November 2008

The final day of our honeymoon cruise on the Diamond Princess had started with a visit to some Thai temples followed by a boat ride down the Chao Phraya river. After our trip down the river we were taken to the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside hotel. Here, Princess Cruises had booked out hotel rooms and everyone was allowed to book a 30-minute slot in which they could change, shower, or freshen up.

While most people rushed to book an early slot my wife and I chose one for a couple of hours’ time. My reckoning was that it was so hot and humid in Thailand’s capital city we’d simply end up offsetting any benefit of cleaning ourselves early on. This would also, however, give us some time to take a wander around the nearby streets which meant a certain someone in our group could take a few more photographs. We initially headed north a little bit from the hotel and then crossed the road down Soi Charoen Krung 85 where there seemed to be a lot of people and stalls. We had a nose in a few places but didn’t buy anything.

In truth, we didn’t get too far down this road as it was a little too crowded for comfort so we doubled back then walked a few hundred metres down the main thoroughfare of Charoen Krung Road instead. We stopped on a number of occasions to see if any shops had anything of interest but nothing grabbed our attention.

We made it down as far as Soi Charoen Krung 89 where we climbed up a pedestrian bridge over the road to take a few last photos of Bangkok.

We made a single stop in a shop to pick up a souvenir for my dad (a back scratcher that he still uses to this day) and some silk boxer shorts for me as I’d neglected to pack any clean ones (which were slightly too small even then and definitely too small now, although I still have them) then hit our hotel room, showered, and changed. The hotel room was gorgeous, it has to be said, with one of the largest bathrooms I’ve ever been in. After changing, we had several hours to kill so we met up with friends we’d made on the cruise and had some dinner in the hotel restaurant overlooking the Chao Phraya river as night fell in Bangkok.

The coach picked us and our luggage up not long afterwards and we bid farewell to Thailand and our honeymoon and our first cruise as we headed off to the airport to fly home.

Our flight was uneventful but it was only after we landed back at Heathrow and were picked up by my parents that we discovered we’d been on one of the last planes to leave the country before the airport was shut down by protestors. I wouldn’t have been too distressed at a little longer holiday to be honest.

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