New Arrival

Ma and Grace Auckland Airport

The flight to Sydney was uneventful. Watched ( most of ) The Departed. In the middle of a row of four in the middle of the aircraft. Painful but quick. Got changed at Sydney airport so I looked a bit less Worzel Gummidge. The flight was a trial from Sydney to Bangkok. Something like 8 – 9 hours, and didn’t sleep much. BUT the seats and the service is better on Emirates. Plus I fluked a window seat on that second flight and the seat next to me was vacant.’


I was so shagged when I got to Bangkok that I got fleeced by a taxi driver that collared me at the airport. Cost 500 baht ( $25 ) for a trip that another driver today offered to do for 200 baht.

The SilverGold Garden Hotel – someone in Marketing hedged their bets

Was just too tired to think at first when I arrived, and wanted to get to my hotel asap*.

The little posse of food stalls outside Silvergold Bangkok. Brewing up a feed at 4 a.m.

As it was I was so wound up I couldn’t sleep. Luckily about 50 metres from the hotel there were a whole bunch of street vendors. One of them was open and brewing stuff up at 4.30 am! Got a great meal ( big bowl of soup-like stuff, including some that looked suspiciously like refined carbs, not exactly rice but something related ) for 40 baht ( less than $2 ).

* Next time I’ll seriously consider sleeping at the airport. It has air-conditioning, and there were dozens of young-uns crashed out around the airport when I went through. Plus they have wifi and shops.

Yes it’s HOT

It’s hot as hell. At 4.30 am it was just bearable. Any other time of the day I have to scuttle back under the cover of air-conditioning after quick 30-minute forays outside. It’s so extreme that I don’t think there are (m)any hotels without air-conditioning.

Busy? Bangkok , in the area I was, wasn’t actually crazy busy. In hindsight. Today I decided I better start moving toward Rayong. But between grappling with the hotel wifi, and keeping the sustenance and water up, I couldn’t figure out how to negotiate catching the bus. It goes through Bangkok to Rayong, but trying to locate something on a phone across Bangkok is hard work.


Not very many Thais speak English either. Even the young ones serving at the 7-11s ( American-styled ‘dairies’, full of rubbish food ) hardly had any English. Two people I found in the whole complex of hotel and street vendors spoke English well enough for a conversation, the hotel receptionist, and the taxi concierge.

The taxi concierge because I decided getting to Rayong and getting settled was a better plan that saving a few baht on a bus I couldn’t find. So I opted for a taxi trip to Chonburi, about halfway from Bangkok to Rayong, with the guy who offered me the cheaper airport fare. But turns out he was the ‘concierge’ , and I got driven by an attractive woman maybe in her 30s. Had a good chat with her, her English was ok, and I tried to regurgiate some very basic Thai she taught me.


Anyway, when I got to Chonburi, I hated it. It’s like a bigger, hotter, dustier Te Hana, but with a six-lane highway splitting it. So I forked out even more, and got the driver to take me to Pattaya, only about 30 – 50 kms away from Rayong. It’s supposed to be by the seaside. Instead it’s a flesh-pot, full of aging pot-bellied Poms with young Thai women. From having spent a whole 6 or 7 hours here, they don’t seem to do very much except drink beer, play pool, watch soccer, and eat. Much like what they would likely do in dear old England, except more cheaply. There are dozens and dozens of eateries, and most of them cater for the ex-pat ( white-skinned ) crowd, rather than offer any Thai cuisine.I guess it needs more investigation. The coconut milk / cream they have here is un-believably good. There are also dozens of bordellos – the women hang out outside, often in ‘company’ uniforms.


I feel like a smoke.

I’m a bit over-tired, and – get this – got lost in Pattaya about 500m from the hotel :-/ . My phone ran out of charge. All the streets look the same. None of them are signposted. It’s hot. There are motorbikes everywhere. There are no footpaths. If you’re not on your toes you’ll more than likely get them run over. There are something like 4 different 7-11s within a 200m radius, so it starts to feel a lot like Groundhog Day. ( )

I’m knackered, but surviving.

Time for a shower and bed.

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