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Colin and Sue’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 May 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

MapGood to be back in Bangkok. We had a slight trauma at Phnom Penh Airport - our lovely blue Swiss army knife, which has opened so many bottles and peeled so much fruit, made its way into our hand luggage and was confiscated at the security check ("Do you know you've got a knife in your bag, Madam").

Only four days before we return to England so we're back at the Soi Rambutri Village Inn having a relaxing few days - sightseeing, shopping, enjoying the rooftop swimming pool and so on. Not to mention the food - the joys of being back in Thailand - pad thai and mango for lunch from the local street vendors and our favourite restaurant, Hemlock, for great curries at night - we also finally had some Thai fishcakes (no better than English ones).

We've visited Wat Pho, home of a huge reclining Buddha and also a centre for traditional Thai massage so we had a final massage. Very professional but not quite the same as being by the beach wafted by sea breezes. We also went to the Jim Thompson House - Jim Thompson was an American who lived in Bangkok after WWII and is credited with singlehandedly rebuilding the Thai silk industry. We've also travelled about on the river boats and had a longtail boat tour of the canals or khlongs - lots of old houses on stilts and small boats acting as floating shops and cafes - including a guy barbecuing chicken over charcoal on his boat which looked very odd.

In our first week of travelling, we went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest" in Quito, Ecuador (can't believe it's over 9 months ago) so in our last week it seemed only right to go and see "Pirates of the Caribbean - at World's End" here in Bangkok. A very nice cinema with reclining seats and a great way of escaping the heat (in fact it was freezing) but we were a bit disappointed with the film - too much reliance on action scenes. The Thai national anthem is played before every film and everyone stands up - it's also played in public places, such as railway stations, twice daily and everyone stops what they're doing and stands up for the duration.

We've tried our best to do some shopping now we've lost the excuse of not wanting to carry it around with us, but our purchasing skills haven't really improved. We managed to buy a few things but aren't really tempted by all the fake designer goods. Still looking around for some wallhangings and maybe an axe pillow.

Well, later today, we're heading for home, definitely with mixed feelings - it will be great to be home and see all our family and friends but a shame that our wonderful trip has come to an end. We're not looking forward to chilly daytime temperatures (12 degrees in May!) but cool nights without air-conditioning will be good.

This is probably the time to sum it all up and come up with some meaningful insights - but for the moment we'll leave it at saying that we've had a great time with lots of highs and very few lows, seen some fabulous places and met some great people. We've trekked in the Andes, swum in the Andaman Sea, fed llamas and even cuddled a langur. Life changing - well who knows?

Just one more thing to say - thanks for reading and a special thanks to everyone who's kept in touch and entertained us with their comments. Hope to see you soon.