22.05.2009 - 23.05.2009 34 °C
Our penultimate day in Thailand and again we went our separate ways to do what we both love doing - Katherine to shop in a scrap-booking shop and me to ride a bicycle. Luckily the starting point for both was in the same vicinity.
My bicycle trip was with ABC - Amazing Bangkok Cyclist. My guide was Apple and I was the only customer for the day as the other people had pulled out at. That made the trip a bit faster but that was ok as we had an appointment to meet my friend Lee on the other side of Bangkok.
The first half of the ride was on the Bangkok side of the Chao Praya River. We wound through little alleyways and busy roads and stopped to look at the life of ordinary Thai people. There are a lot of backyard businesses - people making shoes, selling desserts etc. At the halfway point of the tour we hired a long-tail boat to cross the river. While crossing I knocked my camera so it wouldn't open and close. This was a bummer as the Samut Prakan side of the river was beautiful and deserved a few photographs. There are planning restrictions on this side so there are no high-rises, only houses in swamps and boardwalks through the trees that we rode over. When we had finished exploring this side of the river we crossed back and returned to the ABC offices using a direct route.
I made my way back to Soi Rambuttri for a freshen up and to collect Katherine and head off for the other side of Bangkok to meet my Thai friend Lee. Our meeting place was KFC in the Central Plaza, Lad Prow. It's a huge place and I used my Thai at an information booth to ask for directions to KFC. I understood the answer so was pleased with myself. It was lovely to catch up with my friend.
And finally on our last day we shopped ourselves silly at Chatuchak Market. Again, I think I may have come away with the best bargains of the day. We returned to our hotel to collect our bags, take showers and catch a taxi to the airport. The flights home were long and uneventful. It's great to be away but even greater to know my home is in a country as beautiful as New Zealand, even if it was 30 degrees cooler than Bangkok!