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Saturday, November 26
The flight from Phuket to Bangkok was okay, we had some turbulence, and it was pretty cloudy. I got some good photos of Phuket and the Andaman Sea (photos 1-7) and some typical hazy shots of Bangkok from the air (photos 9-10). We arrived one minute early, at 10:34, but it took 10 minutes to get the door open. Baggage arrived in 20 minutes, and I am very nervous because when I was packing in Nai Yang, the top main zipper of the pack separated, and though it re-closed okay by unzipping and re-zipping, who knows what might happen during the flight. Luckily it held. Adding to my to-do list "get real luggage". I won't need a backpack in China or on my trip home, and something hard-shelled with wheels would be nice for future trips. Patpong has lots of places which sell pretty good stuff cheap.
Instead of paying the 200B for a taxi downtown, I take a cab to Mo Chit skytrain station, 90B, and use my skytrain card to get to Nana. First stop is Nana Hotel, but they are full. So are the next 6 places I try on that side of Sukhumwit. Landmark (the 10-star hotel which takes up a city block, has a Japanese rooftop restaurant and a circular driveway bigger than some hotels) has rooms - for $175 a night. No thanks. Plan B was the Novatel on Soi 23, but when I get to Soi 23 there are no hotels. Must have been Soi 33. I don't feel like going that far, because I'm hot and sweaty and tired of looking. I look back towards the lower numbered streets, and see a Sheraton, which might work. Work is paying for this weekend, so any reasonable (<$100) price would work. As I climb the overpass stairs, I look back and see a place on Soi 19 called City Lodge, which looks like my kind of hotel. It's near Soi Cowboy, a few buildings back from Sukhumwit Road. So, back downstairs. They have rooms, 1800B ($45) a night, so I book for two nights. Big room, King bed, full western bathroom, small balcony with a view of the Westin across the soi. And the room is pitch dark when the curtains are closed, which is the way I like it.
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