Bidding Farewell to Australia: Our Journey Begins

7 November 2023

Today marks a significant chapter in our lives as Steve and I embark on a 3.5-month adventure to Thailand! We laughing refer to our trip as the Festival Trip as there will be many festival and celebrations along the way. After final packing and cleaning duties at our Jurien Bay home, we were ready to set off for Perth.

Our reliable friend, Gloria, arrived promptly at 8:50 am to whisk us away on the road trip to Perth. By 9:00 am, we were cruising towards our overnight stay at the Country Comfort Perth. Coffee lovers unite! We couldn’t resist a quick stop at Woodridge to fuel up with a couple of delicious cappuccinos.

Next, we swung by Kwikcopy to collect brochures for the Cervantes 60th birthday celebration. With brochures in hand, we checked into our hotel, dropped off our luggage, and headed straight to the Belmont Shopping Centre. Lunchtime found us catching up with Gloria at the charming Miss Maud Cafe.

Bidding farewell to Gloria, we indulged in some last-minute shopping before taking a scenic 4-kilometre walk back to our hotel. A quick rest later, and we were ready to explore the city in search of our farewell dinner. We found Golden Star Noodle Bar and a Hungry Jacks for a soft serve ice cream.  I good start indeed.

Our journey to Thailand started with a technological hiccup. The entire Optus network, both mobile and landline, had inexplicably gone down, leaving us with no phone or internet access. Our switch to Amaysim, which uses the Optus network, only exacerbated the problem. While the motel offered Wi-Fi, it was overwhelmed by users, rendering it practically unusable.

November 08 2023

Undeterred, we packed up and hopped on the earlier 8:00 AM shuttle to the airport. Reaching the Qantas Business Class booking counter, we were able to use our beautiful surprise that Neil and Connie had gifted us, Emirates Gold Class status! This unexpected upgrade led us to the Business Lounge, where we celebrated the start of our trip with some delicious Seppelt champagne—a brand introduced to Australia by Steve’s great-great-grandfather many years ago.

Sadly, our time in the lounge flew by, and by noon, we were on our first flight. Six hours later, we landed at Changi Airport in Singapore. Here, we encountered a minor setback: despite paying extra for better seats, Jetstar separated us, placing Steve at the front and me at the back. Fortunately, a kind passenger agreed to swap seats, allowing us to sit together.

Further misfortune struck as one of our four bags didn’t make the transfer between Qantas and Jetstar. Undeterred, we continued our journey, landing in Bangkok by 8:45 PM. After navigating customs and hopping on the train, we finally arrived at our hotel, the Anajak Bangkok, at 10:30 PM.

Despite the minor challenges, we were greeted by the warm smiles of the Thai staff, a sentiment that would become a recurring theme throughout our trip.

9 November 2023

Steve and I are wide awake in our Bangkok hotel room, eager to conquer our first full day in this vibrant city. By 7 am, we’re fueled by a delicious hotel breakfast and ready to hit the streets.

Our adventure begins in the Ratchathewi District, where we set off on foot by 10 am. We’ve got our rabbit cards in hand, ready to hop on and off the trains as needed. The city unfolds around us – a captivating mix of roadside food carts, bustling locals going about their day, and the vibrant energy that Bangkok is famous for.

By mid-morning, our wanderings lead us to Siam, a central hub known for its shopping and entertainment. We refuel at the BigC food court, with a simply scrumptious Pad Krapow Moo each.

With satisfied bellies, we continue our exploration, immersing ourselves in the city’s unique charm.

As the day winds down, we find ourselves at Centralworld, Bangkok’s dazzling mall. Here, the night markets come alive, offering a treasure trove of finds.

We take a break to catch the launch of the Beatles’ “Now and Then” song, a delightful surprise amidst the sights and sounds.

And then, we’re greeted by the magic of Christmas! The festive decorations twinkle brightly against the evening sky, adding a touch of cheer to the Bangkok atmosphere. After a quick visit to the local Apple Store, it’s time to call it a day and head back to our hotel, our hearts full of memories from this incredible day.