Before I tell you about our time in Bangkok, I really must share with you the cooking course that Anne & Graham did with Lollipop Cafe. For those that don't know, Warm is a professional chef whose English is outstanding and from his commercial kitchen you can learn how to make Thai dishes like a local. So dinner was literally brought to us one night and it was super delicious. This course comes highly recommended and certainly the end product is well worth it.
So it was nearly time for Anne & Graham to return home to Queensland but not before one last hurrah in Bangkok. I'd organised a two bedroom apartment near Sanam Pao BTS*. Agoda.com came through again with a great deal on Abloom Exclusive Serviced Apartments not sure it's that exclusive but they were very, very nice. We've not stayed in this area before but we will most definitely go back. It's so handy for lots of tourist places but the area itself is quite laid back.
Unfortunately Anne wasn't feeling her best when we arrived, so we adjusted our itinerary accordingly. This let us test out room service, which got a thumbs up, and the Tea Olive coffee shop. Although weirdly named, the guy here was really nice and produced excellent coffee which could be delivered to your room but we weren't that lazy!
Four stops on the BTS will bring you to Mo Chit and the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Graham & I popped here to pick up a suitcase which was a really good buy. Make sure you haggle here and don't pay the first price you're told I went with 20% off. So I guess my top tip is to make sure you're fluent in Thai numbers and the words hundred roy and thousand pan. We reckon we probably covered 10% of the market so if you are going here, give yourself plenty of time. It's also ridiculously hot so keep yourself hydrated and if you don't like crowds . . . probably don't go!
One stop away at Ari BTS is The Villa mall. There's a Starbucks and quite a few eating and drinking establishments but also Villa Market which is a supermarket that stocks western goodies including some fine looking meats and delicious cheeses. Mr John was like a kid in a candy store!
One stop in the other direction, will bring you to Victory Monument and just a couple of stops after that to Siam where you'll find loads of shopping malls, including Siam Paragon. We had a meander around here on the Sunday and stopped for a lovely pot of tea at TWG and got to meet up with our mate Ake.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye which was really quite sad. It was great to have time to show them the sights here and just chill out and chat endlessly about all sorts of things. Anne and I were the last ones left at home after everyone else had married / moved out plus we did a bit of travelling in Europe together, so our relationship is different to my other siblings and I'm thrilled to say she backed a winner in Graham. What I can't believe is she's a grandmother of three! Still, 60 is the new 40 right?
* For those that haven't been to Bangkok, this is the Skytrain service in the city. It's by far my preferred method of getting around as the trains are air-conditioned and really very cheap. The cheapest ticket is 15 baht roughly GBP £0.30 / AUD $0.60 / USD $0.46 / EUR €0.43. The most expensive is 52 baht roughly GBP £1.07 / AUD $2.07 / USD $1.58 / EUR €1.51 which will get you from one end of the line to the other end.