Is this hotel funky or what? The interior is like a work of modern art and there’s a video CCTV channel that shows what’s going down at the restaurant “Party House”! It’s almost a pity that we have so much planned for Bangkok that we won’t be spending that much time in the Siam@Siam Design Hotel.

Obviously we have made it to Bangkok. Earlier in the day I was beginning to worry that we wouldn’t. B and I woke late and barely made it down for breakfast. B’s Mum decided that we should visit Chinatown again, so we piled into a taxi for the trip to Petaling Street. I didn’t think there was enough time for this jaunt.

Chinatown was crowded and noisy both with cars and people. Eventually I convinced B that we had to split from the other two and get back to the hotel for our luggage. We caught a taxi and were surprised when the driver agreed to a fare of 6RM. That was less than we paid to get there.

He soon regretted the fare when we became stuck unmoving at an intersection for 15 minutes. There seemed to be some sort of police action going on with many police vans visible alongside the street. By the time we arrived at the hotel the meter showed a higher figure than the one we had bargained for!

The monorail took us to KL Central station, where we caught a red AirAsia coach to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). Unfortunately the Airport Express train doesn’t go directly to the LCCT.

The LCCT is just a big shed, utterly unimpressive in comparison to the main terminals at KLIA. I thought we had to arrive 2 hours early for international flights, but we couldn’t check in until an hour before.

It was crowded with nowhere much to sit and only a McDonalds and Asian restaurant for food. At least once we passed through immigration there were chairs.

When the call came to board everyone stood up and squeezed into the queue. We got quite far forward and managed to outwalk the majority of the other passengers on the way to board the red and white AirAsia A320 aircraft, snagging seats in the 5th row, next to a friendly American passenger.

The flight was surprisingly smooth for most of the way, with beautiful views of the Malaysian countryside and tropical cloudscapes. We didn’t avail ourselves of any of the refreshments, none included in the ticket price. Might buy a model plane on the way back though. 🙂

The descent into Bangkok was viewed through a veil of brown smog, giving the land a golden tinge in the evening light. Immigration was quick, but it took us half an hour to retrieve our baggage, despite B’s being first out of the conveyer.

Our coach transfer to the hotel turned out to be a car ride for the two of us along a grand motorway into the city. It was good to see the overhead concrete of the Skytrain line under construction alongside the highway. Hopefully next time we visit we can go by public transport.

I’ve already mentioned our hotel. It’s close to a number of shopping centres and a Skytrain station. We were starving by the time we arrived so we walked to the nearest centre, MBK, to eat in the foodcourt. The court works by a coupon system – you buy coupons, then pay them to the individual food stalls that you order from.

The prices were astonishingly cheap, and this is almost certainly more expensive than what you get on the street. We had rice, curry and noodles accompanied by sweet fruit juices to wash away the chilli. For dessert it was sticky rice and durian for B, and something like ice kacang (no gula melaka, yay!) for me. B gave me a small spoonful of her rice that she said was uncontaminated by the durian. She lied! Yuck! I could still taste that horribly smelly fruit.

We wandered through MBK, but the shops were closing, so we headed back to the hotel along the cracked footpath, past small carts selling a variety of foods. Will have to try some of these during our stay. The streets were so noisy with cars that it was a great relief to be back inside our room.

I’m hoping to catch the Mahachai rail line tomorrow – if we can wake up on time.

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