Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Day 6 - Bangkok

Arriving in Bangkok & Siam Ocean World

After a couple of hours of sleeping we arrived in Bangkok, went through passport control, collected my luggage and proceeded to arrivals where my transfer (at least this one bothered to turn up). I was dropped off to The Legacy Suites in the Sukhumvit area Soi 29, 4 star hotel but nothing glam, however the room was big and roomy! By the time I got to the hotel it was about 10am, but at check in they needed a deposit and I did not have enough money on me as I had only changed up a little bit of money when I got to the airport, I gave her the thai bahts that I did have and explained that I needed to go to the bank. The lady at reception was fine with this but I had also pre-booked tickets for Ocean World at the Siam Paragon shopping mall but this particular ticket meant I had to get there before 12pm that was apart of the deal and today was the only morning that I could fit this in. Luckily there was a room available for me at that time, so I showered and changed and headed towards Asok BTS station, bought my ticket for 28bht one way and was at Siam in around 10mins. I entered the shopping mall and noticed the sign for Ocean World and took the lift down, by this time it was about 12:20pm, but figured there was no harm in asking if I could still go in and luckily she let me in. It was my first aquarium visit so I really did not want to miss it although I had viewed the big display in Dubai mall.

Ocean World - Bangkok
A varied amount of sea life here, some not so pretty that I would have to brace myself to turn the corner wondering what I would be facing next. I spent about 1.5hrs looking all around me and sometimes just sitting and watching. After the time had passed, I went to leave the mall but wanted the ATM  to which I got "Computer says no", yep...good old Natwest had decided to block my card in case there was fraudulent activities....Here we go again!. I went back to the hotel and tried to ask the reception to call the Thai operator as Natwest had informed me before I left England that if I had to call them due to any problems, (ie, blocking my card), then I can reverse the call so this is what I was trying to do but then the receptionist advised that they do not have a Thai operator, in the end I went to my room and called the bank directly as I needed cash and fast! Got through to someone who then unblocked my card and told me they would credit my account with what I thought the cost of the call was to which I had no idea so I just said £15 and 24hrs later it appeared in my bank so I was finally able to withdraw cash and give the rest of my deposit to the lady at reception. That same evening I had planned to go to china Town but tiredness was creeping up on me, so in the afternoon I went to one of the many local 7-11's and bought some bits and bobs to put into the fridge and later that evening I went to Terminal 21 as the lady at the reception had advised that this was the best place to go locally for food. About 8pm I got to Terminal 21 which is about 10min walk from the hotel and it takes even longer to cross the damn road....still all part of the fun in Bangkok in my opinion. 
I was not used to the system in the mall as it was my first time in Bangkok, but if you have never been to Terminal 21, you get a card (pay as you go card type thing), go to a counter and tell them how much money you want to be topped up on the card and then you hand over the cash, you then go to whatever food\drink station hand over your card, tell them what you want and the price of the food\drink is deducted from the card. It took me a while to figure out what the heck I was doing. Anyway, once I got my food (80p), I was struggling to look for a table as the food court was packed. Whilst I was roaming I noticed another guy roaming and looking for a table with his tray of food. I find a table first and then he asked if he could join me, he had obviously noticed me before looking for a table and figured out I was travelling solo, so we sat and ate. He was from Germany and he was travelling around SE Asia and was due to move on the next morning. After the meal, my energy had picked up somewhat so he asked if I wanted to go 1 stop away on the MRT to where it is a bit more livelier, so I agreed as Bangkok is busy in numbers and the MRT is packed so I couldn't suddenly go missing. We went the 1 or 2 stops to Nana and yes, it was a lot more livelier in the lower Soi's rather than the latter Soi's where I was staying. I also said to myself, that next tine I would probably stay nearer to Nana BTS. As he was familiar with the place, he suggested a couple of bars, so we had a couple of drinks, couple of snacks, talked and people watched and this was my evening, I then took a taxi for 100bht back to the hotel.

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