Bangkok (March 5, 2002 - March 7, 2002) 

New Zealand

Chiang Mai
Ayutthaya & Bangkok again


We arrived late in the evening and booked ourselves into Jim's Lodge in central Bangkok. We were disappointed in the hotel booking service at the airport - many airports have hotel reservation centres that offer hotel sell-offs but the Bangkok office did not appear to be discounted. We ended up booking ourselves by phone. 

The air pollution and noise of Bangkok lived up to its advance billing. I think it took Chloe about 6 hours to get her hacking cough back. The cough had disappeared in Australia and New Zealand.

We spent the first morning getting our Indian visa organized - the visa is only valid for 6 months from date of issue, so we could not get it before we left Canada. (Can you believe we've been gone for 7 months already? Time is passing by very quickly for us!) 

In the evening, we went to the night market in Patpong. This street market is very similar to what we saw in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur - fake watches, fake DVD's, T-shirts and the like with starting prices about 4 times what they would eventually settle for. It is the go-go bars that make this area (in)famous... but in fact the dancers and bouncers were extremely polite to the kids as we passed the bar entrances. 

The next day, we bought tickets to go by sleeper train to Chang Mai in northern Thailand. We spent the rest of the day taking a quick look at the Imperial Palace, wandering through the National Museum, and riding on the some of the river ferries. The train left at 7:40PM and arrived the next morning at around 9:00AM in Chang Mai. It was a very comfortable trip  - especially after visions of our sleeper bus ordeal in China. 

Even though we were only there for two days, don't get the idea we didn't like Bangkok. We'd rather spend most of our time up north in Chang Mai, and down south on the beaches. Off to Chiang Mai.