We have a fairly relaxed start to the day before heading on to the airport. We write some postcards (not that the people getting them won’t have been reading this anyway :-) ) and treat ourselves to some ice cream and enjoy the air conditioning since most of the airport is outdoors.
The flight is only 45 minutes so we are soon in Bangkok and its not that long until we are all checked into the hotel. We are staying in Century Park Hotel which is nice enough, very large but seems very generic compared with the last two hotels we’ve enjoyed.
A quick freshen up then we head out to the cinema since we’d failed to book tickets online. When we arrive at the shopping complex by the sky train it is immense. All the top brand luxury shops with its own level for high end cars, quite different from our Thailand experience so far.
We book our tickets for later than evening then head out to visit Jim Thompson’s house since its only round the corner and our guide book mentions it as a highlight. Jim was an American architect who came to Thailand during WW2 then fell in love with the place and made it his home. He brought back to life the Thai silk industry which was at that time only done in the small villages. He was a keen collector and built a traditional Thai style house in the middle of Bangkok, filling it with artifacts from around the area. He mysteriously disappeared on a trip to Malaysia and as he had no family his house was donated to the state and turned into a museum. The tour guides are very good and it was definitely an interesting little trip whilst in the big city.
After the tour we head back to the shopping complex, en route we stop into the 7Eleven to try out some more Thai delights. We step things up a notch going for the double strength Red Bull as we are both a little tired and I try some of the seaweed rolls. Red bull was ok, can't say I felt any more awake afterwards but I'll give the seaweed rolls a miss from now on. Quite a weird flavour, I remember having some from a friend after she'd been back to Hong Kong, they were amazing, now I'm just wondering since it was NYE and we'd had a lot to drink whether that could have had something to do with liking them so much.
At the shopping complex we grab a quick bite to eat before the cinema and end up having an Italian since we were now maxed out on rice and noodles. The restaurant was nice enough but we kind of ended up in a stand off with the waiter. He had brought our menus to us then just didn’t return. We did the whole closing the menus to make it clear we had made our decision, looked over in his direction to grab his attention and all he did was smile back. In the end I had to actually wave before he would come over, we do wonder if he would ever have come to take our order. Lasagne and non alcoholic mojitos it was, still convinced I’m not going to get a good mojito over here, this time the mint was all blended rather than muddled, really need to take a hint and move on to another cocktail.
We have a bit of time afterwards so Al enjoys browsing the crazy electronics section, especially the 90” TVs. We find a small gourmet popcorn outlet which had very random flavours including cheese burger flavoured popcorn which was surprisingly nice but we go for a bag of caramel which was hugely addictively and possibly the best popcorn I’ve ever had (even including the maple syrup and bacon flavoured popcorn we were introduced to by friends a while back from Tescos - and that stuff is weirdly amazing).
So next stop is to go and watch Thor 2 in 4D where its a 3D cinema with the addition of moving chairs, lightning flashes, gusts of air fired out from the headrest simulating gun shots flying past you and more. First we have to go through the ritual of standing while the King’s song is played. Looking around it seems most of the audience are tourists but we are all standing none the less since its mentioned in all the tour books that whenever the King’s song is played you must stand up and watch. That was a bizarre experience to say the least and we have no idea what was being said as although there were also subtitles to the song they were in Thai. Verdict on the film and the experience was that it was really fun, definitely wouldn’t want to watch all my films like this but it was certainly different and enjoyable (and I got to perve on Thor which is never going to be a bad thing).
Another early start in the morning so after the film we head back to the hotel via the sky train. One thing we did notice was that there are markings on the floor for where people such queue up while waiting for the train and everyone was doing it. Nice orderly lines and everyone waits for the people exiting the train before calming getting on. What a refreshing change and people who are better at queueing than the British.
Here's a final picture of Victory Monument which is our nearest sky train stop.