Sunday, 28 January 2007

The Adventures of Tomato In Thailand - The Ending

Chris went back to work and it was again my responsibility to keep Tom occupied.

We started the day with a traditional Thai breakfast (I had arranged this with Moon the previous day) which consisted of the Thai version of our donut called Pa Thong Go (Picture on the left), fresh fruit, Salam Pow which are like small, sweet omelets and Khanom Krok (Picture on the right) which are little rice and coconut puddings. After eating our fill (Which was not very much because they really are all really sweet) we headed back to the river. I had booked us on a Klong (Canal) Tour and since Moon had never been along the klongs of Bangkok we invited her to join us. The tour lasts a couple of hours and includes a stop at a Snake and Crocodile farm and an Orchid Farm. (When Chris and I went on the tour I had been badly bitten on the foot by a mosquito and couldn't walk so we had to stay in the boat). The Snake farm was more like a mini zoo - it had a tiger, a bear, lots of monkeys (which we fed), birds, lizards, crocodiles and snakes. It was amazing watching the snake handlers and we all really enjoyed the display although Moon refused point blank to hold the snake (as you can see Tom and I did). We then went on to the Orchid Farm which was nice to see but not massively exciting - mind you I think Tom may have photographed every orchid in the place!!. I wanted to take Tom to Pak Klong Talaat which is the flower and vegetable market so we asked the guide to drop us off at Memorial Bridge Pier. It is where the local flower sellers get their stock so not only does it have the best range of flowers but it also has the best prices. Honestly, you have never seen anything like it - roses, orchids, chrysanthemums, lilies, lotus flowers, sunflowers - you name it - they have it (You can pay 30 baht, which is about 50 pence, for a huge bundle of orchids). The apartment looked a little like a funeral home by the time we finished arranging all the flowers but it smelt wonderful.

The following day we had a long lie and then headed out to China Town. It is really something that you have to prepare yourself for - Sampeng Lane (which is where the best haberdashery, fabric and beads are located) is small, cramped and very very hot. The photo here is of the beginning section that is more open. It's a great place to browse but not somewhere that you want to spend hours and hours. Tom loved it but about half way down the lane had to come out to get some air and to calm down (because it is so cramped you get jostled left, right and centre and it is very easy to get grumpy). We ended home and spent a chilled few hours before meeting up with Chris and Moon and going to the Paragon Cineplex at Siam Paragon. We had decided to go and see a Thai film called King Naresuan (which had English subtitles and looked great in the trailer) and, since Tom was here on holiday, we booked seats in the Nokia Lounge. It is really the only way to go and see a film at the cinema (I don't know why they don't do this in the UK). There are 32 seats grouped in pairs each with a small table and a waiter who shows you to your seat, gives you a blanket and a pillow then shows you how to recline your chair (Emm how cool is that!!!). Just as Tom had got snuggled in and ready for the film to start everyone had to be upstanding for the King's Anthem (It was funny watching him struggle out of his reclining chair - we could have told him but where's the fun in that!!). The movie was, well, erm, long.....in fact I would go as far as to say it was very long.....it was the story of a king who defeated the Burmese and saved Ayuthaya.....three hours later the king was still a boy and then it ended!! It turned out that there are two parts to the film - Had this been mentioned in the trailer?......No. Had this been mentioned in the write up about the film?....No. And had this been mentioned on the poster?........that would be No!!! (We're back to the only in Thailand shrug of the shoulders). Mind you, we did have one saving grace - Moon was as confused as the rest of us. (I've told Tom that when it comes out on DVD I will buy him a copy and post it to him since he has already invested three hours of his life watching it)

The next day was Tom's last full day and neither of us could believe that the two weeks had passed so fast. We had planned a big night out that night so decided to have a fairly quiet day. I took him to a coffee place called Agalico which was set up by a Japanese business man who was fed up not having anywhere he liked to take his clients to for coffee. It's only open on Fridays, Saturday's and Sunday's and is really special - have a look http://www.agalico.co.th/
We then headed back over to Central World so Tom could get a couple of things that he had seen the previous week and we then spent the afternoon looking round Siam Ocean World which is located in the basement of Siam Paragon Shopping Mall. I had never been before and i have to say that i really enjoyed it - there are seven sections : Weird and Wonderful, Deep Reef, Living Ocean, Rain Forest, Rocky Shore, Open Ocean and Sea Jellies. We got to touch a starfish (Which feels a bit like touching a rock), watched the penguins being fed (and could have seen sharks as well but didn't have time), you can go behind the scenes in a glass bottom boat (we didn't have time for that either but I will definitely go next time) and there is a very cool section were you walk through a glass tunnel surrounded by fish. In the evening we met up with Jenny and David and went to their local Thai restaurant - it was the first time Chris and I had eaten there but the food was fantastic and the entire meal, bearing in mind that there were five of us and that the price included our beers, came to 1,000 baht (£14). We then headed down to Soi Cowboy followed by Nana Plazza (Chris's friend Tony joined us on the way) and ended up in Pat Pong - we had good fun and gave Tom a good send off.
This photo was taken on the Saturday before his flight - ahhh.....he's cuddling his socks!! I think it was all too much for him!!

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