Sneak peek of day one before I start at the beginning…
‘Plush’ doesn’t quite do the Metropolitan by Como justice – although we are paying a pretty penny for the privilege. We were greeted with a smile, some tea and a plate of fruit (most of which I couldn’t name). And everyone bows! They’re all very sweet and friendly. Breakfast was lush. Avocado, salmon, fresh fruit, juice, pastries, cakes, ham – you name it. And you can order off the A La Carte menu to save you the trouble of even lifting your heavier arse off the chair. Naturally we ate everything in sight.
We got a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It was a 25 minute drive or so. He quoted us 500 baht (that’s around a tenner), which would have been a fair fare. BUT then he tried his luck and tried to charge us 500 baht… each! He demanded double the fare before we were in sight of the hotel, in a shady backstreet, out of sight of the Metropolitan staff. We smelt a rat. Victoria had the grand idea of pretending we’d been to Thailand before and I told him outright that we weren’t paying any more than 500. He soon dropped the half-hearted demand. And it turns out – we were right. He was being a cheeky chops.
Air China, despite hearing a bombardment of criticism from pretty much every source, was absolutely fine. The food wasn’t great but it’s airplane food so it never is. The film selection was shit. Well, it’s great if you speak Chinese. But we had a Diazepam each so we didn’t really care. Oh and they’re really stingy with the wine. You only get wine with dinner and they give you a child’s serving. We asked for a top up. Three times – the third was the charm. I’d suggest you just keep asking until they get sick of you. Claim ignorance and pretend not to hear when they say “with dinner”.
After chasing the sun for a while at the poolside (no sunbeds left so we floored it), we headed out. We walked to the nearby BTS stations (Skyline) and hopped on the train to Sathorn , central pier. (I’m making this sound easy when in reality we got lost several times). An all day ticked cost 130 baht (£2.60). We then queued up for the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat and glided across the river to Tha Tien so we could visit Wat Pho.
What a magnificent temple! The sheer artistry and detail is enough to ‘wow’ anyone. If you’re inappropriately attired, you’ll be given a bright lime green coat to cover your modesty. One lady manhandled me; she pulled my skirt down as low as it could get. It felt like I was back at school (Miss Gidley in the girls changing room… scarred me for life PE did).
Then we wandered to the Grand Palace but it was closed by the time we got there (closes at 4pm, last admission is at 3.30pm).
We had a light Thai lunch at a place called Bote, which was packed. The Pad Thai came to £2 and it was delicious. But we only got two prawns. You win some, you lose some.
We hopped back on the boat, had a couple of cans of Chang, and the next stop was China Town. But again we got there too late. Oops.
So instead we had a cocktail at a restaurant overlooking the river. We sipped as the sun set and we watches the blue sky melt into a blood orange haze before disappearing into night.
Back on another pier, waiting for the last boat home, we came across an absolute mentalist. He was shouting at everyone and everything, clearly off his face, but in a really happy way.
After having a wander around the shops, we caught a tuk-tuk to the Pullman Hotel and had a glass of red at Scarlett’s Wine Bar. We didn’t want to eat there because it wasn’t very Thai (and it was a bit on the pricey side!) so we hobbled (we were a bit drunk) over to a street food cafe in Silom and feasted on Tom Yam soup and more Pad Thai (Victor’s a Pad Thai whore).
Rather than go to bed, we went to the hotel next door for one more cocktail. Mistake. Victoria was given an alternative skirt to wear because her denim shorts weren’t representative of the clientele (aka, rich arseholes) and I was given an alternative pair of bloody shoes! Flip-flops in Thailand?? How dare I?! This place was called the Banyan Tree and although it offered a spectacular view of the city, it was clearly frequented by… wankers and hookers (excuse language but there’s not a blog-friendly alternative description for these cretins). Oh and two cocktails came to £30. Won’t be going back there again.