorms, you don’t want to get caught in. Getting adept at running from the hotel to the skywalk and through the malls to get from A to B. Still didn’t get round to buying that Lamborghini in Paragon.

Another night I popped into Saxophone, near Victory Monument, not far from where I’ve stayed before in Bangkok. Large band playing with five horns, song of the night was the jazzed up version of Spiderman!

I also visited a couple of museums, into the nearby BACC. Which houses some modern art, winding up a spiral walkway through the galleries.

Also I went to the new Musuem Siam, which after some talking, badly in Thai, with the ticket folk decided to let me in for student price (50baht), instead of the regular foreigner price (300baht).

Reasonably interesting it traced the history of Thailand, from the first settlement on the Chao Praya riverbanks, to the creation of Ayuthya, at the trisection of rivers, and the watery trade empire of its canals, through the wars with the (now Burmese) city states, and the eventual downfall of the empire. Then onto the foundation of Bangkok, and foreign influence on Thailand. Even had a retro American diner.

Then it was off to Chiang Mai, just zip along the express train to Suvarnabhumi airport in 15 minutes from Phaya Thai, no traffic jams!