Well here I am in Thailand! I got onto my plane with no problems in Manchester and headed to Doha. I have never been to the Middle East before so landing in Doha was quite an experience. Coming down to land I could just see a massive expanse of flat white desert surrounding a city of ordered white boxes. Upon landing I could see that the white boxes were in fact decorated with arabic writing and Middle eastern architectural features. The flight to Doha was about 6 and a 1/2 hours and unfortunately I got almost no sleep despite my best efforts. Doha airport was new, very clean and had lots of seats but only being there for 1 and a 1/2 hours I did very little exploring. The flight to Bangkok was another 6 and a 1/2 hours and this time I did mange a whole hours sleep admittedly split into 10 minute chunks. Qatar Airways were fantastic, the staff were courteous the vegi food was actually surprisingly good and the entertainment system had almost 100 on demand movies plus TV shows and music all on demand and pausable. I have to say I barely took advantage of this though as i was trying to sleep.
Upon landing in Bangkok I got my bag and got though immigration really quickly and met Tom and Craig. We then took a taxi to the hostel to check my stuff into our triple room. The taxi driver seemed to take great delight in pointing out the lady boys shouting “lady man, lady man” and honking his horn when we passed one. Once we had checked in we walked into the room Tom looked for the light switch but before he found it I could just make out one very large bed in the dark. Tom turned on the light and confirmed my suspicion. Luckily seconds later as I was just about to initiate the “who sleeps in the middle” conversation the girl who checked us in ran into the room behind us to say she had given us the wrong key! What a relief that was! Our new room has 3 beds! Last night after warning the guys that I was pretty tired we went out for a beer to a local bar and then went on to the sky bar. The sky bar is an open air bar on the roof of the 64 floor state tower. A beer was about GBP5 so we only had one but it was worth it just to look out over Bangkok. Probably the scariest part of this is that the barrier stopping you from falling off was (very think) glass. But the fact that you are aware that you could easily jump over was enough to make me feel pretty uneasy. Hopefully I can upload some photos that I took up there.
After the sky bar we went to a tourist area where we hoped we could find a restaurant still open. On he way we walked through a market where I was warned we’d get hassled by the local sex trade. Sure enough we were greeted by lots of locals waving menus in front of us and inviting us to watch a local specialty that I assume wasn’t a stimulating table tennis match. Actually the hassling wasn’t too bad, a polite no thank you usually did the trick.
We found a restaurant and had a light meal of very fresh superbly spiced Thai vegetable dishes which I can’t describe but was very tasty. By this time it was after midnight but I was surprisingly awake (I guess it was early evening English time). The guys decided to finish the evening by taking me for a reflexology foot massage. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive but they took me to a place that they’d been before where a foot massage really would mean a foot massage. Actually it was an hour long and included a quick shoulder and neck massage but was really very nice and very professional. Anyway by the time we got out of there it was pushing 3am so we headed home to bed.
This ends the story of my first night in Bangkok. I don’t intend to write nearly as much or as detailed again but since this is all new to me it pretty exciting. I’m about out of time now so I’m going to have a quick go at uploading some photos of the sky bar and where we are staying.