Bangkok, Bangkok, Bangkok, Bangkok, Bangkok

Bangkok looking typically futuristic (& photographed beautifully by Jo)

Hello and welcome to the last post (if you listen carefully you can hear a sole trumpet playing solemnly somewhere in the distance). We've now sadly been back in the UK for almost as long as we were away (which was 7 & a half months fact fans) so this post is ridiculously late. Which also means i can't really ensure the total accuracy of it, particularly as it's meant to cover all 5 times that we were in Bangkok during our Asian adventure. But i'll give it a good crack… here we go!

Bangkok, Bangkok, Bangkok, Bangkok, Bangkok (so good we went there 5 times)

So Bangkok is a major transport hub in Asia and our first encounter with its charms was on our way from India's Andaman Islands to Yangon in Burma (Myanmar) when we stopped by for a few days to arrange our visas at the Myanmar embassy. Our visit coincided beautifully with Julia and Sinead so we arranged to stay in the same hotel as them and to meet up for drinks and dinner. Sadly no one told us there was more than one hotel called Citrus in the same Sukhumvit area of town, so we failed on the first part of the plan, but succeeded on the more important drinks and dinner aspects, with dinner being our first taste of Thai street food… mmmm.

Julia & Sinead (give us a wave)

Round two (ding, ding) was 4 weeks later on the return flight from Burma and before we headed to Sri Lanka to meet up with my Dad and Step-Mum. This time we chose to stay on the other side of the river in the Wanglang district of Bangkok Noi, partly because we wanted to check out another part of town, and partly because we got a very good deal on a fancy room in a brand new riverside hotel. And nice it was too, as was the district with its less touristy vibe and tasty street eats. The only flaw was it being on the other side of said river and how long it ended up taking to cross it and to get anywhere else. And get home again after the river ferries had clocked off.  We did, however, make our one and only visit to the infamous Khao San Road from here and the first of several to the majestically huge Chatuchak, a weekend market where you can buy pretty much anything available in the world, ever (i even managed to find a Bestival T-shirt on sale there… not that i need any more of them). Oh and we also paid a visit to Jim Thompson's House, the fascinating former home of an American silk entrepreneur and art collector.

Jim Thompson's House

After a wonderful 3 weeks in Sri Lanka we were back again, and staying just off Siam Square at an excellent no frills (or windows) B&B called Wendy House. With the sky train, Bangkok's huge and endless shopping malls and a cracking pizza restaurant all on our doorstop we were in position A. This time we were in town for just over a week, biding our time / preparing ourselves for a 10 day silent meditation retreat we thought would be a good idea. Part of our preparation plan involved enrolling at a top notch yoga studio called Yoga Elements to try and get our bodies ready for sitting cross-legged for extended periods of time, and to get our minds a bit more zen. It certainly helped, but those of you that have been keeping up at the back will know that our attempts at meditation didn't fair so well in the end.

It was also during this spell that we discovered two of our favourite parts of town. The first of which we found after another day trip to Chatuchak market, when we went the extra mile (literally) and travelled onto a weekend night market called Talad Rot Fai. Set in a sprawling abandoned railway yard this fascinating market was all about the retro and vintage, but with the added bonus of a plethora of well crafted little bars and tasty street food eats. We LOVED it here (& came back again later on our trip). Our other fave was Chinatown with its myriad street food delights. You frequently had absolutely zero idea what you were actually eating, but it was all darn tasty, and cheap too. That said though... if it looks like chicken feet or insects, it probably is.

Our forth visit was on our way back from Koh Phayam, the fun little hippy island we retreated to after our failed attempt at being mindful, and before we headed to Thailand's second city Chiang Mai. And then number 5 was at the very end of our trip, after Siam Reap and Cambodia. Each time we felt really at home, and excited at the prospect of more time to explore it further.

And we'd both go back again in a flash. In fact we'd do it ALL again in a flash. Can we please?!

No really, can we please???

And so that's it… the last post. This is the end. My only friend, the end.

Thanks for reading.

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