Ah, on the road again and straight to the best stuff - late night flights and sleep deprivation. We flew out at 1.45am from Perth, heading to Kuala Lumpur on the very cheap but also very uncomfortable Air Asia. It seems they're upgrading their in flight entertainment, but there are a few bugs still to be worked out as many sections simply report that they're not available yet; they do seem to be using Open Source tools though, as the app framework seems to be PHP running on Apache, judging by the error messages seen while checking out the travel map.
So, little sleep and not much else of excitement on the first leg. Arrived early in Kuala Lumpur. Four hour stopover... just too long to be able to check in straight away, just short enough to make sleeping unrewarding, therefore, coffee was in order. Note to future travellers - "The Coffee Bean" down the far end of international departures, while serving terrible coffee, is pleasantly cool and free of the madness down the main end with the checkin counters.
It's only a two hour flight onwards from KL to Bangkok, where we're straight into Suvanabhumi Airport, so recently occupied by the PAD protestors, but looking none the worse for it. Despite once again ending up with what seems to be the world's slowest customs agent, things are quick and smooth and in no time at all we're cruising in a taxi towards the Bangkok outskirts where June's mum lives.
Since arriving, things have been low key. Malls, markets, iced coffee and delicious Thai food. Headed out to see Khao San Road in pre-New Year madness (there are a few more photos in the Bangkok section of this and others). Kinda weird really, for the first time I saw Khao San with more Thais than foreigners. Packed with people, music, food and beer anyway. The 7-Elevens were doing so much business in places that there was a lucrative market in cold beers from ice buuckets outside them - the cold beer inside the store was exhausted early in the evening!
We braved the Bangkok bus system to get down to Siam for the main events there; a crowd of I-have-no-idea-how-many had gathered to see in the New Year. We had no chance of making it to the main stage area, but by taking a cunning cross country (i.e. over a fence and through a garden) route we were at least able to find high enough ground to see the fireworks and some of the crowds. It seems we chose the right spot, anyway, and avoided any unfortunate accidents on the evening.
We're out to Ubon tomorrow, to see what there is to see, then possibly down towards the beaches along the Andaman coast. It's proving difficult to tear myself away from June's Mum's delicious cooking, however...