Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 18- Krabi to Bangkok- Red Light and Rooftop

Monkey cats were at breakfast this morning. They seemed to have increased in number and seated themselves on the two empty chairs at our table, attempting to get onto the table every time our attention strayed. 

We had a foot wash basin at our bungalow in Phi Phi which was really handy in getting the sand off your feet before going inside. It took me a bit, but I found a slightly out of the way container filled with water with a plant growing out of it so I would wash my feet in it every time we came back. The cats would often drink out of it as well. It was only the day before we left that John pointed out a sink and little hose beside reception.  Oops.

We fly back to Bangkok today. We actually didn't have to drag our luggage across the beach this time. We caught our long-tailed boat at the end of the floating, bobbing, never ending dock in front of our hotel. It was hard sometimes keeping balance.

We left Railay without doing one of its top activities...rock climbing. Based on my experience in February on the rock climbing wall, we decided it was best to skip this activity.

The long tail boat took us to another pier closer to Krabi where we were met at the dock by a driver with a van. He made us wear our seat belts and pointed out a sign that said it was the law and there was a 5,000 baht fine if you were caught without your seatbelt. He then picked up his wife and three kids; one baby, one toddler in diapers and what looked to be a five year old who bounced around the van the whole trip. None of them were wearing seat belts.

We felt we were cutting it short when we arrived at the airport an hour before our flight to Bangkok. We stood in line at security and finally got through only to find out we were in the wrong terminal. Fortunately it was a small airport and we ran to the correct terminal quickly. The check-in desk even bumped us up to premium class which on Nok Air (a budget airline where you pay for everything) means extra legroom, free rice crackers, free water and free coffee- you heard right, free water!  Take that all you poor souls in economy. Nok Air does have the cutest planes ever, all painted to look like different types of birds. Nok means bird in Thai.

Our flight went quickly and we arrived at our gate 15 minutes ahead of schedule. On the taxi ride into the city we paid extra for toll fees to travel on the elevated highway (which did speed things up), but once we got into the city, traffic was bumper to bumper and we spent just as much time in the taxi as we did in the air.

A note on Bangkok airport taxis: when you get out of the baggage claim area, numerous people will approach you for taxis. Normally taxis should be metered but lots of taxi drivers charge a much higher flat rate. We ignored the taxi drivers that approached us and went to the official taxi area that was well organized. You are given a number and sit down until your number comes up on the screen. Things moved very quickly.

For our last two nights John booked us into a swanky hotel similar to a higher end Sheridan called the Dusit Thani. It was only $120 Canadian a night which is a steal. I must admit, I prefer the more traditional smaller hotels. This one could be anywhere in the world except for the Thai decor theme and uniforms and the humongous picture of the late King over an altar filled with white flowers in the lobby.
After a quick rest, we explored. This area is much more modern, busy and loud than the first area we stayed in in Bangkok. I prefer the historic area. We checked out a shopping centre, went for supper and did the night market in the Patong district (which is also the red light district which we strolled through, often being invited to attend ping pong shows).

We next grabbed a cab and went to a rooftop bar called The Moon Bar which is on the 59th floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. The bar is in fact on the roof, no ceiling above you, with amazing views of the city. The drink prices are outrageous and it was packed with people so we looked at the views for a bit then went to another less expensive bar on the 52nd floor that was also outside but with drinks half the price of those 7 floors up. This was a highlight for John.

Exhausted, we headed back to our hotel.

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