1st January 2019. Arriving in Bangkok.
New Year passed us by somewhat in the merge of time zones on our flight but by the time we arrived in Dubai it was definitely 1st January, the beginning of a new year and a new adventure.
The 4 hour transit in Dubai allowed the first concentrated planning – always so difficult until the reality hits. The next leg of the flight tedious was but uneventful. A few snatched cat naps to keep us going through our missed night’s sleep, then here we were in Bangkok. Smoothly through passport control, 2 bikes and 4 panniers all present and correct in baggage reclaim and our name ready and waiting for our transfer to the hotel (a whole minivan to ourselves to make sure we could get the bike boxes in!).
Then out of the air conditioning of the airport and into the balmy 28C (10.30pm) and it suddenly felt we were here! We had booked a standard modern ‘Best Western’ for our first nights outside the city centre – characterless but functional and reliable. Although we were exhausted we ventured out for a quick drink and a first taste of Bangkok.
A 5 minute stroll took us into a classic tourist street . Bars liberally scattered with Thai women in tight dresses and an over abundance of middle aged white men…although plenty of couples too. We managed to avoid both the Ladyboy Bar and another bar called Spankers – no subtlety here. We watched the passing crowds as we sipped a beer in a garish orangy-pinky light. All a bit bizarre and not our natural milleur and would be depressing if spent too long there; but a taste of being another world and ready for what the next couple of months will bring before the final bliss of being horizontal.