16 June 2012

Arrive in Bangkok
Weekend Market

Sleeper bunk. Not bad but bring an eye patch

Again we wake up on the train. It is hard not to.  About six in the morning the hawkers come on board walking up and down yelling out what they have for sale.  People start moving about and the Thais get their beds remade to chairs. Not too bad a night. The train is a few hours delayed, but this time we don’t care much, as we have not much planned for our last day in Bangkok.

We drop our luggage across the road from the railway station at a very friendly coffee shop. We are hungry so have breakfast there. As Andrew had 1 beer too many on the train, we finally gave in and had an American breakfast. A bit of grease, bacon and eggs seemed more attractive than noodles again.. The coffee shop owner was wonderful, supplying us with free teas and massive amounts of free fruit.

Where was that stall again?

We thought the weekend markets might be a nice end for us in Thailand. Yet another Market, but this one is supposed to be special.  Maybe pick up some cheap shopping. The markets are north of downtown Bangkok. We went by public transport, as the metro station is around the corner. It is a fairly new system and really easy to figure out. We just took one line from one end to the before last station at the other.
We were expecting a standard Thai market, just a lot bigger. There are supposed to be 15.000 stalls. As it turns out, most stalls there are proper little shops. Well maintained and decorated.  Each has its own individuality and personality.  A bit of normal market stuff, cheap clothing, toys etc., but also a lot of young designer gear, paintings, sculptures and other artsy-fartsy stuff. It had a really nice feel about it. We picked up a few pieces of clothing, but no big items, as we can’t travel with them now.  Having said that, every postal agent and freight company in the world was represented, and if we were serious it would have been easy to get that 5 metre statue of a giraffe back to our Wharehouse in Yass (Mum & Dad, be warned there is a massive buddha’s head on its way 😉 )
Lunch was easy. The middle of the markets is one big foodhall. You find an empty seat and within a few minutes the standard fried rice will arrive.

For dinner, we decided to splerge and eat at the nice restaurant around the corner from the coffee shop.  It was a really nice meal, and we arrived just as the rain started.   And it pored.  Still, the shower was over by the end.  We also found out that where we had eaten was the restaurant attached to the dive of a hotel we had stayed in before we went south! It must have been under different management, as it was fantastic.
Having now discovered the MRT, we decided to use it to get to the airport, as seeing about a quarter of the market had tuned into an all day event. This was a bit trickier as we had to change lines. We had to go above ground, cross the railway tracks, a big road and some construction work to get to the station. There we took the express straight into the international airport. It all went a bit quicker than expected, and we arrived before the checkin counter was even open.  Although we were not complaining.

We did the standard checkin, passport check, scan etc, which went really quickly and efficiently.  Then we went looking for diner. Food is always expensive at airports, but here it gets a bit ridiculous. Meals that in town are about 40 Baht, start here at 200 Bath! We grab a sandwich… From Subway.  I know. Still, it was half the price of a fried rice or noodles.  There is something to be said for the set prices of the big chains.
Boarding into the plane is a bit delayed, but we are finally allowed on. We sit there for a while and take off.  Knowing the reputation for middle eastern airlines we were expecting a lot from Royal Jordanian Airlines.  Even if it is a partner with QANTAS.  It wasn’t the worst, but is on par with our great Australian airline.  All in all it was a boring plane ride. Not as good as we were hoping from Royal Jordanian, but not bad.


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