It’s been quiet on the holiday front for a while now. I’ve been too busy enjoying doing absolutely nothing over the Christmas/New Year period, a time to enjoy your own home and just relax. This week, however, we have started planning again for our upcoming trip to Malaysia.
B has often said that she wants to visit Thailand. As it lies on one of the main routes to Europe it makes a sensible stopover destination. Our only experiences of Thailand are of flying over Bangkok at 11pm, seeing a city still alive and energetic despite the late hour, and of spending a few hours in Don Muang Airport whilst in transit between Sydney and Heathrow. Thailand often features in the news and on television in Australia; it is a popular holiday location for many locals. But I have never had a real feeling for the country, a sense for how the country works.
I do not think that Thailand functions as smoothly as some of the other transit stops, such as Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan, so I’ve been hesitant to include it on our trips. That’s not a criticism of the country, it’s just that, after a long stay in Europe, it’s not so pleasant to have to negotiate and entirely different way of doing things, of language and of transport options.
However, our upcoming trip to Malaysia is a different style of holiday. As we had plenty of time to spare and have already seen a reasonable amount of Peninsula Malaysia we thought of taking advantage of cheap Air Asia fares to jump across to Bangkok for a few days and get a taste of Thailand.
We are only spending four nights there, so we decided to cheat a little and join an organised tour to the River Kwai and elephant rides. At least it gets us out of the city for a little bit. I took a look at the Lonely Planet Thailand and, while loads of Westerners travel independently, it does involve haggling and negotiating touts and basically I can’t be bothered this time. Next time we’ll know what to expect, but this time we want to relax. Besides which, we’ll be haggling in Malaysia!
The hotel we are trying to book, Siam@Siam Design, looks nice enough and is close to lots of shopping centre and the Skyrail. Bit worried that there won’t be enough hawker stalls in the area though. Definitely want to try a lot of the food.
Not certain that we can shop for too much as Air Asia have a 15kg free checked-in baggage limit, so it’s travel light! Not looking forward to the unassigned seating scrum upon boarding either. Oh well, as long as we get there and back safely I’ll be happy.
So Thailand, here we come!