Our original plan was to spend a day in Bangkok. As plans go, this was our most detailed one throughout the trip. We knew we had very little time, so we decided to make the best use of it, No single day, nor even a single week, got from us the same amount of advanced planning that this day received.
We were, therefore, not happy to learn that this day in Bangkok got canceled.
The story of the canceling has to do with several bombs going off in London, and consequently our flight (the plane having arrived from London) being delayed by roughly twelve hours. From our day in Bangkok, all that was left was a night.
As a by-note I'll mention that we were the lucky ones in this story. Most other people on our flight had no plans to stay in Bangkok at all, and the pandemonium in the airport was enormous, with airline representatives, barely speaking English, trying to arrange accommodations to all these people.
We tried to approach these same representatives with some mundane questions regarding where we can find a taxi, whether our outbound flight is back on schedule, and how we were to get frequent-flier mileage for this flight, but, of course, with all the chaos abounding, this was quite pointless.
The representative who first saw us almost booked us a room in a nearby, overpriced, airport hotel, just by cruising on automatic. It took us some effort to convince her that we don't need a room, that we already have a reservation. She asked us "where?" and when we told her, her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. It was clear that we were traveling in style.
And I guess we were. It was a five-star hotel, the best we had on the trip.
And why not? It was also the cheapest hotel we had on the trip, because these were Thai prices, so why not party?
Now, there will be people out there who will say that losing the day in Bangkok is not that much of a loss. This is a city most known for its wild nightlife, so spending the night there should really be getting the whole experience.
That may be so. However, not in our case. Let's skip the part about Bangkok's extravagant nightlife being mainly targeted at young, single males, and us being two people, married (to each other), and having an early midlife crisis. Let's, instead, fix on the simple, physical realities of the situation: we were both dead-beat after an 11-hour long flight, a 5-hour jet-lag and at least 4 hours of constant bad weather and turbulence.
By the time we got to the airport, all Orit could think about was where she can crash and fall asleep, and all I could think about was how to avoid losing my lunch before doing exactly the same thing. This, however, did not prevent Orit from taking pictures of the hotel room immediately as we came in:
You'll have to trust me when I say that it looked much better, and was quite picture-worthy, in person. (Although, granted, being couped up in a shaky, crowded plane for 11 hours may have had some effects on our judgements...)
In any case, the next morning we came down (metaphorically) to some not-very-Thai breakfast at the hotel restaurant. This is I, eating.
That lettuce salad on my plate is, in fact, all that I was eating. I was still pretty shaky from the flight, and not in the best of health either.
This is the view I was looking at while eating.
It was a spectacular view, despite being a cityscape, but it was also, I'm afraid to say, all I got to see of Thailand. The only other memorable thing I can tell you is that the restaurant had this cute, quaint, antique telephone:
And that isn't one of the things Thailand is generally known for.
Orit, on the other hand, decided that she'll go and see Thailand by hook or by crook. She dragged herself from bed at the crack of dawn, and started looking for the nearest market, being as it is that Thailand is dirt cheap.
Well, she found the market.
She even found some nice deals for tablecloths in the market, for which she haggled as though her life depended on it. More surprisingly, she actually got to see some of the unique scenery the city is speckled with:
But then she had to go back and we had a plane to catch.
Our verdict on Bangkok: the best thing about it is that it is extremely cheap. The worst is the weather: not as bad as Singapore, but definitely getting there. Next time we come to Thailand, we'll skip Bangkok altogether and head straight to Phuket and Thailand's other famous beaches.
Thailand has given the world many things: Thai cuisine, the song "One Night in Bangkok", etc.. However, the country's one true exporting success is the Thai massage, and Orit, for one, says we'll need to come back to this country, because we didn't have time to try more than one hour of massage while we were there. Next time, on a towel on Phuket beach, watching the sunset and the ocean, we're planning to be massaged and massaged and massaged...
For the full range of photos from Bangkok, visit the Bangkok gallery page.