A Week in Bangkok

After two short flights from Darwin (via Singapore), we arrive in Bangkok’s new airport just after 8:00pm. I buy a local SIM card (unbelievably cheap) and easily find the driver, who was sent to pick us and get us to our apartment for the week. We had booked it via airbnb.com and are met by the (very friendly) housekeeper, who shows us around. The pictures on the web looked almost too good to be true … but it turns out that the flat is every bit as nice as advertised.

It’s in a brand new high-rise, overlooking the river and we’re up on almost the 50th floor. Four pools to choose from (one on the 40th floor), a great view of the sunset from the balcony and a private ferry to cross the river and get us to the Skyrail and Express Ferry. Fantastic place in a perfect location!

It feels unbelievably good to have a bit of space to spread out. The camper vans in Australia did feel VERY crowded after eight weeks and it’s great to have our own shower, bathroom and kitchen again. Not to mention the fact that it’s nice to be back in air conditioning and without mosquitos at night.

I think this is my fourth or fifth time in Bangkok, and I’ve always liked the city a lot. It’s not as modern (and expensive) as Singapore, doesn’t have a split personality (like Shanghai) and has plenty of historical sights (unlike Kuala Lumpur). Of course, we’re here during the completely wrong season. It’s hot, humid and we watch the gathering storm clouds every afternoon … every second day the wind whips up, the temperature drops and we get a monsoon-like downpour for a few minutes.

Even though we’ve seen them before, we visit a few of the usual tourist sights (temples, museums and markets) to show them to the kids.

To cool down, we also spend a fair bit of time (way too much if you ask me) in shopping malls. And then we’re back at the apartment in the afternoon and spend and hour or two at the pools or catching up on school work.

We are surprised how patiently the kids trod around the city in the oppressive heat without much complaining. Especially Finn, who actually seems to enjoy shopping (must be Anna’s genes!) and constantly wants to “look around” … while I’m just looking for a place to sit down and rest.

Obviously there is no shortage of great food in Bangkok and we alternate between street food, restaurants, food-courts, or just getting some take-away and enjoying it on our balcony … with a great view of the sunset.

Anna and I even left the kids with a sitter and went out for an evening by ourselves. The first time in four months that we spent more than a few minutes away from the kids … pure bliss!

The last week has been a good one and a real luxury for us. I’m sure we’ll be missing the apartment in the weeks to come.

A few more pictures from our week in Bangkok here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwefassnacht/sets/72157634429337284

Tonight we’ll take the overnight train down to the gulf islands.


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