We needed to go to the Australian embassy in Bangkok to get our signatures witnessed for some financial papers so decided to make a long weekend of it.

I was not looking forward to going to the embassy as I had read mixed reviews about how unhelpful they were and that it took weeks to see them. After our long drive from Hua Hin to get this business sorted I was a bit apprehensive.

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A local bus. No we weren’t that adventurous for a long trip!

Although you can travel from Hua Hin to Bangkok in a shared mini van for much less cost we decided to get a private driver directly to our hotel. It was not a nice day with monsoonal downpours on and off all the way to Bangkok and parts of the road flooded. Not a good omen I thought to myself! Anyway we got there safely and checked into our lovely hotel and walked around the corner to the embassy.

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View from our hotel.

After going through security we were ushered inside and quickly met with the 2nd consular, an absolutely lovely and friendly lady who witnessed our signatures and after chatting we found out that she was originally from Mauritius! So we got chatting some more and got some holiday tips for when we go and exchanged emails and facebook names. I have to say I was hugely relieved that we got all our paper work done so efficiently and met such a lovely person! I have nothing but praise for the staff at the Embassy who were very efficient.

So with that sorted on the first day in Bangkok meant we could now relax and have a little holiday!

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The Skytrain is very efficient way of getting around.

We spent a day cruising on the Chao Phraya River getting on and off the boats visiting different areas.  It is a great thing to do. We got a day pass on the tourist boat and a little travel guide. It is quite entertaining if you take it in your stride and a great way to get around easily. Really a bit like cattle being herded on and off at each stop with the guys and their microphones barking out orders to everyone. After a while we realized that things would just not operate as smoothly with out them. They tell people to sit correctly, put on life jackets, which boats to dock and leave, help tourists and oldies hop on and off boats and generally keep everything going.

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The river is really the main artery of Bangkok and we enjoyed the craziness of the action on the water. It also exemplifies the contrast to the place with high rises as backdrops to houses on stilts and although we didn’t have time to explore – the traditional life that apparently goes on in the canals.

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Like a cattle boat.

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Long boats which also go up little quieter canals.

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A city of contrasts.

I attempted to film from a very crowded boat!


One of the places we wandered around in was Chinatown. We were searching for some temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Bangkok. We found one but I don’t think it was what we were looking for. Anyway, it was fun just exploring the streets and alleyways and had some great photo opportunities.

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Some photos of the back alleys in Chinatown.

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Never know what you might find down an alley way! Bruce on an explore.

Some market scenes.

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Whole dried fish – Mackerel I think. You will just have to imagine the smell!

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Something fishy but not sure what – maybe some type of sea urchin or starfish?

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Some photographs of the main streets in Chinatown. Food being cooked everywhere. I suppose it takes a lot of outdoor kitchens to feed so many people each day. We couldn’t walk on the road and had to often squeeze between shop fronts and stalls. Lots of fun!

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Love the old posters and peeling paint on the old door.

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Wow a Porsche – definitely a land of contrasts!

We spent some time visiting one of Bangkok’s main temples – Wat Pho which houses a massive reclining Buddha. I was pleased that we had visited it in the past as it was disappointing that whole parts were closed off and it was so busy with visitors you struggled to get a view! Anyway we had a quick look. The best photos were taken through a grill through a window to avoid the crowds. The mosaic work on the temple buildings are nice.

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Photo taken through a window. The Buddha’s feet up.

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More photos of street life. I should have taken a few photos of some of the massive ‘over the top’ shopping malls we saw – just to show the contrast. You could get lost in one for a day and there are quite a few in the Siam square area alone!

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Bruce offering to help!

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Love their gambling/type of Keno??

Although we weren’t planning a visit to Bangkok we ended up getting our business done with limited stress and spent a wonderful weekend relaxing and exploring a few of the many things to see. We all like a happy ending and we will be back at some stage. There is so much to see and if you are in the right frame of mind the crazy busyness of the place just adds to the experience!