If you ever come to Bangkok you should come and stay here. It’s an oasis of calm just minutes away from the main road. Our host, Raewyn, and her Thai husband Charlie, live here as do many of his extended family. Everyone, including us, has their own space and in between there are little canals, mango, star fruit, pomelo and other fruit trees, quirky and traditional art and exotic flowers. The only sound we can hear apart from windchimes is an amazing variety of weird and wonderful birdcalls. We have a bedroom and bathroom and a lovely outside area where we can prepare and eat food. There’s also a communal kitchen and a swimming pool, that we’ve had to ourselves since we’ve been here.
It takes a while to get to central Bangkok (best part of an hour) but we’ve done it twice on the river bus, which has a nice breeze and gives a good view of lots of the sights. Along the riverside there are modern skyscrapers, tumbledown shacks, smart modern Thai houses, Buddhist temples and traditional Thai buildings.
We’ve been to the golden Buddha temple and the Grand Palace with emerald Buddha but the heat gets a bit much by midday so we usually come home and lounge by the pool after that.
Bangkok is definitely a city of contrasts. Chinatown is full of smells and sights from the old days and, as it was Chinese new year this week, there are food offerings everywhere. We never need to take our usual supply of emergency food as there is something to eat on every corner though we haven’t had such good food here as elsewhere in Thailand or in Malaysia. There are also modern air-conditioned shops, restaurants and food courts.
Being in Bangkok has been an experience and the temples are wonderful but it is hard work – noisy, dirty, crowded and polluted. People try and rip you off and we have felt herded around at the tourist spots. We’ve been very relieved to escape back to our oasis.
Next stop Kanchanaburi on the River Kwai on Tuesday.