Almost three weeks ago now I arrived in Bangkok from England for the second time this year. In stark contrast to the late autumn chill of Manchester Airport, Suvarnabhumi introduced me back to the hot and humid streets of Thailands capital.
Even at 6am the city is buzzing with life. Streams of Taxis line up outside the airport to take people along the long highway to the various areas of this vast city. I remember the feeling of arriving this time was massively different – I feel comfortable now in Asia, familiar and somewhat at home. Faces no longer seem as strange and I see more opportunities around me.
Again I stayed on Narathiwat 24 thanks to the grace and hospitality of my good friends Martin and Tik, who live in a great apartment in a lovely self contained area – big swimming pool, gym, restaurants and even a Starbucks are within very short walking distance. A leisurely stroll takes you to a large shopping mall with a cinema and many great restaurants. As is typical of Bangkok taxi drivers and motorbike
mercenaries taxis wait patiently to take you to any part of the city.
I spent a lovely week in Bangkok adjusting to the weather, swimming, using the gym, tying up lose ends at work and generally slowing my life down in preparation for four recuperating months in this dynamic part of the world.
One sunny Sunday we ventured to Chatuchak market and park for gawping at the bizarre range of goods (from piglets to plastic fruit) and fantastic art, followed by riding around the park and painting by the river. A rather civilized and enjoyable affair!
As I have mentioned in various places this trip is an important time for my business – I am changing direction slightly and taking some time off to recharge my creative batteries. For the entire three years of running my business my main focus has been on freelance work, client work and generally working on web projects for other businesses. Now I aim to turn this around and improve my own projects and launch new ones.
The first step of this is virtually complete – stopping work on projects, passing on clients and putting my work on pause. Come February I will be starting things up again with fresh ideas and motivation, ready to take on the world.
Until then it is all about relaxing, exploring, partying and generally having fun.
My initial itinerary is to visit Koh Tao and learn to scuba dive then travel to Koh Samui to see friends and plan the rest of my trip. From here it gets more exciting – I will meet Craig on the 5th December in Bangkok and then we will travel to Phu Kradueng National Park before crossing the border to Laos, then probably Cambodia, Vietnam and Kuala Lumpur.
Finally the year will be ended in true style at the famous Full Moon Party, Had Rin Beach, Koh Phangan with Craig, Ben and Dids.
Then Craig leaves in early January before Tammy arrives on the 17th for three weeks, which is yet unplanned but will involve dolphins in one way or another! The final stretch of my journey is also unknown although I will arrive back in England in early March 2010.
So there is a lot to do, a lot to write about and a lot to plan. Next up to write up, scuba diving on Koh Tao – watch this space!