Our first day in Bangkok was experience through the ugly haze of jet-lag. After 48 hours with no sleep coupled with jet-lag from our loooong journey to Thailand, we were both a bit "fuzzy".
We arrived in Bangkok very early morning, Thursday the 19th, cleared customs and caught a taxi to our hotel, checking in about 2 a.m. We were both exhausted, and just knew we'd fall asleep the minute our heads hit the pillow.
WRONG! We tossed and turned for an hour or so, then just gave up. We got up, fixed ourselves a cup of coffee, read and surfed the internet for 3 hours or so until the hotel restaurant opened at 6:30.
Breakfast is included in our daily room rate, and it is a wonderful spread of traditional Thai breakfast items and the usual American selections. Of course, we both chose Thai---David had the Thai coconut curry soup with chicken tendon, and I had stir fried noodles and veggies. Throw in a couple of slices of good ole bacon, and we're fueled and ready to go!
We decided we'd get acquainted with our neighborhood first, and set off to explore. Our hotel is on a small side street (called a "soi") off one of the main streets through Bangkok. The first thing we noticed was that sidewalks are intermittent and optional! Much of the time we share the street with (many!) cars, motorcycles and other pedestrians. It's definitely interesting, and not for the faint of heart!
We walked the streets around our hotel, enjoying the hustle and bustle. Not too much was open yet, as it was still pretty early. We did take note of several places to re-visit later, though. After a couple hours exploring in our "foggy haze of jet lag and no sleep for 48 hours" condition, we spotted a Starbucks. Good old Starbucks, they're everywhere, and air-conditioned! We ordered a couple of coffees, found some comfy chairs and sat down to plan the rest of our day.
The forecast was for rain about mid-day, so we thought an indoor activity might be best. We chose a couple of big malls to explore, and set off for the nearest Sky Train station, purchased our passes, and hopped on the next train headed in our direction. After a few wrong turns, we found the MBK mall, which is 7 floors of stores! This mall sounded interesting to us because it was not filled with large chain stores or upscale de$igner stores, but small locally owned stores selling everything Thai.
By now it was almost 1 pm, and we were hungry. We decided to eat a quick lunch before we shopped. We passed up Burger King, Dairy Queen and McDonald's, and instead chose a small Thai restaurant that was very busy with locals. The menu was interesting--we decided against the soup with "slightly" ferment pork. Slightly fermented meat just does not work for us! David had chicken and shrimp pad thai, and I had a pork basil stir-fry with rice. The nice young waitress asked me "you want spicy"? I said, "oh no--NOT spicy". She smiled knowingly......
All I can say is that I was very glad that we'd also ordered two bottles of water with our lunch! If that was NOT spicy, I really don't want to ever try spicy! But it was very tasty, and we did enjoy our lunch. The best part--it was only about $6.00 for both of us!
After our "hot" lunch date, we explored just a couple of floors of the mall, but soon decided our hearts just weren't into shopping. We left the mall and wandered the interesting maze of streets and markets in the area. By now, we were positively zombie-like, so we wisely decided we should catch the Sky Train back to our hotel and relax a bit so we'd have enough energy for dinner and an evening out. When we got back to the hotel it was happy hour, and a nice cold beer sounded wonderful. We sat on the outside dining terrace, enjoyed our beers and shared an order of calamari. We had a perfect view of our busy neighborhood street with it's many food carts, busy scooter traffic and the cute local kids walking home from school, chatting and giggling. A pretty charming scene.
We finished our beers, came up to our apartment to relax a bit and choose a place for dinner. It's about 5 p.m., and we're thinking a quick power nap would be just the ticket. Then we'd be good to go for dinner and a nice evening out, then we'd come back and I'd do a quick first blog post from Bangkok.................
Well----fast forward to 3 am Friday morning, and here we are! We slept straight thru, getting 9 hours of much needed sleep. It's now about 6:00 a.m. Friday in Bangkok--we've had a few cups of coffee, made plans for our day and finished this blog post!
Our plan for the day: The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun.
Right now we're headed down to that delicious Thai breakfast buffet. Anybody care to join us for a nice hot bowl of chicken tendon soup?