Up at 6 to the rumbling sound of thunder. Gill made a nice cup of coffee before we packed up to go again. Just time for breakfast which was basic… I’m avoiding the omelettes for now although they have been delicious.
A wet start in the minibus but it gradually brightened.
Toilet stop before border – basic!
Border busy smelly area but not too many queuing and our passage through was straightforward. We changed from one big minibus to two smaller ones with our big bags being carried through on a cart.
Iced coffee on the other side, then stop for lunch…. bit of a surprise as we were set for a half hour journey but crossing the border had not been as slow as expected so we were making good time. Delicious Pad Thai then back on the road for around 4 hours to Bangkok. Oh and try not to drop your precious loo roll in the watery gutter than runs along the floor!
The Thai roads are a massive improvement to those in Cambodia. We are now sailing down a duel carriageway and driving on the familiar left-hand side of the road.
Dozed for an hour or so… now speeding along through open countryside, grassy rough ground with plenty of pampas grass and intermittent woods, then open land with trees dotted about. It is bright and sunny with just some high wispy cloud. You get a little more detail when I’m on the bus and have time to write!
Quick loo break at a service station because Rose is bursting. She buys a big ice cream tub to share with us. Then back on the road….this side of the border is definitely more civilised. No roadside vendors. Just occasionally at junctions where we wait for lights to change, someone may approach the vehicle selling something. There is clearly more money probably through greater tourism. This is our minibus, new and comfortable with good aircon.
We finally arrive in the vibrant busy city of Bangkok. I really didn’t expect to be back here. It was five years ago I spent three nights here with my friend, Dot, on my way to NZ.
Thailand was currently spending a year in mourning at the loss of its King who’d been in office for over 70 years and died in October well into his nineties. Many buildings and fences were tastefully bedecked in smart black and white garlands as a mark of respect and local people were expected to wear black for a year as a mark of respect for this well-loved King.
Traffic was heavy and slow in the city but we finally arrived at Nouvo City Hotel, right in the centre, around 5pm. After checking in and freshening up, we met in the lobby for our short walk to the chosen restaurant for our farewell dinner.
I had wanted a Thai Green curry but had been warned this would be very hot! So opted for a Shrimp Yellow Curry which had a delicious blend of flavours.
We presented Rose with our ‘whip round’ and made our farewell speeches, then she lead us on a short walking tour to Khaosan Road, famous for its night market. The atmosphere could be described as hot, steamy, bustling, noisy, colourful, smelly, exciting. I bought some Tiger Balm in the familiar Boots!
We returned to the calm of the even more spacious hotel than the previous one for our final sleep before our long journey home.