On Saturday we flew back to Bangkok and moved into our Holiday Inn room. Holiday Inn UK could do with learning a few things from the Bangkok place, it was very nice, not like the ones at home at all. Although our room smelt veryyy musty, probably because the only window didn't open and obviously fresh air had never entered, haha. Anyway I still wasn't feeling on top of the world so my mum went for a wander about the market just down the road while I slept, and slept and slept! She came back to the room a couple of times around 5/6 but I was sound asleep, right up until 9pm! Once I woke up a bit disorientated I went downstairs and found her in a sitting area and we went and had some dinner which was very nice, chicken tikka, I decided to allow myself something spicy.
Sunday was our last day in Thailand and so we decided to go to the reclining buddha, just near the grand palace. We got a taxi out there, and were walking around to the 'foreigners' door when a man who had been walking in front of us turned round and said, 'are you wanting to see the reclining buddha today?' we replied yes, a bit confused as to why this man was talking to us. He explained that the reclining buddha was shut for foreigners until 2pm that afternoon due to a special holiday and that we would have to do something until then (it was 10am). We were a bit wary at first and were going to carry on to find out for ourselves, but he then asked for a piece of paper and a pen. With these he started writing down while explaining a few places we should visit meanwhile. He then said it would be 25 baht each, 50 baht in total, for a tuk tuk to take us around all afternoon until we could return to the reclining buddha. He then stepped near the road and a tuk tuk pulled over. Our Thai man explained to the tuk tuk driver that this was what we would do and this is how much is would be. He then shook our hands, we thanked him, and got into our tuk tuk. It was all very surreal and friendly. So first we were taken to the lucky buddha. We pulled down a rather private looking drive with houses on either side. The tuk tuk stopped and he explaining in broken english that the entrance was just down on the right. So we walked down there, and through some gates, not sure whether it was just someones garden when another friendly man came up. We asked if this was where the lucky buddha was and he said yes, come on in. We followed him in while he explained his love of british football. He had even heard of Aberdeen! Anyway, more interestingly he explained how the temple was in repair and what various things meant. For example the 'swan tails' which stick off all the temples at the corners on the roof are there as connections to heaven. While we were in one temple my mum got talking to a Belgian guy who later told us that he comes to Thailand a lot for scuba diving, who told us of a good jewellery shop and gave us the address. So once we finished there off we went to the gem store. My mum ended up with a sapphire and gold ring, and me with an ivory necklace which was all very nice. Then we got taken to another gem place and if we bought something then the tuk tuk driver would get money for petrol, so we kind of felt obliged... so out we came with a pearl necklace. After all this we decided to just go back to the reclining buddha as it was around 3 by then. There ended our tour of Bangkok by tuk tuk. The reclining buddha was HUGE. I don't know what its made of, but its gold in colour and the temple which it is in has painted cloth walls. You can pay 200 baht and get a tub of coins to drop in the monks collection bowls lining the wall of the temple, which we did. While we were in there a big group of young monks went in as well, chanting as they went, which was very atmospheric. On the buddhas feet was massage pressure points carved in with mother of pearl. Outside of the temple we wandered around a few of the other temples and statues. After this we walked to the river side and caught a boat on the very disgustingly dirty river. Fun all the same, we got off at the Oriental Hotel stop. There was a lovely friendly sign as we walked up the path to the hotel saying 'No backpackers allowed' hahaha! We went in for afternoon tea in the Authors Lounge or something which was verrry nice. The whole hotel was very nice. Our little tea set was on a 3 tier cake stand. We had some nice mini sandwiches, mini scones, mini creme brulee, mini shortbread, mini Maderia cake and other mini cakes. Plus a giant pot of earl grey. Was all very nice, a good end to the trip. After that we walked down the road and got a tuk tuk back to the hotel.
The next day we went to the airport, my flight was at 6 while my mums was at midnight, so she had a bit more of a wait at the airport. I went up to check in and the man had a problem with my ticket. Once again I was asked for my proper ticket and I had to explain that was all I had. He then said I wasn't booked in on that flight. We had just changed the flight dates so we thought maybe they hadn't gone through, but I did have a confirmation of the new dates so that didn't make sense. After probably half an hour of being taken to different check in people one girl finally managed to do it, and shouted something angrily to the original check in guy. I think he was trying to get me on the flight which had been checking in before, and thats why I wasn't on it. Anyway after that I said bye to my mum and off I went on my own again to get through immigration, which took agggges. I did a little shopping in the airport before going down to get the flight. I arrived at Singapore around 10pm and was there for the next 11 hours. We did try to get me on the flight which left at 11pm but as it was the brand new super huge plane it was all booked up. So I had to wait til 9am. Luckily there is a hotel in the airport so I booked in for 8 hours and slept there and got a shower in the morning when I had to get up. I then went around some of the shops, into Tiffany again for another oggle, haha. I went on the free internet for 15 mins and after wandering about aimlessly it finally got around to time for me to leave for London. My flight home was fine, despite being 12 hours it went really quite quickly, although I had an annoying tiny Chinese guy sitting infront of me. He had the seat which is by the emergency exit so has loads of leg room, like 2 metres worth, and yet he STILL put his seat back so that I had about 3 inches between me and the tv screen on the seatback. I was very annoyed, especially as it made the screen darker so I couldn't see the film as well, so I made it my little personal mission to wriggle about with my knees up against the seat so that every time I did so he would be bumped about in his seat. He got the hint and moved it back for a little while but not the whole time. Nothing annoys me more than people putting their seats back on the plane. I never do it unless I'm at the back seat, even then I don't think it makes much difference. Anyway rant over! So when I arrived at Heathrow I had a silly smile on my face that I was landing into England, nearly home! Getting across Heathrow was a pain though, I think out of all the airports I've been to it is the worst! Especially for joining terminals, most places have trains, trams or buses. Heathrow has little bits of moving walkway, all underground in a dark, dank tunnel. Anyway, I was booked on for a 9pm flight to Edinburgh but I arrived around 3pm so tried to get an earlier flight even though my dad had tried and had been told they were all full. Luckily there was a space and I left at 6, in for 7. I was so excited getting on the plane, the last leg of my journey before home, that place I'd been thinking of the whole time since leaving 3 months earlier. When we landed and I saw the airport which I'd seen so often from the bar and was smiling like an idiot to myself. I could see out of the corner of my eye a business man watching me smiling to myself, obviously wondering what was going through my mind. After I got off the plane I went up to the bar and saw one of the managers, Stuart, as well as Scotty, Barry, Ben and a few other new people I didn't know long enough to remember their names. It was so nice seeing them all again, it really sucks that I can't go back to work there because it was so much fun. Anyway after a quick chat I went down the escalator I used to go down every day after work, but this time as a passenger, and saw my dad waiting outside. We waited for my bag which came off quite quickly and went and got the car. It was strange, and it still is actually writing this now a week later, that my trip, this blog, is all finished and over. I am obviously quite sad about it, but happy to be home all the same.
I'm going to write a conclusion to this, once I've had a thought about it all, so come back sometime. But for now,