Last full day – Wat Pho, shopping and more shopping

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We decided to make the most of our last full day in Bangkok and went to Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This is similar to the Royal Palace as the grounds are just beautiful.I It is difficult to describe the splendour of the wats and walking around is so relaxing and lovely. So serene and peaceful, despite the heat and humidity. Even Livvy enjoyed this one as it was so much quieter than the Royal Palace and easier to walk around.
We got a taxi there and back, but the traffic was really bad and it took us a long time to get back. Immy wasn’t feeling too well on the way back, so the rest of us went looking for Converse in the Banglampu market. This turned out to be the huge numbers of street stalls at the back of our hotel and no converse were to be found, we decided to go back to Pat Pong night market instead.
We had another wander around KSR and then went to get some more cash for tonight, but after several tries the bank refused to give us money. We Facetimed David who phoned the bank and found they had only activated his card so they activated mine and all was well, more shopping could be had after all.
In the evening we were caught in a massive downpour en route to Pat Pong so dived for cover in one of the restaurants and had something to eat while a man in a strange hat came on his moped with a guitar on his back and started to entertain us. Very nice. The only thing to slightly ruin the atmosphere was the couple of touts trying to sell us scorpions to eat. Hmm, no thanks.
Managed to get four pairs of Converse and Vans to keep all the kids happy and headed for home where we had a lovely shake at the end of KSR, the same place we had them the first time we all arrived in Bangkok two years ago.

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Braids, chillin’ and meeting friends

So after we got off the freezing cold sky train we got a taxi back to the hotel and planned to just chill out for a bit. But we had longer than we thought so we went out to get some braids. We walked down to Khaosan Road and had a look around to see if we could find some with nice colours for a good price.

When we found a place that we liked we chose our 3 colours and chose if we wanted a bead or not, me and Maya didn’t get a bead but of course Imogen had to be different and decided to get a bead. Getting the braid was good but your head was kind of in an awkward position so your neck got a bit sore. After it looked really nice, after I had mine me and mum went back to the hotel to meet Lorraine, David and Darcy.

When me and mum went back,we went up to the room to freshen up a bit then we went down stairs and Lorraine, David and Darcy were there. So we sat down at a table in the restaurant at our hotel and got some drinks, Mum talked to Lorraine and David and I talked to Darcy. We talked about what things we had been doing over our holidays. After a while Imogen and Maya came back so Imogen joined mine and Darcy’s conversation and Maya talked to David and mum talked to Lorraine. Then we went out to a restaurant fot tea.

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Late morning and Jim Thompson’s House

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Imogen
After having far too many early mornings, mum decided we were due a lie in and let us sleep in until 10am (although still not much of a lie in for me and Maya). We went for breakfast at the nice bakery at the back of Villa Cha Cha and got a taxi to Jim Thompson’s House.

When we got there I was shocked with how beautiful the house was as well as how big it was, after trying to walk in without tickets we went to buy them and got our guided english tour at 1:05. We had 25 minutes to wander the garden, which was beautiful and Livvy was very happy to see a turtle swimming about in one of the ponds! Mum was very happy as well as she was in what we all knew was her ideal garden!
The 25 minutes went very quick and it was soon time for our tour. Our guide spoke very good english and had a good element of humour as well. The story of Jim Thompson was a very interesting one and I was also interested to find out about him selling the Thai silk to vogue! The house was lovely and I especially loved all the antiques (maybe a few ideas for when I have my own house!). After the tour we got a wee shuttle bus to the end of the road and then got a sky train!

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But not for the girls

It was so strange and sad seeing David and Seth off on the airport bus. The girls took it in their stride and stayed to finish their shakes as I went to the road to wave goodbye.
We went back to the room to chill out and shower before hitting Khao San Road again and looking for somewhere to eat.
Seth, Immy and I had done some heavy shopping earlier, which Seth was very happy about, so we didn’t browse too much. I had promised Livvy a McDonalds, so we sat with her and had chips and went to find somewhere for us to eat. We went back to the reply nice place we’d discovered earlier and falafels, which were really lovely.
Back at the hotel for an early night which never happened as we tried to sort the room out after packing the huge bag this afternoon for David to take.
It is very strange just having the four of us!

