Day 4, Lumphini Park and the search for beer
Day 4 started off much like days 1 to 3. Up and ready, mess about trying to pack properly, bit of breakfast and off we went.
We found out the reason the train was booked up was due to a public holiday today, which also meant things closed early so we were limited on what to do.
Also I use the BBC weather app regardless of the fact it has never got the weather correct, so today we were in for heavy showers in the evening. With this in mind we headed to Lumphini park. Somewhere I would definitely recommend. It was a blue sky and hot sun type of day but the park was an nice open space so we had a nice breeze running through.
We crossed a bridge into the park and headed for a lake, as we got closer we spotted a huge lizard, followed by an even bigger one. Liam went running after it to get some quality photos and we watched one swimming through the water. It was a great spectacle and the type of thing we’ve all only ever seen in a zoo.
We carried on walking round the park past a nice old clock tower which struck 12 just as we went past. We spotted some swan pedalos but unfortunately it was only two to a ped so it would mean leaving one out, but at only 40b for 30 mins it would ‘ve been a fun thing to do.
We walked past various flowers, coconut trees and animal life and had cyclists zooming past us. It was such a pleasant experience and seeing the towering skyscrapers on the periphery reminded me of central park. Only Asian. After this we decided on a little rice bar for lunch and it turned out to be Korean, so I was in my element. I ordered rice, kimchi and Korean wings which were all very tasty. Leia had chicken noodles and egg and Liam had black bean noodles. We even got complimentary miso type soup.
After this we planned on going to the red cross snake farm where they ‘milk’ the poison from venomous snakes to create the anti venom, but got there and it was closed due to the holiday. Definitely should’ve done the 108 lucky coins at Wat Pho.
On our way to the snake farm we saw a statue of a previous king and joined in on bowing to him as everyone else did, even car drivers going past not looking at the road!
As the snake farm was closed we decided to head towards a building that was built to look like a robot which was pretty cool but something to just see on your way to…..
The Hindu temple Sri Mariamman, this was a very intricate and pretty building with vibrant colours, we just viewed it from the outside as our sweaty feet were no place for a sacred temple. On the way whilst crossing a road I heard Liam shout “Omg a rat” and suddenly saw a huge rat run in front of me, hit a moving car, run under it and scuttle into a hole by a tree. This wouldn’t be the last time we saw rats out in the open in daytime, but it didn’t bother us, everything is just exciting at the moment.
The snake farm being closed and not wanting to head into the temple caused us timing issues as everywhere else we wanted to go was closed or closing before we could make it there so there was only one thing to do.
Get a beer, this proved more difficult than we thought as we wandered through hotels unable to find the bar, past craft ale bars charging a fiver for half a beer and being told by a hostel information guide that there was no cheap beer to be found except maybe a 7/11. A fitting way to go in our current state of sweat and dirty. Liam managed to buy a drink that tasted the same as mine on the first day and we identified it as Genmai – roasted brown rice. One to avoid definitely!
Silom where we were staying seemed busy so we sky trained it over there and saw an Irish bar a stones throw from the station. At this point we were grossly sweaty and needed prolonged air con so we headed in, paid £3 for a beer and relaxed. Deciding to check flights for Vientiane to Hanoi to avoid the rumoured 24-30 hour bus journey we booked ones for around £70 each from Luang Prabang. We were 20 minutes early for happy hour so had another pint of Chang/Singa. Now I don’t know whether it’s the heat or the strength of the beer but we were well on our way after two! Enjoying the cool temperature and music.
Unfortunately time flew by and we were off to pick our stuff up and head back to Hua Lamphong station knowing we had tickets for the night train.
Upon arrival we stocked up on various food and drinks including custard sponge cakes and pizza sticks I recognised from Japan, SO good, and went to the platform, it was exactly as I imagined it with a hulking old train and old school carriages. There was even a restaurant car! We found our spots, two top bunks and one bottom bunk. This was all very exciting for me as the thought of sleeping in my own little compartment on a train heading through the country to awake somewhere new is something I’ve always wanted to do. I almost got the chance to from Sofia to Istanbul but due to line works ended up on a bus, which wasn’t the same at all.
8pm sharp we were off! They came round and converted the lower seats into one bed and did an immaculate job on the sheets, better than my hospital corners even. Once the beds were ready (Leia half did hers before the guards shouted down to give them 5 minutes and a Thai also told us to wait) we jumped in, freshened up and settled down ready for the next adventure. Nong Khai and the border crossing.