Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekend in Bangkok

While I was away working at the start of November Andrew started a post about a weekend we had down in Bangkok. It was the weekend of the Rugby World Cup final.  It was 5 lines long and I decided to edit it and complete it. Then I forgot to post it. Since then Andrew has been in Bangkok again on the way back from NZ last weekend- still sandbagged and no real evidence of flooding in the CBD - here follows a long overdue post.........

We went to Bangkok on the overnight train.  Both ways the journey took 3 hours longer than it normally does because the train had to take a detour due to the flooding around Bangkok.  We expected to see water on our arrival, but there was none.  People were worried though, and it was a bit eerie to walk down streets with where there were sandbags half a meter high in front of buildings.  Other buildings had constructed concrete walls in front of their premises.

We did manage to visit Jim Thompson's house this trip, which was an interesting structure and very appealing.  (Jim Thompson Former CIA agent, revived the Thai silk industry, had an interest in architecture and disappeared while one afternoon while visiting friends in Malaysia - mystery never solved )


We did a food walking tour http://bangkokfoodtours.com/ which was enjoyable - but we were familiar with most of the plates we sampled.  It would be good for someone just starting out with Thai food.  There were only 4 of us in the group and it was a good way to see another part of the city we had not yet explored.

On our way back to the hotel to watch the rugby final we popped into the supermarket to buy a couple of beers and some nibbles.  The shelves were bare in places due to people stocking up on essentials, and the breakdown in the delivery-chain due to flooding. 
On the good side there was some beer left. 
On the bad side after standing in line for a number of minutes Andrew was told they couldn't sell beer before 5 pm. 
Not a smiley face on Andrew.  We tried a 7-11 next door with the same answer.  An even grumpier face now.  Walking down the street to our hotel he popped into a hole-in-the-wall place, charmed the elderly shop-keeper and came out grinning with a number of cans in his bag.  Money beats regulations everywhere (or was it the Andrew charm?)

Back at our hotel we watched the game (with a Thai commentary) and were so glad when the final whistle went!  To celebrate we went downstairs and had a superb Italian meal at one of Bangkok's best Italian restaurants - which just happens to be beside our hotel.  http://www.zanotti-ristorante.com/

If anyone wants a good explanation about why the flooding is happening this year and its implications this cartoon in Thai, but sub-titled in English is very good. http://youtu.be/b8zAAEDGQPM

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