Hey all, our final post from this trip as it’s home time now! :-(
Ngapali was great! During our final few days there we tried most of the restaurants in the town, all offering generous portions of seafood for only a few dollars. During our time there we watched progress as they laid a concrete road through the town to replace the original dusty bumpy track. I’m sure if we revisit in a few years it will be barely recognisable. Even our little Silver Beach resort is building a large hotel at the back of the restaurant which they will market as cheaper rooms than the bungalow’s that we stayed in. The beach was lovely with a great stretch of light coloured sand and the water was very clear with big waves. There were always enough sun loungers and despite the resort being full there was only ever 20 or so people on the beach.
After Ngapali we flew to Yangon and stayed there for one night. Unlike Mandalay, Yangon is a real city with good roads, fancy shopping malls (complete with the big chain shops & restaurants). The city had a real buzz with lots of things happening. It felt more like the baby brother to Bangkok than a relative of Mandalay. Our room was upgraded complimentary as there were no twin rooms available (it seems that being a same sex couple here they assume you want a twin - although we’ve seen lots of gay couples in Myanmar and the attitude towards us has been great). The upgrade landed us in a suite on the top floor complete with a bath in the room overlooking the cityscape & a great view of Yangon’s iconic Shwedagon Pagoda (which we visited later that evening). Within the Pagoda the hair & bones of the last 4 Buddah’s resides - unified under this giant golden Stuppa. It’s possibly the most famous monument in Myanmar and you will find it’s image on most of the travel books. We spent an hour wandering around, taking photos and spectating the masses of monks doing their processions around it. After we jumped in a taxi and headed for the biggest mall we could find (can you tell we’ve been yearning Bangkok malls?) and the following day we flew to Bangkok.
In Bangkok we’ve been staying in one of our old favourite hotel’s; Admiral Premiere. It’s a block of serviced apartments in the Sukhamvit area with big rooms and all the mod-cons. There’s even an infinity pool on the top floor. We’ve had a couple of days of extensive shopping and both of our suitcases are filled with swag from our favourite Siam shopping malls. Last night we treated ourselves and booked a meal on the Banyan Hotel’s Aspara boat restaurant. It was an amazing experience; the service, food, views and boat were all incredible. Aboard this small, intimate beautiful wooden boat we were served 10 courses and numerous cocktails as we meandered up and down the Chaoyphraya. It’s become our most recommended thing to do in Bangkok so next time you’re here - make sure to do it!
Anyway, we’ve had an amazing 3 weeks, thank’s again for all the very generous gifts and contributions you made to the trip - we’ve had such a great time.
We’re really looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Jim & Neil xxx