We had an easy trip through customs (despite the fact that we have a 30-day visa here and we don't have proof of when we're leaving), and then it was time to figure out how we were going to get from the airport to our hotel, the Chatrium Hotel Riverside. We had read in many tour guides about a trend in Bangkok for taxi drivers to over-charge or try to negotiate a super high fare instead of using the meter, so we were on high alert to not get taken for a ride. Turned out to be pretty easy from the airport, as the government has clearly figured out that it is not in their best interest for tourists (Thailand's biggest industry) to be fleeced. So they have quite the set-up at the airport to ensure only above-board taxi drivers even have access to tourists (it would not turn out to be the same in the rest of Bangkok, unfortunately!).
|Chao Phraya Express Boat|
|Typical temple as seen from the river|
We got to our hotel and it was fabulous! After over a month of staying with people for the most part, we were ready for some time alone, and splurged on our 3 night's hotel in Bangkok. And by splurged, I do mean spent about $95 per night for a huge suite with a balcony overlooking the river, and a sweet infinity pool. It completely rocked, except that they were doing construction on the floor above ours, which resulted in a lot of hammering in the middle of the day. On the plus side, when we complained about it, they sent us for free cocktails and canapes on the 36th floor at sunset. Below are the photos, but if you want the full picture, imagine this. There's a lovely club lounge filled with classy guests on the top floor, gingerly sipping their free wine and munching on one or two little bites. Then imagine Cory and me, on our first super-classy, super-free adventure on a trip where the length of trip is directly related to the amount of money spent. I'm pretty sure I had 1+ bottle of wine, and Cory made his way through the entire cocktail menu (Singapore Sling! Mai Tai! Mojito - which after a full bottle of wine, I decided was called a Wilson...not sure where that came from, but waiter! Bring me another Wilson!). We basically looked like a couple of fat Americans who had never seen a plate of food. So we settled in with some dominoes, a sunset, a bevvie of drinks and several plates of free food. Ah, paradise :)
|Sunset view from free cocktails atop the Chatrium|
|Detail photos from the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha|
As always, for more trip photos, check out our flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/coryandmolly/
But before we all leave hectic Bangkok for the paradise of the islands, let's enjoy this video Cory took of the river boats: