Well, Ahmad got us to the train on time. Fortunately we knew that there was a one hour time difference, even though nobody told us. The train was totally up to expectations – slow as the second coming – left late and arrived late but the scenery was lovely and green (except at night, naturally). Both slept on bottom bunks – nearly a metre wide and fairly comfortable.
Here is a quick one for honourable sister. You know the feeling we used to get as kids when the train was going from Macalder to Dar or Nairobi – that sort of echoey feeling as you woke up when you arrived at yet another station? It was still a bit like that. Also, I think these train rides are quite long but I remember a two or three night journey when we were kids – right after Mau Mau – about 1953 – so I was only seven and you nine. Unaccompanied. What were the folks thinking? Not done a lot so far. Been on a speeding tuk-tuk – kamikaze pilot on a 500 cc souped up machine – cost him AUS $22,000 new. Zipped round to the tourist bureau to get Vietnamese visa. Bought 5 tailor made shirts and had a swim on the tenth floor of Sofitel So in their infinity pool – scary. On 19th floor and also good view but a long way up. Worse still, 25th floor, free cocktails nightly – but wait, on the 32 ? floor a roof restaurant – you have got to be kidding. Arrived yesterday after long train journey so now having a nanny nap 🙂
Bought a new camera today – good old Canon, changed their bloody battery pack again so the old ones wont fit! Also bought five new shirts – finest Egyptian cotton – pick them up tomorrow – tailor made – hope they fit.
Some useless information about Bangkok. There are 66m people in Thailand and 15m live in Bangkok. Mostly Buddhists. Youthful pictures of the King and Queen are everywhere but they are in their eighties and in hospital. They have one son and five daughters. We went to the Grand Palace today
– huge mini-city but the Royals don’t live there but there is a garrison with heavy armaments to protect it 24/7. Fascinating historically but also from a religious aspect. Bangkok must have the largest Chinatown in the world – at least three or four square kilometres. Exhausting. We found a car graveyard yesterday by chance. All cars must be scrapped when they hit 10 years old. An amazing sight. The Thais drive on the left as we do. However, in their very efficient underground rail system, the up escalator is on the right and the down on the left. Yesterday by chance, we were first off. We walked across the front of the up escalator and went to walk up the down escalator. Everyone followed us as they chatted away or listened to their iPhones. Bloody funny – we caused an escalator jam! A first. Lots of chaos and laughter:) There are 100,000 taxi cars in Bangkok – that does not include millions of tuk-tuks and trillions of motorbikes used as couriers and unofficial taxis. Many of the young girls wear a sort of ‘modesty’ overly in a small skirt or pants. Will try to get a snap tomorrow (now we have a new camera) so we can show the girls. The Sofitel So is sooo good. Cocktails and nibbles every night- breakfast Asian and Western, who needs to eat out? Sydney and San Francisco and Bangkok must have the highest numbers of Sooo happy young men – perhaps that’s where the So comes from:).
Seriously though-a great stay. We chuff off to Vientiane tomorrow night at 20:00 and will be in the crossways cabins (so called fist class soft) so yet another new experience.