One night in Bangkok left this strong man unbroken… but a morning in MBK was quite the other way. The Gorse Fox should explain that MBK is a shopping mall near the National Stadium. It’s big. In fact it’s very big. About the size of Berkshire… and then stacked up across 7 floors.
This photo is one of the two atriums (atria?) where lifts and escalators transport bewildered shoppers between the floors.
One of these floors was dedicated to knick-knacks, pashminas, scarves, and silks. Is there any more that needs saying? As we wandered about the Gorse Fox marvelled at the degree of competition and salesmanship exhibited by the store keepers. Despite their best ministration we managed to escape with only a scarf clutched in a small plastic bag.
Escaping the clutches of the 6th floor we descended to the fifth. This was new experience. One corner of the mall was cordoned off and as you entered you were given a credit card. With this clutched in your hand, you wandered through a number of stands where you selected the food that you fancied and put it on the card.
The choice was superb: Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, French, American, Chinese, Indian and so on. Cousteau-cub pigged out on curry, whilst the Gorse Fox (being in Thailand) had Japanese nigiri and teppanyaki seafood grill with ramen noodles. The Silver Vixen demolished a Thai red curry. This was superb and such a simple but practical concept. As you leave you hand in the credit card and they work out the total owed.
Feeling full we burst out of the air-conditioned mall back into the 37C heat. Our destination was the other side of the river from where we went yesterday. A taxi was called for and we plunged headlong into Bangkok traffic. This, it became clear, drives (essentially) on the left as we do in England. However, it was also clear that road-markings, pedestrian crossings, and even traffic lights were no more than a convention to be adhered to by the timid. GF noticed a sign as he passed – but wqas too slow to grab the camera as they swept past “Porn Petch”. No comment will be added at this point.
Arriving at the pier we used yesterday we caught the ferry across the river. Our destination may look like the Bangkok Space Centre, but is actually Wat Arun one of the last Khmer-styled edifices to be raised in the City. Known as the Temple of the Dawn it dominates the west bank of the river, almost opposite the Grand Palace.
The short ferry ride deposited us on the west bank and we headed for the temple grounds.
One of the things worth noting at this stage is that we seem to have the various tourist sites virtually to ourselves. C-c was right in calling this low season – but it did mean that we really do get a brilliant experience. We paid our 50Baht (about £1) and walked into the complex and started wandering about. There was magical feel to the place and GF couldn’t help but think of pictures he had seen of the temples at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The steep steps lead up to various stages – but were so steep that it made you think twice before ascending.
The Gorse Fox leapt, like a mountain-goat(*), up the side. The view, already god, got steadily better. At the top level GF turned a corner and surprised an attractive oriental girl enjoying a Marilyn Munro moment in the updraft as she took some photos. Whilst alone up their she obviously was not concerned – but the GF joining her, modesty prevailed.
As he has mentioned, the views were superb. (No! Behave!). From the top there was great view across the river to the Grand Palace.
Climbing backwards back down to ground level the Gorse Fox rejoined Couteau-cub and the Silver Vixen and they headed back to the river to catch the ferry and then the water taxi back to the sky train and the hotel.
The sun was going down (remember this is the tropics and it gets dark at about six-thirty.
Cousteau-cub’s dive computer revealed the pool temperature to be 30C. It was like dropping into a warm bath (well, without the soap and bubbles). All three of us made the most of the facilities and whiled away some “chillax” time swimming back and forth.
Showered and ready rock we headed back out to a night market… but maybe that will be a tale for another time!
(*) Some may question this metaphor, and suggest walrus may be more appropriate.