Closing thoughts

Tuesday was our last day in Thailand.

In keeping with our routine, we hunted down yet another cafe. This time it was a small cafe called Ink and Lion. The cafe had a nice clean industrial look, and a cute little cartoon about the owners in the middle of the tables.

For lunch we headed off to a Japanese mall. There’s quite a bit of Japanese stuff in Thailand. The mall had a lot of Japanese stores. Every mall in Bangkok has to also have a special attraction to set it apart. This one had a snow park on the top level, but we didn’t end up visiting it as it was mostly for kids.

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Afterwards, we just wandered the streets of Bangkok for a bit. I bought a Thai lottery ticket (eh, why not?). Seeing me with the ticket, a taxi driver who had been earlier pestering us said “Ah you lucky my friend. Win jackpot!”.
We then grabbed our bags and headed to the airport.

Suvarnabhumi airport has a few cool design features.

We spent the last of our Thai money on a slice of coconut cake and a giant bag of coconut flavoured seaweed for snacks on the plane.

The flight back was very long. It was an evening flight, but we found it very hard to get any sleep!

When we finally arrived back home we were very tired! It took us quite a while to get through customs, and they were very suspicious of some of the mango soap we brought. Apparently it looked just like real fruit on the x-ray machine.

Now that we’ve been home for a few days we’ve had a bit if time to summarize…

The good:

  • All of the activites in Thailand pick tourists up from their accommodation in some pretty nice air conditioned vans. They all looked like they had pumping sounds systems, but they were never turned on!
  • A lot of hotels are generous with their checkout times, it was not unusual for you to be able to check out at 12pm.
  • The power sockets accept both EU and US plugs meaning we could re-use our existing adapters.
  • A lot advertising is quite modest. For example one sign read “We might be the best burger in town”.
  • There’s a huge amount of variety in the malls (and Chutuchuck!!!). Much more than you’d ever see back home. The sale areas had great bargains too.
  • You can find some really cheap, good meals (on average a meal is between 4 to 8 NZD).

The bad:

  • Uneven footpaths and lips everywhere. This makes it very easy to fall over or stub your toe.
  • People hassling you in tourist areas to come into their restaurants. Also, “massaaaage?”
  • On the street taxi drivers don’t even ask if you’d like a taxi ride. They just demand “Where you going?”
  • The toilets are the worst, just because you can’t flush any toilet paper and instead have to put it in a bin next to the toilet. Thankfully we mostly encountered Western style toilets though.
  • Having to brush your teeth with bottled water gets very annoying. It’s hard to brush your teeth properly.
  • Rubbish was everywhere and there weren’t good practices around the use of plastic (which was excessive to say the least). For example you buy a banana. It’s wrapped in plastic, put in a plastic container, and then also in a plastic bag. Everyone also churns through lots of disposable water bottles.
  • The heat was hard to handle for long periods.We often got headaches even though we were constantly drinking water.

The strange:

  • Sometimes you just have to walk out in front of the oncoming traffic and hope for the best to cross the road.
  • Thailand is dominated by 7-Eleven and Family Mart convenience stores, both ¬†Japanese ¬†in origin. This means there’s a lot of Japanese snacks around.
  • There are a dozen types and brands of bottled water available, each taste slightly different. I liked the Singha water best.
  • Most malls and train stations have security checkpoints. However, the guards who are supposed to check bags don’t really care. I can set the off the metal detector and just waltz through with a cap and sunglasses on.

Well, it looks like that’s it for this trip. I hope that everybody enjoyed reading our blog as much as we enjoyed writing it. Until our next adventure!

Jason and Kimmie