Bangkok - The sixth step ... back to SE Asia - CycleBlaze

February 8, 2019

Bangkok

When we started our nomadic life three years ago, a friend of ours gave us a little wire bicycle decked out in African beads.  It accompanied us for our first two trips but has been left behind for the past few.  Leigh decided it was time for it to ride again.

Bicycles boxed at waiting to leave Port Elizabeth. The little wire bicycle is traveling with us once again, this time in Leigh's care.
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Andrea BrownWhat a cute little bicycle! I got a little confused by the perspective, this makes it look like it's parked on the floor and is 2 feet high. Seemed like a little large for a trip mascot! Then I figured it out. :)
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1 week ago

Getting to Bangkok from Port Elizabeth involved three flights with stops at Johannesburg and Dohar.  Mercifully, neither of these were long layovers.  Still, we left our digs in Port Elizabeth soon after ten in the morning and checked into our digs in Bangkok just before ten the next night.  The most important thing was that our boxed bikes (the only checked in luggage we had) was available for collection at the oversized baggage counter at Suvarnabhumi Airport after we had breezed through immigration.

Bicycles being loaded onto the 'plane in Port Elizabeth.
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Getting from the airport to the New Siam II on Thanon Pra Athit (between the well known Khaosan Road and the river) was more difficult.  None of the taxi drivers were keen to take our bicycles and so we ended up getting a minibus from one of the "limosine" hire stands.  At 1500 THB it was double what I was hoping to spend and about thirty percent over the usual rate but we didn't have many choices at that time of night.

The New Siam II is our go-to hotel in Bangkok and we have stayed there on a number of occasions before.  There are cheaper digs in the area but it is a familiar and comfortable stay for us.  After checking in, a Beer Chang and a warm shower helped us come down and allowed us to enjoy a good sleep after all the traveling.

I only surfaced properly after nine o'clock this morning but soon had the bicycles re-assembled and we headed towards Khaosan Road to buy a few essentials for the road - gas cylinders (mainly to brew morning coffee) and washing powder (laundry is a daily chore).  Then it was a great lunch of fried chicken on rice with Thai basil at a small restaurant where we have eaten before.  We were the only falangs eating there but it was jam-packed with locals.

First meal in Thailand after a break of more than a year and a half.
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The plan was to take the overnight train down to Chumpon tomorrow evening but when booking our tickets online we discovered that the sleeper carriages were all booked up so we will have to endure nine hours of second class seats through the night.  Thai Railways allows bookings up to 90 days in advance so we only have ourselves to blame.

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