After a long delay and a long flight we finally made it! Within 2 hours of landing we were in the beautiful surroundings of the Lebua Hotel Bangkok, sipping a cool Singha beer in the 35 degree heat (that was a bit of a shock to the system).
Whilst we’re on a budget for most of the trip we wanted to ease ourselves in with a spot of luxury before we get a bit more down and dirty. The hotel is pretty impressive and we dined at the open air Breeze restaurant on the 52nd floor which was pretty spectacular although ridiculously expensive (definitely the last of one of the those for a while)
We’ve no idea why but we got upgraded to a suite with 2 living areas, a kitchen, 3 bathrooms, two enormous balconies and 2 bedrooms.
Spent our only day in Bangkok on a sight-seeing frenzy after being ripped off on a boat trip down the river to the Grand Palace. I thought we were pretty savvy travellers, but no- they saw us coming a mile off….anyway, the Grand Palace is really impressive and we bartered a taxi back like pros!
We were booked on the night train to Chiang Mai at six o’clock Sunday evening for a 14 hour journey. Bit of a scam going on that the agents on your carriage tell you that you can only order food from them and deny that there is a restaurant car at all as they get paid commission on everything they sell. We did find the car however after our chap took one look at us and then delivered a huge bucket full of Singha beer. So he found another way to make his commission after all…..clearly we didn’t complain.
The restaurant car was hilarious – more of a party car with little flashing lights in the roof – beer flowing freely, and the most eclectic bunch of travellers we’ve ever seen in one cramped carriage – ranging from hardcore backpackers going for it, to older groups of travellers getting smashed seemingly unexpectedly. Good fun all round.
Arriving at Chiang Mai revealed a tranquil (relatively after Bangkok) green, friendly and picturesque city. Beautiful temples, lovely people, good quality and cheap food and drink.
Had fun doing a Thai cookery class this evening but time to slow down a little with a 3 day journey to Luang Prabang in Laos. Bus, ferry and a slow boat down the Mekong River.