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Off to Terminal 21. Bangkok

Terminal 21. 88 Soi Sukhumvit. Bangkok.

Connections are imperative when you land in a new destination. Two weeks ago I saught out destinations in Bangkok from an old friend who used to live here , so when he suggested going to Terminal 21 I thought he misheard me , I wanted to stay in Bangkok, not the airport !

How wrong was I. Terminal 21 is a large modern metropolis of a shopping Centre on Sukhumvit Road , attached to Ashok Skytrain . Each floor represents a different country with shopping and restaurants. Like a glorious cake the top is the showpiece and on the 5th level , San Francisco , turn left and walk as far as you can and before your eyes you will see a cacophony of colour and eclectic food choices.

The really clever thing is that if you go to the far end of the hall you will see a round consul where you hand over what money you want to spend and you will receive a card. When you get your food and drink they swipe the card and the cost is taken off rather like a credit card. Neat. Makes things a lot quicker and smoother service.

I got a mango & banana ice blended ( 30,000baht ) plus rice and a choice of three dishes ( 39,000 baht ) still had change from 100,000 baht . So cheap.

The portions were ample and the food was tasty apart from the two prawns which were soft and slight soapy , however the fruit juices are refreshing and pack a punch as they use real fruit , no bright colourings . There is so much choice of authentic Thai food your taste buds will OD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asok Station is the crossing point for the MRT ( underground ) and the Skytrain so you can’t miss it . Walk to the Skytrain ticket area and there is a walkway leading you straight to the entrance.

 

 

 

 

 

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Saigon art

Wondering around on a Sunday morning can be a complete surprise. Don’t look for something ,  let it find you.

I love exploring down side lanes off the main drag and that what happened when I explored off Dong Khoi in Dist 1. Saigon.

For a long time I have seen Vietnamese art but not really looked at it. The pictures I saw today were naive but captured the mood of  traditional Vietnam in form and colour. One tends to forget that The country is like a blank canvass made up of a rainbow of colours and moods which depict the vibrancy of the scenes. Shift the prism and the colours will change. Nothing stays the same in this surprising vista of South East Asia.

Dreamliner Dream Flight

One week ago I landed back in Saigon from London. I took a direct flight with Vietnam airlines on their new aircraft. The Dreamliner. This turned out to be a revelation as I always thought that they were at the low end and basic end of flying. Well I was pleasantly surprised.

I was seated next to two unaccompanied minors, two boys aged nine and ten who did not know each other and were both from Vietnam. They were charming and polite and never complained. We ended up playing games and exchanging jokes and stories. Very entertaining.

On take off I noticed there were no blinds on the windows and then the windows went blue ! An automatic tint was applied and could be adjusted just under the window with a nifty touch dial . It went from clear to shades of blue to black. Cool .

The service was excellent, good food and wine with snacks and sandwiches throughout the flight served by a friendly flight crew. This is a good alternative to hopping through Dubai or Bangkok . Go Vietnam Airlines .

Saigon swallowed up

Having been away for a year from Saigon , changes are apparent , some good some bad. When I first laid eyes on this vibrant city in 2001 it had its rough edges but huge character and it was an unpredictable place to live but what fun we had.

Of course it’s demographic has changed and now it has grown up but there are still remnants of the old way of life which are being visibly strangled and swallowed up replaced by new , sometimes , brash architecture. Even the traditional street life is struggling to survive. How much longer ? God forbid we lose the old ways completely.

Cafe la Coco. Kilkenny

I thought I would change my routine and try  Cafe la Coco , Patrick Street, Kilkenny. What a mistake. I ordered a cappuccino and patiently waited, they were busy. I enquired about the availability of wifi. None.This in a way was quite refreshing but slightly annoying.

Coffee arrives, looks good. Try it. Stone cold. Returned it politely. Coffee came back one minute later. Enquired if they had made a fresh one. No. Goodbye. Went to Willoughby’s across the road. Hot coffee. Good service. Comfortable. Moral: stick with what you know.