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Last Day in Bangkok

David
Blimey, time to go home for Seth & I. For complicated reasons to do with my work, I wanted to come back slightly earlier and Seth was happy with two and a half weeks rather than three, so he said he’d come with me.
The flight wasn’t until 920pm so we had the chance to do stuff on the last day. However, I lost an hour as attempts to get us on the 6pm airport minibus failed (it was full) so I booked us on the 5pm. Gaynor said we should just have got a taxi but it would have been 800 baht rather than 150 each for the minibus so the girls had another 500 baht (a tenner) to put towards fake handbags. I’m thoughtful like that.
We got up at 830 so we could go to the Golden Mount before it got too hot. It was still a bit hot for Livvy but only took about 15 minutes to walk there.
It was lovely, beautifully-landscaped with Buddhas and lots of bells for Livvy to bash and clang. And there were awesome views from the top, of the low-rise inner city doughnutted by the modern, high-rise hotels and office blocks (well, half-doughnutted actually). What a massive city it is – if someone you knew was here, you’d have no chance of bumping into them. Probably….

We had a fun journey back, with six of us crammed into a tuk-tuk made for three and after a short rest, headed out to get another new perspective of the city, from the water.

We took the local boat down to the end of the line, with a few bumps on the way. The boat moves quickly from stop to stop, and after the whistling from the guy at the back who throws the rope has stopped and the boat has bashed into the pier, you have to hop off pretty swiftly. Liv was a bit spooked but settled down and Maya felt a bit sea-sick (river-sick?).

I loved it – there was a fabulous mixture of temples, high-rise buildings, ramshackle riverside housing, plush hotels and even the odd Catholic church, as well as a huge variety of boats cross-crossing the river and churning the water.

In a very random twist, we did see the people from Musselburgh who we knew were in Bangkok. Lorraine, David & Darcy were by chance doing a boat trip too but considering the speed at which the boats ply their trade, it was a total freak they got on the same boat – especially as they only did cos they had originally jumped off at the wrong stop.

Later, Liv and I had a swim then we had a final drink at Villa Cha Cha before a very packed taxi whisked Seth & I off to the airport. It was very weird and sad to leave everyone else behind.

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Hello to Bangkok

Gaynor
The journey was long. On leaving Mae Sot, the bus was stopped at a check point just after three quarts of an hour when about three people were asked to get off by police/military. No idea why and they all got back not the bus after 15 minutes. White House Down dubbed in Thai with English sub-titles was played, which Livvy said Iona had told her to watch. Very strange. Don’t think it would have been any better in English!
The bus took about 8and a half hours and not the seven we were told, but it got us back in one piece. The bus station is huge, but we found our way to the taxi rank and got two taxis back to the Villa Cha Cha and got our rooms. The girls and I have the family suite with a bedroom with two double bed and a sitting room with TV.
We decided to go to the night market to shop until we dropped, or until the money ran out which it did after a couple of hours. Kids all very happy, David not so happy. We were at PatPong Market with the sex shows on the side, which Livvy was rightly shocked at. It was all very tame compared with years ago, but still far too sleazy.

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Goodbye to Mae Sot

Leaving our friends in Mae Sot was really hard. We don’t know when we’ll be back and what will happen over the next few weeks and months. 

We have learned so much while we have been here, but I don’t know if we were able to give anything positive. The Burmese are really generous people and have given us so much of their time and friendship. We all feel so honoured to have been able to spend time here and will miss everyone so much. 

David has lots of new Facebook friends and even I am thinking of going onto Facebook – but will only accept anyone Burmese!

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