Thai’d down 26/12/10-5/01/11

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Thailand

Only in the province of Ontario, Canada is Boxing Day a statutory holiday, elsewhere in Canada it is only optional and if you are Canadian you could very well have to go to work! Just an interesting little fact for you, thank you wikipedia, to help us ease back into the swing of things. We spent our Boxing Day watching TV and eating too much which is, as every one knows the way it should be spent. We had a flight to New Delhi booked for the 28th so the days leading up to it were used seeing the sights of Bangkok and planning the next leg of the trip. Plus, and I think this is the highlight of the trip, I managed to get in to 32’ waist jeans! Something that I have not been able to do since the tender age of 15 and yes, Thai jean sizes are the same as the ones in the UK. There is nothing like the stress of an overland trip and a temperamental Land Rover to really burn those calories, must let Weight Watchers know…

We dropped the car off at a vehicle storage place handily just next to Bangkok Airport on the 28th and after waving goodbye, promising to keep in touch and exchanging email we left Harriet in the capable hands of AGS Four Winds. We got to the airport all excited about the next chapter of our adventure and eagerly looked for our flight on the big magical board at the entrance. We found it and also discovered that our flight was special, as it had extra writing in Thai next to it. After waiting a lifetime for the English version it turns out that our flight was in no way special but actually very un-special and in fact cancelled! This posed a massive problem, not only because we could not travel to Delhi that day but because we would not be able to make all our booked onward travel. Oh no, I hear you all cry, how are Megan and Simon going to get out of this one?? well, talking to the airline we found out that we would be able to fly the next day. Phew, panic over! but by this time it was very late and after changing our flights with Air Asia it was too late to get the car back, so we booked into the hotel at the airport, a £100 a night Novatel which as a side note has the most comfortable beds in the world. Seriously readers, I know times are tough but I urge you to buy a one day return flight to Bangkok and experience the best night’s sleep you will ever have. It will be money well and wisely spent.

The next day we went back to the airport, once again excited at the prospect of home grown onion bhajis and naan bread, but whilst queuing up at the check in desk we noticed that all our trains in India had been booked for February, not January!?! The resulting swears drew looks from the terminal crowds so we excused ourselves from the line and after a couple of hours on the internet it became obvious that we would not be able to do the trip we had planned but instead would have to sit in Delhi for 10 days waiting for my father and brother to fly out and join us. (To get a train in India you have to book weeks, sometimes months in advance). So after a long conversation, a few G&T’s and a game of rock paper scissors we came to the conclusion that we would save more money and see more if we stayed in Thailand until the 6th January and then flew out to meet my family. Megan went off to the Air Asia desk to see if we could change our flights again and because of the cancelled flight the day before they agreed and there was no extra charge. It was a disappointment but luckily we found out before we checked in, rather than when we were on a platform in India waiting until February for our train. After a few phone calls we went back to pick the car up and then came up with a plan on how to spend our extra days. Looking at the Lonely Planet there were two interesting sights an hour or two north of Bangkok, so that’s where we went: we went to see Ayutthaya, a town and World Heritage Site full of old temples and the most Buddha statues in one place I have ever seen.

 

We spent a couple of nights there wandering around and really enjoyed the different temples by day as well as by night when they are lit up and are quite amazing, as with no tourist crowds you get them all to yourselves.

Oh and the elephants! They have elephant taxis, which we did not use but were cool to look at.

Following that we drove further east to visit the national park of Khao Yai. Here we could finally do something that we have not done since Turkey, camp it up! The park is quite a lot higher than the surrounding area so quite a bit cooler, in fact, a nice cardigan was required for the evenings around the camp stove.

There are some lovely walks and waterfalls around the forests and tonnes of wildlife. In fact in the campsite monkeys and deer would wonder through looking for free food hand outs. They were out of luck from me though, as Megan’s camp cooking was bang on the money and after months away it tasted simply delicious.

So we are now on our way back to the airport to try our luck once again and hopefully my next blog will be from India!

Happy New Year!

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Comments
  1. robin welch says:

    Hi Simon & Megan

    Really enjoying your blog entries and experiences, I thought I had missed something with you going “backwards” to India but I’ve now caught up.

    Keep up the good work and congrats on the jeans, I could do with the same diet

    Best Wishes
    Robin

  2. Coxy says:

    Great site have read abit will be back,did the UK/UAE bit and back wont tell you what in you can check the web site and see.
    Take care Coxy.

  3. Mum "Maple" says:

    Hi you two (and your two novice intrepid explorers, Nick and Dad Maple) I hear you have all met up safely and started the travels around India. Looking forward to hearing the next installment – take care of Dad – Love to you all. M x

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