Indo China – Day 45 and 46

The alarm went off at 7am, and so we went about our usual routine from the last 40 days, and that was to shower, change, and pack, but we knew that was the last time we would have to do that for the next 8 days, as we were heading to our last accommodation, a 5 star hotel, and we couldn’t wait! At around 8am we went down to the lobby with our bags, had the breakfast which was included, and then at 8.30am our private van turned up which was damn fancy!

The drive took about 50 minutes, and not really due to distance, but more due to morning traffic in Bangkok, but as we were driving in style, this wasn’t much of an issue. Once at the hotel we realised it wasn’t so much a hotel as an apartment complex, so our room was more like an apartment you could easily live in full time, with a kitchen, laundry, and everything else you’d expect from a place you’d live in. After having spent the last 45 days in 1 to 3 star accommodation, and even a couple home stays with very basic facilities, this felt like extreme luxury.

So much so that we just chilled out for the day, and it ended up most likely being our most relaxed of the whole trip so far. Other than a trip down to a cafe nearby for lunch, and then a 7/11 for noodles and drinks for dinner, we just stayed inside and enjoyed the plush surroundings. Then at around 9.30pm, we found ourselves drifting off to sleep, as clearly the last 6 weeks or so had taken its toll and we needed this day of relaxing and an early night.

With no alarm set, and so much sleep and energy to catch up on, we didn’t wake up till 9.30am, a whole 12 hours later. Sure there was a toilet break, and a few other moments where we awoke, but the majority of it was spent in sweet sweet slumber. We got up and showered, changed, and no packing for once, and that’s when we realised we had missed the free breakfast we had been looking forward to as we were sure a 5 star buffet must be pretty decent.

So with no food in our bellies, we headed off at 12ish and caught a taxi only a couple of kilometres down the road to the Siam shopping area, which was made up of four shopping malls all starting with the word Siam, with Paragon the main one and very upmarket, Square, the open air one, Centre, the more standard one you’d see anywhere, and Discovery, which was aimed more at the younger and up and coming tech focused generation.

Though first thing was first, and that was to eat, and though the food court was awesome with lots to choose, we were so hungry that we just headed straight for McDonald’s for a big feed, and it was awesome! It was only our third fast food of the trip, so we didn’t feel that bad. After that it was 4 hours of walking around the first three malls, as we didn’t hit up Discovery, though we might at another day. Everything in these malls were full price and real, so we didn’t buy anything as it was only a little cheaper than back home. In a place like Indo China, you come for the market shopping, not the mall shopping, but it was fun to look around.

After hours of walking and looking, but no buying, expect for a few things Mollidy picked up at a side street market, we headed back to Paragon and to the cinema, which was massive and very flash, and we watched the film Lucy. The film itself was just ok, with some good bits, and some very average bits, but it was nice just sitting back and watching a film, which we had only done twice in over 6 weeks, and normally do once to twice a week back home. One odd thing that happened though was they played a photo montage of their king with accompanying music before the film started, and everyone in the audience got up for it, but as we didn’t know what was going on, we just sat silently while it played.

It was dinner time after the film had ended, so we went back to the food court and picked up bakery items we could take home with us, and then it was out onto the street to find a taxi. Getting metered taxis from your hotel is easy, but getting them from major shopping or tourist areas is a different story. Our hotel was only 2km down the road, so only a $2 journey and so not a big fare, and thus the first two taxis acted like they didn’t know the place, and the third tried to tell us 4 times the price.

This just frustrated us, so we thought we’d give the sky train a try, as we had done it with the group as part of our city tour a couple days before, and I love figuring out train systems, so we thought we’d do it. We walked up to the sky train above, paid our fare, jumped on the train, and two stops later we were there, nice and easy. We still had a 500 meter walk to the hotel, but that’s not so bad. Once back at the hotel we relaxed for the evening, watched TV and played on our iPads, and eventually drifted off to sleep around 11pm.

Today I want to talk about something that isn’t just common place in Indo China, as there are even a few places in New Zealand that does this, but that’s having to often pay for public toilets. What’s maybe even odder than paying to use a toilet, is that more often that not you’re not paying for nice toilets, you’re paying for the privilege of using rather average to downright disgusting toilets. But most of the time these toilets are run by locals, so paying a few cents to relieve yourself isn’t that bad of a thing when you know that money is helping someone.

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