Leaving Cambodia is just as difficult as getting in! The airport check in desks had crashed and there were A LOT of angry people. We stayed calm until we got to the front and were told we were over our baggage allowance by 6kg, we took out a load of weight and transferred it over to our hand luggage but it was still over and they wanted to charge us $40. We stood our ground and somehow they allowed us to take our main rucksack on as hand luggage??! A quick move of toiletries into the holdall and we were off to passport control where all kinds of Cambodian telling offs were given! I have no idea how but eventually we took off with only a tiny delay! Hurrah!!
We took a gamble and used a metered taxi to our abode in Bangkok, as the hotel wanted to charge a small fortune. It paid off as it worked out ridiculously cheaper than what we would have been charged. Our luck changed for the worse as within a few hours we were at Mission Hospital Emergency room. Molly tripped down a very small step onto a very hard floor and split her beautiful little chin open. There was a lot of blood and due to the heat and the width of the cut we thought it best to be checked over by professionals. We were in and out so quickly and I can’t emphasise enough how amazing the staff were, from the reception, nurses, doctors to pharmacists, I can’t thank them them enough. Molly was an incredibly brave soldier and I hope we don’t have to darken any more hospital doors, no matter how good the service was.
We started the day afresh and took a Tuk Tuk to the Grand Palace. The streets were full of mourners dressed in black on their way to pay respects to the Thai King who recently passed away at the end of last year. Marcus and I were very impressed with the respect and loyalty the Thai people have for their royal family. It turned out the new King was also in town which meant the temple with the Emerald Buddha (which is enclosed in the same grounds) was closed so we decided to leave it for another day…
We visited the nearby Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha. It was an incredibly peaceful place to walk around in and I was really pleased to visit this temple after ten years and find it just the same as my previous visit.
From here we took a boat across the river to the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). Again, I visited this temple on my previous visit to Bangkok, yet this has changed. When I was last here you could climb quite high up. Unfortunately now it is scaffolded and you’re only allowed up to the first level. Still, Molly was in heaven with all the steps and we had difficulty in trying to hold her back from climbing!
For lunch we headed over to the MBK shopping centre as we heard the food court was pretty famous! Before we knew it Molly was the new owner of a rucksack and two t-shirts – so much for the shopping ban! The food was good though – we went for Korean – the best fried chicken I have ever tasted!
For dinner we headed onto the backpacker ‘paradise’ of Khao San Road. I managed to find my old hotel, now derelict, which was very strange!
In our sensible attire we headed back to the Grand Palace the following day. It was extremely busy and full of Chinese coach trips which did slightly spoil the atmosphere due to the shoving!! The Emerald Buddha resides in Wat Phra Kaew, a tiny little statue full of great importance.
We walked over to the Golden Mountain and took it in turns to climb the 344!steps! The view was great as it was a lovely clear day.
We’ve all very much enjoyed our first taste of Bangkok, yet looking forward to venturing down south for some R&R. Ko Samui we’re coming to get you!