So we left a cold, miserable UK on 15th January. It takes a full 24 hours to travel to Asia so we were less than amused when the taxi we had pre-booked to collect us from Bangkok airport was nowhere to be seen. It finally arrived TWO hours late.
This is when you realise that the Asian attitude to timekeeping is very different to our own!
A few random facts about Thailand:
- There are 711 stores (a bit like Spar) on EVERY Soi (street). You are never more than a minute’s walk from one & they are open 24/7.
- There are also a lot of Family Mart stores (think Londis), also open 24/7
- They have 24 hour pharmacies where you can buy over the counter items that we would need a prescription for here.
- Single bananas are sold in individual plastic bags! Not sure the idea of reducing single-use plastic has reached Thailand yet!
- Whatever you buy will automatically be placed in a carrier bag too.
- One area where I was very impressed was their clingfilm; it comes with its own sliding cutter – so much easier that frantically trying to find the edge & tear it against a (usually) useless metal strip.
- Even with the ever-decreasing value of the £ most things in Thailand are still much cheaper than here.
- Wine is very expensive but beer is cheap – £1.50 a bottle (they only sell it in bottles)
- I discovered a new favourite drink there – Kahlua (coffee liqueur) which I drank either with coke or neat over ice.
- Most places don’t come to life until late afternoon/early evening as it is just TOO hot earlier in the day.
- Westerners are known as Farangs.
There are plenty of bars, some more pleasant than others, and all have air conditioning for the comfort of the patrons.
I really wanted to be adventurous & sample as much Thai food as possible BUT even though I had taken translations with me stating my gluten & lactose intolerances it wasn’t easy! Soy sauce gets EVERYWHERE &, of course, contains wheat so I did have to be especially careful.
I ate a lot of chicken fried rice & a particularly wonderful dish of steamed chicken with steamed rice cooked in coconut milk. This came with a delicious clear coriander soup on the side & was my favourite meal.
I did give in occasionally & eat ham & chips when I’d had enough of rice!
We also took a short trip to Kuala Lumpur where we visited a Hindu Temple (highly recommend), the King’s Palace, the War Memorial, and the KL Tower.
The KL Tower was something I really wanted to visit. We paid for the full experience including the Sky Deck & the Sky Box.
Completely dry & warm when we set off up the tower, by the time we got to the top it was raining! They will not allow access to either the Sky Box or Sky Deck when it rains as it is too dangerous. Sadly we did not have time to wait so had to settle for the Observation Deck.
Whilst we were in Thailand it was CNY (Chinese New Year) and they celebrated it outside the food court we regularly frequented. The Dragon Dance is an amazing spectacle.
Our month there went way too fast and even though we arrived home early Saturday morning I am STILL jet-lagged!
I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in Asia.