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Bangkok. 13:00.

I’m sat in my new hotel room after downsizing in both luxury and cost as my partner, Dawn, flew back to the UK early this morning. Now I’m on my own for the next few weeks as I do some exploring whilst using the time to catch up with friends In Indonesia and Malaysia.

I’m back in old haunts in Banglumphu at a backpackers hotel called the Happio. I’ve stayed here many times in the past. Then it was called Happy House. It’s cheap, cheerful, friendly and suits my needs as I only require a room for 14 or so hours as I’ve got a flight to Bali at silly o’ clock in the morning. One improvement is that the hotel wifi has been extended from the restaurant/reception to encompass all the rooms. As I’ve been travelling long enough to remember the days of ‘Poste Restante’ addresses (what? ask younger travellers) I’m still sometimes amazed how the communications revolution and the internet has revolutionised travelling – for better and worse…

Dawn and I spent the past few weeks relaxing in Thailand. For once, instead of travelling, we stayed the entire time down in the Krabi area. I’ll blog about our time there separately. As I’m now on my own I’m using the time to catch up on work at home and plan the rest of the trip as I’m going to be very much on the move (I have itchy feet to scratch), so expect regular blogging and pictures.

Although I’ll miss Bangkok (I feel very much at home here) I won’t miss the traffic. Chrissorn, an old Thai friend of ours drove us to the airport at 6am this morning. At that time of day the traffic was fine, but Chris & I got caught up in mayhem on the return trip as one of the expressways was in gridlock so the journey took more than twice as long. Bangkok is slowly extending and linking up its rail and metro network but some projects are years late, disconnected from each other and the fares are expensive – which isn’t tempting people out of their cars (as Chris explained to me – he’d only got his car a few days ago). You can read about some of the reasons why in my earlier blog about a trip on the new Purple line metro.

Bangkok is a stark contrast to London which has a mature rail network. Few would dream of commuting into the capital by car & the city isn’t scarred by the massive flyovers and elevated expressways that Bangkok has to endure. Still, I’ll be interested to see how things develop. I expect to be popping back on a regular basis to check on progress. But right now, it’s time for lunch…