Tokyo, HuaHin & Bangkok in Feb 2019 travel blog

Panorama of Bangkok from our 23rd floor suite

We woke up to a few Anniversary greetings on FB as this was our 37th wedding anniversary for which we had hoped to renew our vows with a Bhuddist ceremony. However, getting someone who understood our request without spending an exhorbitant amount for a wedding ceremony was difficult so we decided to take our chances in Bangkok.

Our final breakfast in Huahin was not as exciting as our final foray into the Night Market where we regretted not walking through the market before deciding on the final meal in Huahin.

We joined the group for a subdued breakfast after making sure all our stuff was packed and ready for a 10am departure to Bangkok. They surpriised us with a signed card from the family. After cleaning out the fridge, we realized that we still had 2 mangoes that probably would not survive the trip so I cut them open and diced the flesh into two bowls that was quickly devoured by everyone who had already boarded the Toyota HiAce van that was to be our ride back to Bangkok.

Again, the driver either did not understand English or feigned ignorance as we asked to detour to the railway station to take some pictures as we had missed out on this Huahin landmark. He seemed to agree but as we sped past the downtown area, asked him again to which he nodded in confusion. By this time we were reluctant to distract him from his duties and left him to concentrate on dodging traffic as we left the urban area of Huahin. The Thai highways were well maintained and smooth until we hit traffic on the outskirts of Bangkok. One of the features that I think Canada could learn from was the numerous legal U-turns with appropriate ramps that allowed drivers to exit the highway without need for expensive overpasses. Local roads had underpasses to connect by.

We were thankful for the internet wifi connection in the van, with the same router and password as the previous vehicle so we didn't need to do anything to connect automatically. It helped us update Facebook as well as post some of our pictures to the site. We made a pit stop at a small strip plaza that held a McDonalds and two 7-11s beside a few other stores and coffee shops that probably catered to the highway travellers as it was somewhere midway between Huahin and Bangkok. When we hit the traffic, the GPS showed us as being less than 10k from our destination but an hour away with the traffic. So we settled in for another snooze before getting to the Pantip suites where we were to spend the next 5 days. Approaching the destination, we started noticing the traffic was more 2 wheelers and the smog was getting worse. Many pedestrians wore face masks to protect their lungs from the particulate matter in the dense air.

We checked in and after a few mistakes with coding our key eventually made it into our room on the 23rd floor. We were blow away by the size of our suite, with it's own kitchenette and spacious living room, huge balconey overlooking the city and king-sized bedroom. The washroom alone was the size of our entire hotel room in Japan! After checking out the facilities and the stocked fridge, we joined the group for our first meal in Bangkok at the hotel restaurant which had advertised pizza but unfortunately were not available. We ordered a round of Chang beers and shared some appetizers so as not to ruin our appetites for the anticipated dinner at Sailooon Market.

We all returned to our rooms for a quick nap to recover from the long drive and aimed to walk to the famed and nearby PatPong market district with it's 'meat' market bars and discos. The receptionist recommended taking a cab but the bell boy said we could easily walk the couple of km to the Sialon Street. The narrow sidewalk and incessant traffic made the initial walk a bit hairy but once we got to the main streets with their wider sidewalks we compromised with the heavier traffic. The heat was oppressive, having built up over the day even though part of our route took us by the urban Liampong park. After a quick walk through PatPong and being accosted every few feet by hawkers selling us cheap beer to enter the strip clubs we decided to detour to a restaurant for an anniversay dinner.

After deciding on a Japanese restaurant for our first meal in Bangkok (interestingly our first meal in Japan was at a Thai restaurant!) we settled for an Aashi beer tower to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary. We ordered a green curry soup with the chicken on the side for Lisette and I stayed with my favoured protein source - edamame! The meal was hearty, if not a little too spicy for my liking and after demolishing the Aashi tower, we caught two tuk-tuks back to the hotel. Desiree was a pro at negotiating our fares down from 250B to 150B each and the drivers did not disappoint with their daredevil racing tactics to get us back to the hotel for a fraction of the time it took to get there on foot! Since we hadn't really bought anything, we were keen on getting thing on my list was a face mask with the cartoon snout of a dog printed on it!

We retired to our rooms and got comfortable for our first night in Bangkok.

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