The first thing we do in Bangkok after we check into our hotel is go to David Thompsons restaurant Nahm, ranked the 22nd best in the world. We opt for the banquet. Of course, it’s bloody expensive, a far cry from our $4 dinner the previous night in Pyin Oo Lwin. The restaurant is at the Hotel Metropolitan, and you can order drinks from the excellent and inventive cocktail bar there. I highly recommend the celery martini.
So the verdict on dinner? It was good, but we didn’t have our minds blown. The poached banana desert was truly great, but overall it doesn’t seem like it was one of the best restaurants in the world.
Bangkok is probably best known for shopping malls and prostitutes. We spend a fair bit of time in the former and none in the latter. A number of malls have large cinemas with reasonably priced vip showings. This takes hoyts gold class to a whole new level. We are ushered into a lounge before the movie for snacks and drinks, kind of like a Qantas club. During the movie we have a butler at the push of a button bringing all the popcorn and coke you might want to our large reclining sofa. We were the only people in the theatre, which was very odd and meant when we had to stand for the Thai national anthem we had no one’s lead to follow. For the record we saw Mad Max Fury Road, which was fantastic and highly recommended if you haven’t seen it yet. Probably too late now but if you can see it on the big screen it would be well worth it.
Bangkok is also well known for street food. We head to Sukhumvit Soi 38 for a noodle soup and various meaty things on sticks. An impromptu al fresco restaurant is interrupted when a car needs to get out of a side street, forcing patrons to pick up the tables and drag them to one side.
Bangkok is well served by public transport, an underground metro, an elevated skytrain and a lower tech ferry service. The ferry flies up and down the canals, stopping at a wharf for barely enough time for passengers to clamber aboard. For 30c it’s an authentic Bangkok experience and a good way to get around.
Interestingly the main tourist area where the palace is located is not so well served by public transport. There are taxis and tuktuks here, but they price gouge unmercifully. We walk from the Golden Mountain temple (just near the terminus of the ferry) to the palace. After the palace we decide to go to the train station to book our sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Although they are legally obliged to use the meter if requested, no taxi driver cooperates. We decide to walk to the train station instead, a long walk. About halfway there we manage to hail a taxi off the street and pay a fraction of the price we would have if we got a taxi from the palace.