Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Far East 2009

One night in Bangkok

As I had an airport transfer booked for 0800, I had to be up bright and early, which meant that breakfast was even more deserted than usual. I sat once again at what seemed to have become my table. Once fed, there was nothing else for it but to pack and get ready to leave.

At the airport, I had a very easy check-in and, as I walked along to the departure gate, I began to realise why a number of people had described this as the best little airport in the world : much of it is al fresco, it has a theme-park feel about it (as already alluded to) and lounge facilities are effectively provided for everybody.

(Link to flight log in side panel)

Bangkok is one of those cities where I prefer to be met and transferred directly to the hotel, although in fairness it's now nowhere near as chaotic as it used to be. But add in heat, humidity and luggage, and the pre-arranged transfer looks increasingly attractive, if a little expensive. It did mean that I reached the hotel well before noon. Exactly the same as last time, they were ready for me, to the extent that somebody walked down the steps as the car pulled up, opened the door and said "Welcome, Mr *******!" I had a private check-in in my room, which was a nice upgrade to a newly modernised suite, and which included club lounge access.

I decided to make the most of the time available and, after a quick stop to grab a bite to eat for lunch, I set out. At the risk of being repetitive, I decided to spend this first afternoon revisiting the 'must do' attractions, namely the Grand Palace and the nearby temples. Yes, I also visited them in 2006, but I felt that enough time had passed to justify seeing them again, especially in the very comfortable temperature of around 21C. This time, I felt that I knew my way around well enough to use public transport (and walking) throughout.

Comfortable temperature or not, I still felt like a shower as soon as I returned. I was then just in time to catch the excellent Happy Hour at the club lounge. Later on, I had a nice room service dinner.

Wat Phra Kaew

Grand Palace

Wat Pho

Wat Arun