Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Monday 15th March

Still feeling a little under the weather from whatever we ate, we departed the hotel early for a flight out of Hanoi to Bangkok. Some entertainment at emigration where the border guard was trying to "help us" with a "missing" form for only $20. A nice stentorian "no" dissuaded him of that idea. We're getting better at this corruption stuff.

Flight was smooth and fairly on time, though the pilot did start taxiing before everyone had sat down in order to make the departure slot. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was blissfully quiet - the Thai's don't sound their horns every time they see another vehicle / person / animal / inanimate object somewhere near the road, unlike the Vietnamese.

A note on politics: following a recent general election, the populace has decided that the party that won didn't actually win (shades of a certain US election /Gordon Brown anyone?) and so have all taken to the streets of Bangkok wearing red shirts with an ultimatum that the prime minister should stand down within 24 hours. He is now at a military base in the city and is refusing to budge. Should be an interesting couple of days here!

The hotel is a great little place within walking distance of the Grand Palace (which we're planning to see tomorrow). We went out to one of the local shopping centers where we browsed for a while and had some food before heading back to the hotel. The journey back was slightly more interesting since the police and army had barricaded many of the streets so the taxi driver had to use a certain amount of persuasion to get through.

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