OK, so I said the last blog would be the final Asia installment BUT.... we had quite a busy time during our last few days in Bangkok so thought I would give it its own little entry. Don't want y'all to miss out on anything!
So we got a fairly early flight from Phuket to Bangkok with no hassle at all. We even got a taxi at Bangkok airport without the usual taxi-driver bust. Maybe Thailand has mellowed Mum a bit?! Jokes.
We were spending our last two nights in The Sukothai hotel. Which now wins title of Nicest Hotel I've Been To. This place was an absolute gem.
Mum had booked us into a rather nice suite and when we got there we realised there was an adjoining door so the room could be extended into a two bed suite. Using the 'I'm-leaving-in-two-days-and-you-won't-see-me-til-Xmas' card, I managed to persuade Bizzy that this was worth the investment and so, for the next two nights, I had my own big double bed. AMAZING. Comfiest bed I'd been in since home.
They even gave us plate loads of complimentary home made chocolates. Little amuses the innocent, I know. But I've been generally going pretty hungry on this holiday so every little helps. (You're a fool if you actually believe there was any window of hunger on a Houston holiday). After lounging around in our manor and congratulating mother on her find - we went down to the Chocolate Buffet which is hosted in the hotel every weekend afternoon.
Chocolate buffet was pretty damn good, not gonna lie. We had sushi, sandwiches and mini quiches etc first but the puddings were definitely the highlight. There were hundreds of chocolate buns, chocolate cakes, hot chocolate puddings, home made ice creams - it was crazy. They even had a little cart where you picked your chocolate of choice and the waitress made you up your own personal hot chocolate. So yeah, it wasn't a bad way to spend a couple of hours!
The main foyer was surrounded by water and we watched as these little men waded through the water, up to their knees, laying out candles and lotus flowers which they lit when the sun went down - really beautiful. Pretty amazing to see the amount of attention to detail that goes on behind the scenes.
After eating ourselves to a standstill, we went to the MBK shopping centre which is a bit of an experience in itself. I had been with my GAP'ers before Mum and Dad came out. The place is really good for (fakish) bags etc - so Mum and I were in our element! After trailing around looking at the bags etc, Mum and I went to get our nails done. Now, my nails are crap. Like really bad. I never let them get long so these ladies had very little to work with. But they hand painted little flowers etc - seriously impressed. They had the steadiest hands in the world! It did take over an hour, by which point the shops had shut, but they did a pretty good job...
By the time we left MBK, we were pretty wrecked. We had a cheeky snack from McDonalds and then headed back to the hotel. The bar at the hotel - Zuk Bar - had a pretty good reputation so we stopped for some cocktails on the way up to the room.
I was pretty happy to hit the hay that night - especially in my own big room with its own big bed.
We got up bright and early the next morning to have breakfast at the hotel and head out to the Chatachuk market. That place is an absolute maze - I've never seen anything like it. You could walk for days and never seen the same stall twice! It's themed by what the stalls sell and there are stalls for everything! The heat, however, was pretty intense so we didn't last that long. I bought some lovely leather sandals (which I have since managed to lose - sorry Mother). Sad. Some of the handmade clothes were really beautiful but they were made for doll-sized Thai people. I, however, am not the size of any doll I've ever seen and so, it was mostly window shopping for me.
So after a wander about, we took a taxi back into town and sought refuge in the air-conditioned Siam Paragon mall. Stopped for a cool down at Swenssons for more chocolate fondue. And then did some shopping. Mum and I took a little spa break whilst Dad browsed the book shops - that's usually how these shopping trips end up! Had to be done tho - eyebrows were threatening to impede my vision. But highlight must have been - The Outback! We found one for lunch and even got our Bloomin' Onion fix. SCORE. Just as well, because I have now been in America for two weeks and still haven't had one!
After lunch, Mum and Dad went back to the pool at the hotel and I went for a massage - tough life. Tried to fit in as many as I could during the last few weeks before Western spa prices catch up with me again.
After some final present shopping in MBK, we headed to Durty Nellys - after a hot tip from Mum's cousin. This was a really nice Irish gastropub which has been set up out here by some pretty well respected Irish chefs and the food was really good. So our last meal in Thailand was really good Irish food - irony?! I had curry and chips, Mum and Dad had fish and chips. Probably a bit bad not to go for Thai food but we enjoyed it - isn't that what it's all about?!
The day I flew out of Thailand was always going to be pretty dull! Since the passport fiasco, I had known that Monday would be spent at the Embassy and at the Immigration Office, collecting my new passport and sorting out a visa replacement and reprinting my departure card. All occured pretty easily tho - although I did think the woman at the Visa office was an absolute mo-fo beatch. But I got my passport and the documents to allow me out of the country so mission successful I suppose. Even if it did mean Dad and I spent the morning sailing around in taxis and waiting in queues. So no harm done - it was always going to happen at some stage and it seemed to cause pretty little hassle all said and done.
After doing some packing and collecting Mum, we went for a final indulgence at the Peninsula where we had afternoon tea. Think the Peninsula still thinks of itself as Bangkok's poshest hotel and it did look pretty snazzy but I still think Four Seasons/Sukothai could have given it a run for its money. They didn't even pour the tea for us... Pah.
The hotel did, however, give us a boat transfer over to the other side of the river which was pretty nice - suppose the other hotels didn't do that....
After that, it was just a matter of collecting bags, jumping in a taxi and heading to the airport. Mum and Dad were flying out the next day but came with me to the airport for final goodbyes. Yes, she cried. She might try to tell you that I did - don't believe a word of it.
But all in all, we had a fantastic time - America had a lot to live up to.... xxxxxx