Sadly, the final day of the Japan/Thailand trip was here. This day would actually extend much further than a day, since the five hour flight out to Tokyo was at 12:30 AM Bangkok time. This would be followed by another twelve hour flight to Houston.
Anyhow, while enjoying the day in Bangkok, going home was the furthest thing from my mind. The day started with a lovely breakfast, and then finally a visit to the Grand Palace area.
This time, I knew exactly where to get off, the Royal Rattanakosin Hotel, basically the closest point of interest near the closed roads of the Grand Palace area.
As was the case two days earlier, the palace itself was totally restricted to foreigners, but the emerald Buddha complex was open. The place still seemed crowded on an off-day, so one can only imagine how packed it would be on a weekend.
The army was very kind yet again, offering cold water bottles, which hit the spot in the sweltering weather.
After this, it was off to another local mall, the Siam Center, the third mall visited during the trip. The only real point of interest here was the food court, which had a more international set of options than the Terminal 21 mall I had been frequenting the previous two days. I had a fish cake soup but also noticed Indian and Japanese restaurants, among other offerings.
By now, it was 4 PM. I had about five hours before heading back to the airport. Common sense would be to rest, but I chose to enjoy my last moments in Bangkok.
I walked to a lake just a few minutes walking from the hotel named Lake Rajada. This was a very interesting place, there were locals jogging and biking. This was the most serene place I had found in Bangkok. I took two laps around the lake and then headed back Terminal 21 to check out the local farmer’s market.
I purchased a bottle of pure passion fruit juice. This had a very strong flavor that sent my stomach temporarily churning, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless; something very different than your typical sweet juice.
Next to the hotel, I was surprised to see a Sikh temple. The man running the place asked me if I wanted to eat, I said no since I just had a huge meal at the mall. It was surreal to see a religious place of worship directly across the street from a string of notorious bars.
Finally, it was back to the hotel and time to pack for the return. The AOT van was actually here fifteen minutes early. I was very impressed with the promptness of the scheduled transportation in Thailand. The service was top-notch as well, though tips were expected.
The airport was quite crowded, many international flights leave in the wee hours. The priority pass lounge was subpar, but thankfully I was able to get sleep on the first flight. In Tokyo, I purchased a Tokyo Olympics t-shirt and a magnet and some Japanese curry. The second flight I did not sleep at all, but this was fine since the moment I arrived at home I hit the bed upon arrival.
The journey that took 9 months to plan was finally over. Now, it was a couple of weeks at home, and then a return to Guadalajara, Mexico.