Saturday 2 April – Tuesday 5 April 2016

We arrive in Bangkok in the dark in the early hours of Saturday morning.  Huge metropolis and you can but hope that the taxi driver is going to the right place.  Book in and tumble into bed.  That will not really help with the time changes  – Sydney was a bit of an anomaly!  Auckland is 11 hours ahead of the UK, Sydney is 9 hours ahead of the UK whilst Bangkok is 6 hours ahead.  So in one day we have moved 5 hours – which is similar to the UK to New York difference.

So well into Saturday morning we rise for breakfast.  After such a busy period we had predetermined that we were not doing much today, so retired to the sun deck and pool – which is way up in the sky.  Had a couple of swims.  It is hot and humid.  We are staying at the Centara Grand at Central World which surprisingly is in the centre of the city.

In the evening we went into the adjacent shopping centre and wandered around looking at the various restaurants eventually settling on one where you effectively cook your own dinner.  All the ingredients were fresh and it was quite tasty.

Sunday we had booked a half day tour in the afternoon but had a free morning.  So we took the Skytrain from adjacent to our hotel to one end of the line at Mo Chit – which is adjacent to an absolutely huge market.  We walked along to the market but could only investigate a small portion before feeling overcome with the heat.  As the Skytrain is air-conditioned Jackie agreed to continue riding the Skytrain, so we returned to Siam, briefly visited the National Stadium and we then went to Bang Wa and watched the train reverse.

The Skytrain photos can be found here.

In the afternoon our guided tour took us to the Palace – which was absolutely heaving.  We were meant to go for a river cruise – but the transition to the boat was looking dangerous and so we aid we could not do it, signed a disclaimer for the guide and he took us to the reclining Buddha instead.  Many, many photos from this afternoon can be found here.

In the evening we dined in the restaurant on the roof of the hotel.  When we arrived I asked for the music to be turned down so that I had a chance of hearing Jackie talk.  On the other tables the other diners were by and large consulting their phones rather than each other – no doubt driven that way by the usual volume of the music.

The Monday comes around all too quickly.  We have another couple of hours in the sun before we finish our packing and get ready for the long flight back.

We leave Bangkok in the middle of Monday initially for Dubai where this time we have time in the lounge in the early hours of the morning.  Food is on offer in the lounge but it does not match our body clocks in any shape or form!  Wifi working so pick up some more downloads.

Roll into Heathrow at breakfast time and find our taxi driver.  Then the longest delay of the entire trip – the M3 is rock solid just after we join it and we are stuck for a good hour before coming off at J3 and come round via Frimley Hospital.  Apparently the M3 was flooded between 3 and 4 so if we had stayed on we might have returned sooner.  We have ended our longest and probably most expensive holiday ever.