Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 26: Bangkok Day 1

Our flight leaves for Bangkok at 11 and we need to take the metro, during rush hour, to get there so we left the hostel at 8. Unlike yesterday we stopped for the included breakfast, which was sufficient but underwhelming. I am over cheap-o hotel breakfasts at this point!

The metro ride for both of us only cost $4.60 SGD ($3.39 USD) which is an unbeatable price. It is my belief that the hallmark of an awesome city is one that has direct metro access to the international airport. I'm skeptical of cities that require you to take a taxi between the airport and city. Shoutout to Singapore for being easy and cheap, and surprisingly not that crowded at rush hour (once we got out of the city center, of course).

As we were making a train change I saw a sign on the train tracks that said "Respect Life, Act Responsibly". It was telling people not to jump in front of the train to kill themselves! Marv refused to whip out the camera and take a picture of it, damn him. I wonder if they have a problem with people throwing themselves in front of trains and, in turn, disrupting train service? God help me if I had a plane to catch and the train was delayed because someone jumped in front of it. I would resurrect them just so I could kill them a second time - I do not do well with airport delays!

Air Asia, the RyanAir (but infinitely better) of Asia, was more on time this trip and we left the gate only 10 minutes later than scheduled. We got (back) to Bangkok right on time.

The day before this Bangkok started their "sky train" service between the airport and city. As much as I appreciate quick and cheap airport transit, we were in no mood to navigate this brand spankin' new service when a pretty cheap taxi could get us to our destination much quicker. Especially when they were predicting kinks that needed to be ironed out. No thanks...maybe we'll brave this on the way back to the airport on Thursday night.

We got to our hotel, even more fabulous than our last fabulous one, the Millennium Hilton. And, since it was available, we got upgraded to the Executive King Plus suite! You can forget all the raving I did about our last hotel room because this one is 110% better. It's gigantic - even bigger than our (former) apartment in Norway!

We were treated like royalty at check-in. Since we are on an "executive floor" got had to go up to the 31st floor, the "executive lounge" to check-in. We didn't have to check-in like all the regular chumps, we were special.

We admired our fabulous new home and I was in bed the second the luggage porter dropped off our super fancy backpacks. Somehow the world has been able to produce a bed even more awesome than the one at the Mandarin Oriental. Sleep came heavenly hard and fast.

As executive suite dwellers we have free range of the executive lounge, which offers a complimentary happy hour from 6 - 8:30 p.m. If you know anything about me you will know that happy hour is my FAVORITE THING EVER. There's something about getting tipsy and being in bed by 8 p.m. that appeals to my lazy arse. So we planned to hit up this fabulous event before heading out for a proper dinner.

My long lost friend red wine was ready and waiting for me at happy hour, so I dove in along with some snacks like bread, fruit/veg and cheese - glorious cheese. Asian food (still in the 'barf' category for us both) uses no cheese whatsoever, and I didn't realize until I ate some how much I missed it. I am convinced that cheese is like air: You don't realize its importance to your life until it's gone. I ate all the cheese I could get my hands on. It was heavenly.

A few more glasses in (Thai beer for Marv) we realized that we were pretty darn full from the 'light refreshments' and might not need to venture out for dinner after all. We were pretty happy and full by this point, plus it would be a great cost cutting measure. Again, if you know anything about me, you will know that cutting costs is easily one of my favorite things to do.

We hemmed and hawed about it for a while - would it be cheap of us? Would we really survive the night without a full meal? Would we be pathetic for doing this? We went for one more plate of food and declared ourselves fed for the evening. Cost to us (beyond the hotel room): $0.00 USD. I have come to call this event our Ghetto Dinner - the best ghetto dinner we will ever have!

At the end of happy hour we planned to come back again tomorrow (we'd be foolish not to!) and went to check out the jacuzzi/pool area, which they call The Beach. The jacuzzi had closed for the evening but the pool was open a while longer so we put on our suits to go for a swim under the stars. The infinity pool is outdoors on the 4th floor, with an awesome skyline view, and even has beach chairs in the water. The water was a bit chilly but during a 100 degree Bangkok day I bet it feels awfully nice.

After our swim we turned in for the night. Tomorrow morning holds a buffet breakfast in the executive lounge which we HAVE to get up for. I'm not missing that for the world!

You know how anti-logging environmentalists chain themselves to trees so loggers can't cut them down? I'm going to chain myself to this hotel. Please don't ever make me leave!

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