Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dec 31 2013 - New Years Eve Bangkok Style!

What can I say about New Years Eve in Bangkok... It's a little like The Hangover 2... In fact, it's exactly like The Hangover 2 :)

Star Backs ??
We started out at the mall, because when you have a couple hours to kill and you're staying in the middle of the city, why not have lunch at the food court? Malls in Bangkok are really cool, they are the heart of the city, keeping everything flowing around them. Huge supermarkets - with tons of cute groceries imported from all over Asia - are in their basements. Kiosks of knockoff goods line their hallways (you could get a fake name brand belt or tie for $3), and sometimes you ever find a real Starbucks directly next to a fake Starbucks.

On Loy Nava, pre Mai-Tai

Once we had decided not to get new fancy New Years Eve outfits - and just bought new fancy New Years Eve underwear instead - we set off for the hotel where we were to meet our Finnish friends and be picked up by the Loy Nava Dinner Cruise. It's kind of a long story, but basically the dinner cruise people are really hard to get a hold of, and we thought our friends were staying at this hotel - but they weren't - but we had told the boat people to pick us up there - so we all had to find our way to this random hotel to get picked up :)

Crowd starting to gather outside as we take the
7th consecutive escalator towards the roofdeck

The dinner cruise was super cool, it was on a converted old rice barge, there were 10+ courses of food and we had a great view of the city from the river. They also provided a bottle of wine per couple, one Mai Tai per person, and a glass of champagne for each person (start counting!!) - so we were in the best of spirits when the cruise ended and they dropped us off at our next party destination: Centara Grand at CentralWorld (another one of those malls in the center of the city). The party was on the 56th Floor roof deck - but first we had to meander our way through 55 floors of mall. We were already very very happy at this point, and as we walked through the mall crowds, I noticed many MANY people taking selfies in front of the window showing the crowds lining up for NYE festivities on the ground below. Something about of these selfies made me a little loopy and I must've photobombed about 30 different selfies that night :)

Happy New Year!!

We ended up at the 56th Floor Red Sky Bar at about 9pm, we had a few hours to chat, enjoy the amazing views over Bangkok and fireworks, dance up a storm, and drink-drink-drink-drink (I think 4 more bottles of wine were ordered for the group????) We are completely innocent though, Fins Party Hard!!

Epic conga line on the roof around the entire building
The rest of the night was kind of hazy. As we were getting kicked out of the bar around 3am, we noticed Olga's pocketbook had gone missing. Security had it though, and they had gone through every single pocket, flap, and wallet separator, looking for who knows what. When we caught up with them, they had categorized the credit cards and passports for who knows what purpose. Nothing significant is missing, not even the chocolate bar we keep for chocolate emergencies :)

San Francisco Street Food Truck themed
restaurant under Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok
The four of us piled into a cab to go to our friends' hotel, our phone batteries all drained mid-ride and we were at the mercy for the driver. He got completely lost and took us to the Khao San Road (tourist/bar) District for no apparent reason, at one point I think he said something like he had no idea where the hotel was so he took us there. We had Pad Thai (and I think our Finnish friend ordered a TOWER OF SINGHA BEER??) and eventually found our way to their hotel by 5am. Then they packed up to head home to Finland and we decided it would be wise to see them off to the airport. The next thing I remember we were being dropped off at our hotel as the sun was rising. The Finns did the vast majority of the partying, let me assure you!!

Durian fruit in its protective casing

The next day was pretty low-key. We woke up at 3pm just in time to call my brother and wish him a happy new year at midnight Pacific time. At another local mall, we got massages - the second on this trip - we read that it really takes three 90 minute Thai massages to get the body into shape, and we're pretty serious about seeing it through :)

classic Durian fruit initial reaction
Then we spent a couple hours tasting every free sample in the supermarket under the Siam Paragon mall. We bought all sorts of exotic fruits and took them back to the hotel for munching while we did laundry. After about 8 trips to Asia, I finally tried Durian fruit, which is so pungent that streetfood vendors keep it in a little saran wrap tent. It has a custard-like consistency, a smell of rotten eggs, and taste of onions. Not as bad as I expected! Kicking off the New Year Bangkok style!!


Karen Wilson said...

Sounds like fun but I don't think I could keep up! Love the fake Starbucks next to the real one. I wonder which one was there first. I also love that the taxi driver brought you to the wrong place because he didn't know where the right one was. Sounds like some of our travel adventures.

Dave Grenetz said...

It'll never happen in London though, those drivers have to pass crazy rigorous tests! :)