Where do the days go ? No sooner had we checked in than here we are checking out again. seems incredible that a week has gone by. Back to Ban Krut railway station taking bets on how late the train would be . Still it wasn’t raining so at least we wouldn’t get wet waiting in the open air waiting room by the ticket desk.
Okay it’s not Paddington Station or Grand Central but it does have a certain rustic charm. We bought bananas from a stall nearby and were ready for the long wait. the train after all had left the deep south at 10.15 that morning on it’s way to us. 2.20 came and went but then an announcement seemed to galvinize the locals waiting into frenzied activity and down the track she came.
This one was just 2 carriages instead of the 3 coming down so all very cosy. No I’m not going through it all again but just to add one thing. Each carriage apart from having one stewardess also has one cleaner. His/her job is to collect empties and then clean the carriage floor every 20 mins or so. Amazing really in this day and age to have someone with a mop and bucket keeping everything nice. She is supposed to do the loos as well but that bit has evidently dropped of the job description list of duties and who can blame her !
We were rocking along almost on time for an hour or so and then stopped first for a long third class only train to crawl by going the other way ( single track) which at least explains how most of the population gets around the country but rather segregates don’t you think ?
Then again to allow the Eastern and Oriental Luxury train to canter by. This very smart train travels from Singapore to Bangkok and back carrying passengers in olde worlde luxury at a fair old price. At the rear as they went past is an observation area and I was able to raise a hand ( honestly) to them as they gathered to see how the other half live.
By the time we arrived in Bangkok we were 45 minutes late which to be honest was far better than I thought we might have been.
There were however no taxis which was amazing given that about 80% of the traffic in Bangkok seems to be taxis. An English guy in front of us explained that it was the Loi Krathong festival and the whole of the river area was in gridlock. Eventually one bowled up and refused to take the English guy as his hotel was alongside the river. He gave way to us and we piled in . Silom Road I said in my now fluent Thai having had a week in an hotel where no one spoke english. Where ? he asked so i had to show the piece of paper. 100 baht he said. Meter I counter being an old Asia hand. Get out of the cab he said look at the line. 100 baht the old Asia hand muttered feeling rather small.
Five minutes later we were outside the Siri Sathorn Apartments and i was handing over the note to the grinning cab driver.
We thought we would give these apartments a try and they are superb . Large one bedroom, living area , separate kitchen places with everything very new and modern.
The really great thing is the breakfast voucher can be used for the lunch or dinner buffet it you don’t feel like breakfast. Now that is clever I think.
We found a bar around the corner and ordered the beers. The lady owner was making very ornate baskets made with banana leaves and placing a candle in each one. She explained to us that when she closed she and all her family were going down to the river to launch they baskets after lighting the candles. Why I asked. We Buddhists believe that we confess all our sins to the basket and then set it afloat and it sails away with all of this years sins in it.
I have to say that beats the confessional and you get a trip to the river too. Mind you she then told us that over 300,000 people were down there