21st March 2012
Fortunately most of the people in our dorm were off somewhere today and so when we all woke up around 6am to prepare for the off, no-one really minded. The Spanish guys, one of which had celebrated their birthday were dead to the world, and one had even struck lucky during the previous evening’s ladies’ night – there was an extra body in the room!
Finishing up the packing, we stumbled downstairs with our bags and grabbed breakfast. Before long the taxi arrived to take us to the airport, and another backpacker tagged along with us and we split the cost between us – an unexpected bonus!
Customs, security and passport control were all a formality and we were soon on the plane and in the air. Farewell Vietnam, we were coming home to Bangkok.
We arrived on time and took the Sky Train, MRT and then BTS to Suk 11, the hotel we had stayed in before when we were last in Bangkok. The boys were so excited and when we heard the announcement “Next station, Nana” they laughed happily. The welcome at Suk 11 was positively warm and we were soon installed in a triple aircon room on the 4th floor, the kids disappearing to the TV room whilst Tania and I unpacked the bags.
From here on in, there will not be very much to report. We had done most of the sight seeing when we had been here last, and for the few days we were staying here before going to Sukhothai Tania had shopping penned in.
We returned to our favourite haunts and grabbed street food from our sausage man and pad thai lady and said hello to the 7-11 girls, all of which recognised the boys and were pleased to see us again.
Other than that, we had an easy day and spent some time chatting with fellow guests before retiring for the night.
22nd-25th March 2012
Not really a lot to add…. we searched Bangkok for presents and souvenirs for the folks back home.
MBK was crazy. A huge shopping mall on 6 floors selling all manner of knock-off goods at a fraction of the “real” value. The games and mobile phone accessories floor was incredible with stall after stall offering iPhone to Nokia and every other make under the sun. The clothes floor was again staggering. The whole place is like a giant indoor street market, but air conditioned!
We traipsed through Siam Paragon, Siam Centre and Siam Discovery. We even went to Kho San road one day in the blistering heat. We managed to find some more baggy pants there and scarves.
We went back to Terminal 21 – a fabulous mall with themed floors and toilets! We took the boys to see Journey 2 which was enjoyable enough, with a fun performance from Michael Caine.
In reality, we were just killing time before heading to Sukhothai. Suk 11 has a TV room with DVDs galore and so we watched a few films and blogged a lot.
26th March 2012 – the Road to Sukhothai
Another beautiful day and yet another morning packing the things we’d need for a few days into Oskar’s rucksack ready to catch the train to Sukhothai. The rest was crammed into the remaining bags to leave at the hotel, and then it was time to go.
We piled into a taxi, who reluctantly took us towards the station. As we turned a corner we hit traffic and the “nice” taxi driver ejected us from the cab leaving us on the side of the road. I don’t think he liked children, or maybe it was because we made him use the meter – who knows. We flagged another taxi down, and this time we hit the jackpot. A really nice driver, very friendly and with a minimum of fuss he took us to Huamphalong station.
The train left late, as usual. The journey was peaceful enough – the boys played on their games, we played some Uno, and spent some time looking out of the window at the passing scenery. The carriage was air conditioned and to our surprise we were even served lunch, and afternoon tea, all included in the price of the ticket!!
We pulled into Phitsanulok, the nearest station to Sukhothai at around 17:30 and realised that we were too late to catch onward transport to Sukhothai. So, we were going to have to spend the night here.
Hastily referring to the LP guide we headed off to find a hotel. After a fair few hundred metres, and more than a couple hotels we found one that would put us up for the night. The room had one giant bed meaning we would all be sleeping together – not for the first time – but that was fine by us.
We settled in and then headed off to the Night Market to find some food. The place was alive with locals who smiled at us as we passed. There were a few foreigners there too. We grabbed various food on sticks and papaya salads and then settled down to watch some local guys doing some street dancing. They were quite impressive – but it was too hot for dancing, at least for us!
Further along was an open air arena where some sort of show was on. We sat and watched the singers and dancers (as Luca wanted to see the sparkly costumes) but they weren’t brilliant.
Calling it a night we walked back to the hotel and went to bed.