Brian and Paul departed from Dublin airport in the early hours of the 23rd of December, whilst Mike departed the same day from Cork airport later in the day. No problems from both sides with the flights. Hang on!!!! Brian and Paul were ushered to their connnecting flight to Doa in Qutar from the Gatwick check in desk right to the boarding gates, This was beacuse our inbound, Aerlingus flight from Dublin to Gatwick had been delayed. We had minutes (no joke) to spare. Exiting stuff at the time.
Our Arrivals: 24th December 2008, Bangkok, Thailand.
Brian and Paul arrived in Bangkok at 7am and Mike at 7pm on the 24th of December 2008. We all met up in the Prince Palace hotel (prounced Ping Palea by the Thai locals) in the center of Bangkok where we met John and Eilis. We decided to head straight out and venture around the wild capital of Thailand. Wooo hoooo!!!!!!!!
Drank a fair share of beer and thai whiskey the first night and headed back to the hotel at a reasonable hour for some shut eye.
We all agreed before we left that we would be able to get most of our cycling/camping gear in Bangkok. This turned out to be more difficult than originally anticitapated. Trying to find a good cycling & camping shop in the city turned into a bit of an ordeal!! We finally got a chauffeur named Tzeun from our hotel who helped bring us to all the appropriate stores we needed to visit. He charged us about 1000Th bath (about 20euro) for the whole day for his services. Thanks again Tzeun.
We’d like to mention a lovely restaurant we stumbled upon in our final days in bangkok. We were booked into the Roof View hostel which we would highly recommend. For dinner that night John and Eilis suggested a nearby restaurant called Ida’s Gallery Cafe on Samson rd. We were both amazed and humbled to be served by the most genuine and charming host; Richard and hostess named Ida, who incidentally was due to give birth to a baby boy that night!!!! We were wined and dined into the early hours at this quant restaurant with the music blaring Creedance Clear Water and Abbey Road to boot… Great night!!!
After 3 days of visiting numerous stores we were ready for the trip. We had picked up everything from our cooking pots to our laptop right down to the very cycling shorts we would squeeze into for the 15,000km that lay ahead of us.