L and I flew with Bangkok Air down to Phuket to spend a couple of days relaxing before heading back home to go back to work.
The train station at Chiang Mai isn’t too hard to navigate (and has platforms long enough for the train!) so we found it easy to find our transfers to the hotel. We were staying at the People Place Building 2, which is near the night markets, but quite a walk to the old town and the main drag.
Leaving Kuchanaburi, we headed to Ayutthaya to spend the day before catching the night train to Chiang Mai. We stopped into a grocery store for obligatory Thai coffee (espresso and sweetened condensed milk poured over a few cups of ice, then sipped over the next few hours) and snacks for the train.
Leaving Bangkok, we concentrated on the outskirts for a while, visiting a couple of different markets before heading up to Kanchanaburi, where we stayed for a couple of days.
Our first stop was the Railway Markets, where we fortified ourselves with Thai coffee before heading into the markets.
I flew out of Perth far too early on the first day of school holidays, not terribly well assisted by attending a wine tasting event the night before. Thankfully, all went smoothly, and even though Perth Airport is undergoing renovations and the Customs and Passport Control people are now called Border Force (replete with new uniforms), I managed to bumble my way through. The flight was a bit bumpy, but we landed in BKK without incident, the only danger being the length of time we were unable to use the bathrooms because of turbulence!
We alighted from the train in Los Angeles just in time to see the last of the Day of the Dead celebrations in the area around Union Station. A very different vibe to the Halloween and World Series celebrations in SF!
We were staying at the Checkers Hilton, which was pretty central and easy to find public transport. This was great, because our first stop in LA was to go to the Californian Science Center to see the space shuttle, at Exposition Park.
After recovering a little from the double-whammy of hangover and tummy bug in Wuhan, R and I headed to the airport. We had planned a quick sojourn on the west coast of the USA before I returned home to do some work, and R bounced to Washington DC for World Fantasy Con.
San Francisco was a really interesting place. We arrived just in time for Halloween and for the home team to win the World Series baseball competition, which meant the whole city had a weird vibe mixing celebration, dressing up and drunkenness!
We only had a couple of days in mainland China, and most of that was taken up with wedding preparations for G&L. L took us to “Breakfast Street”, a street food area where we tried lots of yummy snacks and soup. One of my favourites was the grilled squid legs — tasty!
My brother and sister-in-law organised a wedding in China to celebrate with her family and friends, so the family headed over to take part. On the way over, Mum and I had a few days of R&R in Macau before hitting Wuhan for the wedding.