Sensory Overload

After a few hours nap, the day we woke up was Sunday, the 12th. It was nearly noon in our new time zone, UTC +7 hours and we were in need of some nourishment. We enjoyed a slow waking with our in room Nescafe. The Ambassador Hotel Bangkok is a 3.5 star facility of 755 rooms. The rooms are spacious, the shower is piping hot, they are clean with bottled water provided daily. There is a refrigerator in the room and electric pot for heating water. Robe and slippers hang in the closet and the comfort of the bed linens rank a bit higher than the overall hotel rating which I assume comes from the signs of wear and tear on the furnishings. Bathrooms are stocked with toothbrush and paste, shower caps, combs and cotton swabs.  There are great amenities of shopping, restaurants, spa, pool, exercise room, and night club right on this property tucked into Sukhumvit Soi 11. All things considered, we felt very satisfied with our accommodations with a price tag of only 42 American a night. We began by venturing out to the nearby market for some staples of fruit, cheese, nuts and beverages to stock our room. We stowed away these provisions satisfied our hunger and headed out for our first walk in the territory. Sunday afternoon was quiet along the nearby sidewalks with the food, clothing, sex toy, dvd vendors and the like  just starting their set up. This area is a spectacle of nightlife waiting to happen as darkness comes on. We felt our lack of sleep, so decided on a couple hours of lounge time by the hotel pool. The sun felt so good soaking into my body. We had appropriately prepared ourselves as we would daily by applying sunscreen and mosquito spray, both of which are a necessity throughout Thailand. My hubby enjoyed a few laps in the pool, I read a bit online via the hotel provided free Wi-Fi and we decided to head in to get dressed for the evening. We headed towards Nana, a few blocks away and were disappointed to find that a favorite traditional thai restaurant of unbelievable value we found on last year’s trip had closed. Nana was quiet still in this early evening with the working girls and lady boys just arriving for the after dark festivities. We dined at a restaurant across Sukhumvit on the opposite end of our own Soi 11. The highlight was a Sizzling Scallop Platter. Scallops placed raw  with a big dallop of seasoned butter on a molten hot tray, the job of the diner to “grill” their own to personal perfection! After this respite we found ourselves exhausted, no energy left to peruse the night life, lost time was catching up with us. We retired for the evening, sleep arriving as soon as our head hit the pillow.

Monday was a day for wandering the neighborhood, window shopping, people watching and enjoying a light lunch at Esaan Nation Kitchen, a hole in the wall with small plates of native origin. Carved wood shelves held roosters of various color in honor of the year, I presumed. The glass noodle dish was my spicy favorite, accompanied by a local brew, Chang, the hubby stuck with a soda water from the same distributor. Our wandering took us by many shrines of Buddhist and Hindu nature as well as tributes to the late King Bhumibol. Pool time came again as our acclimation still had not led to full energy and our time had not yet reconciled. I enjoy the luxury of lounging, reading and soaking in the vitamin d. A refresher shower and we were once again out wandering for the evening taking in the changes that nightfall brings to the area. Traffic is incredible in this bustling city. Girls ride motor bikes side saddle, families of 5 ride them all in a row, tuk tuks, taxi meters, songtahews, the BTS, travel options abound. For all the traffic congestion, the noise of blaring horns (think NYC) is absent. The clickety clack of a freight train also resonated before us on this walk about. Beyond it we found the “pop up” restaurant we decided on for our evening meal. Delicious smells of thai grill over crackling coals in buckets wafted in the air. Bins of iced fish were displayed at the entry. Variety was not lacking in this makeshift restaurant housed for now in this warehouse, we were presented with four menus all with a vast array of options. We decided on grilled prawns, grilled duck breast, papaya salad and sauteed vegetables with Singha beer, a local brew. This will be a highlight in culinary ingenuity that we may try to mimic at some point in our entrepreneurial endeavors. We enjoyed conversation with a couple we shared our table with. The pair, originally from Australia, now reside on the island of Fiji, running a fish/shrimp farm and in Thailand to explore marketing opportunities. Interesting people, interesting surroundings made for a great evening. After, we stopped in at Nana Plaza for some people gaping and a night cap 😉

Tuesday arrived and the bird I think may be the Coucal cried out it’s wake up call. Valentine’s Day and my love was out to spoil me. I began the day with french press coffee and Thai fruits. This was followed by manicure, pedicure, facial (a 2 1/2 hour respite at a mere price of 900 baht at Belle Salon, luxurious) and lounging by the pool. Upon returning to the room to get freshened up for the evening, I was overwhelmed to find not only beautiful flowers but a new dress, colorful sarongs, wrap skirts and fisherman’s pants. Feeling spoiled, I donned my new attire and our car picked us up for the dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya river. It was a scenic, night lit adventure featuring multiple courses accompanied by champagne, cabarnet and dessert wine. Authentic thai music and dancing added to our entertainment. Beautiful buildings including the Grand Palace with the red moon shining in the background adorned the shores of the waterway. As we floated and dined, my honey presented me with yet another gift, a beautiful 23kt gold bracelet with a heart charm.Yes my dear readers, I do understand how lucky I am! What a wonderful day in this exotic land.

Wednesday found us bound for Pattaya via SUV taxi on the motorway, 8 lanes wide, well maintained and funded by the likes of the Phanthong Toll. Travel cross country makes you realize the density of population in this land. We are off to uncharted territory, I’ll share these experiences with you “madame and sir” in a few days! Make sure to travel along, hyperlinks are nestled throughout these tales to help you grow your knowledge as I grow mine! (On a laptop or desktop use your cursor to unveil them, on your mobile device they are highlighted for you, enjoy!)

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