Bangkok and Chiang Mai

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).

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport

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)

Breeze, the epitome of luxury and calm (until you see the bill!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

…and bathroom number three – bonkers!

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!

Grand Palace

Wat Pra Kaew

 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.

Let’s get the party started….the restaurant car pre-Conga dancing.

Best advice of the trip so far: How to avoid falling from a high speed train!

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.

Wat Chedi Luang – Chiang Mai

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.

 

And so we’re off… nearly!

After lots of planning, packing, more packing, lots of goodbyes and and even a Christmas dinner (thanks!) we headed to the airport.

Whizzed through the airport to duty free and after a few last minute purchases we had some champers to celebrate the start of our trip.  As the plane got later and later the writing was on the wall – the only Thailand experience we were going to have was the lovely lunch we had with mum and dad at The Thai Rooms! But we made the most of the airport anyway:

So we had to exit through passport control, collect the bags and head for the bus – good old BA provided us with food and we were then driven to the Hilton at T5. So day one of the big trip – let’s call it the European leg.

Leaving Drinks – some snaps

Thanks to everyone who came on Saturday night and to those who sent us messages – you gave us a great send off! Sore heads on Sunday though.

Here are a few pics (er, let’s hope our photography skills improve over the next six months – it’s a good job you’re all so gorgeous!)

Please send us any more you have and we’ll see you for part 2…

 

Let’s get started

Hi everyone! So here it is – the travel blog/journal/ramblings of mad men – whatever you want to call it! Hopefully it will be a bit of a record of the trip and let anyone that’s interested see our progress. If nothing else I have learned how to create a URL.

Oh and as a practice here’s a picture of us!