Tales of 2018

Tales of 2018

2018 is a distant memory and it’s over 1 year ago since I left my beloved Bangkok. So, it’s time for a little reminiscing. I hope you enjoy my tales of 2018!

January

I started the year in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka with my friend, Mark. We had a great time partying, exploring and, the best thing, releasing baby turtles into the sea.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa
Baby turtles starting their journey in life

Once back home in Bangkok, I met up with Chris for a few welcome home drinks.

Things to do in free time
Welcome home drinks. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

Chris and I also went to the Chinatown Fair on Soi Nana – a favourite haunt of ours. Alleyways filled with stalls selling clothes, bric-a-brac, and food. People everywhere, music playing – it’s a great atmosphere.

Things to do in Bangkok
Chinatown Fair 2018 – Soi NaNa. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

I went to W District with my friends from work – Nigel, Alexis and Steve. We had some food, we had some drinks and we had good chats and, if my memory is correct, I do believe I got rather drunk and had to leave.

February

Chris and I regularly met up on Sundays to enjoy a few drinks – which we fondly named – The Sunday Sessions.

Things to do in free time
Sunday Sessions. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

My photo exhibition – On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage – was held at 23 Bar & Gallery. My friends and I had a fabulous time at the opening night. The setting up was fun too. Chris & I arrived, set up the exhibition in all of an hour and spent the rest of the afternoon drinking free beers and eating free pizza – courtesy of the owner of the bar!

On The Trail of Bangkok's European Heritage by Gill Morris
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage by Gill Morris

Chris features a lot during my time in Bangkok and, throughout my last year living there, we enjoyed many nights together. We ventured to Cheap Charlies – a quirky little bar which used to be on Soi 11, but had made the move further out of town to Soi 50.

Places to go in Bangkok
Cheap Charlies Bar. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

We had a pyjama party at Chris’ house one day. We had pizza, drank a lot and watched Netflix. It was a lot of fun.

Things to do in free time
Pyjama Party. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

March

Chris declared one of our Sunday Sessions was in honour of the snow in the UK! (I knew I liked him for a reason – he’s crazy (in a good way)).

Things to do in free time
Snow Day Margheritas. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

We had many a funny night at Zinc 101 – a bar on Soi 101/1. Pizza again – and this one is called the Gary Pizza?!?!? Delivered from the restaurant up the road! On Fridays at Zinc 101 they had Pressure Hour. Between 7.00pm and 8.00pm the toilets were barred, so no one could go. The price of drinks was reduced and they remained so for that hour. Unless, that is, someone had to relieve themselves. If they did, the cheap drinks stopped for everyone! Pressure or what?

Places to go in Bangkok
Zinc 101 – Gary Pizza. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

And Devilish Chews & Brews where the wines were large and we got fed for free sometimes. Sunday night cocktail catch-up: this was meant to be a quick, non-heavy session with just the one Bramble or Radler. Then it turned out a Long Island Iced Tea was just about the only thing on the cocktail menu that wasn’t sold out – there went the responsible plan, then! (Chris’ words) Hee hee! 😉

Places to go in Bangkok
Devilish Chews & Brews. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

April

Over on Sathorn Soi 12, another of our favs – Le Cafe des Stagiaires – where we spent lots of time too. As you can probably tell, most of our jaunts involved alcohol! We loved this place because you could sit on the street under a canopy of trees. It felt like you could be anywhere in the world. We loved the Ceviche and the happy hours!

Places to go in Bangkok
Le Cafe des Stagiaires. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

I went to Italy to meet my mum and dad. We had such a great time together. We went to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Vatican City. We drank and ate in some lovely restaurants, walked for miles and, the best thing, we enjoyed each other’s company for the few days we were there.

Places to go in Rome
St Peter’s Basilica, Rome

Chris and I used to go to the same bars and restaurants. I am a creature of habit and when I find somewhere I like, I always return because I know the food and drinks are good. Chris was always saying that we should go somewhere new, so when I got back from Italy, we found ourselves in Escape at Emquartier Mall. The drinks were overpriced, but we had a fun night as always.

Places to go in Bangkok
Escape, Bangkok

May

Another Sunday Session and this time, we got a tad inebriated and after a margarita, pisco sour, and gin sour, and before a Pimm’s we ended up booking a day trip to Krabi! Just for lunch! It was ridiculously cheap – 20 quid return! It was one of the most spontaneous things we’d ever done, so we celebrated by pouring ourselves another large drink!

Things to do at home
Sunday Sessions (number 18!). Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

A fabulous meal at Eats Payao over on Yenakart Road. The most delicious Khao Soi and the best Thai food I have ever had. Followed by a few drinks at nearby rooftop bar – Cactus.

Places to go in Bangkok
Eats Payao & Cactus. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

June

We enjoyed the food and drinks at Eats Payao and Cactus so much that we went there again 2 days later.

Places to go in Bangkok
Eats Payao. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

July

Sometimes, we’d go to 101/1 and eat on the street – Pad Krapow Moo (Pork and rice) washed down with a few cool beers.

Things to do in Bangkok
Soi 101/1 for Pad Krapow Moo. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

Other times, we’d venture further away from home and go to W District – a night market with lots of different restaurants, food stalls and bars surrounding the seating area. This time, we had a Vietnamese dish called Banh Mi which is a baguette filled wth veg, meat and coriander. It doesn’t look that nice but, trust me, it is delicious.

Things to eat in Bangkok
Banh Mi @ W District. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

We went back to Zinc 101 with one of my work colleagues – Cherry.

Places to go in Bangkok
Zinc 101 with Cherry. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

I met up with 2 friends from the Czech Republic – Lucie and Stefan. I met them in Cambodia on a TEFL course in 2009. We have been friends ever since. We had a lovely lunch together on Soi Rambuttri.

Things to do in Bangkok
Meeting up with friends

Chris and I took our day trip to Krabi – for lunch! We flew there early in the morning, ate and drank our way through the day until it was time to fly back in the evening. We had “one for the road” back at Devilish to have a debrief about our fun and fabulous day. This was one of the best days I ever had whilst living in Thailand.

Places to go in Thailand
Day trip to Krabi – for lunch

One of our favourite pastimes was eating, cheaply, on the street. Back on Soi 101/1, we stopped for noodles – all of 35 baht (86p). There is just something about eating on a busy, noisy road. You can’t hear each other speaking sometimes, but it’s a small part of what makes Bangkok, Bangkok!

Things to eat in Bangkok
Streetside noodles. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

Back at Zinc 101 on Soi 101/1. Once we had been to this bar once, it quickly became our local go to place. We went there so much, we didn’t even have to ask for our drinks because the bar staff knew what we both drank!

Places to go in Bangkok
Zinc 101 again. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

August

Some more new places! We had planned to go to Le Cafe des Stagiaires again, but it was closed! It never closed, so we were more than disappointed. Instead, we went to Di Farina, Charm Eatery and Smalls all located in Sathorn. Our nights out were always full of fun and laughter wherever we ended up. And I think this was the night when I left Chris to his own devices. After necking 11 (different) drinks, he (we) were more than a little merry, but he didn’t want to go home!

Places to go in Bangkok
A night of new places. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

September

I met up with Mark and Chris at Monsoon – another of my favourite restaurants. I tried oysters for the first and last time. I didn’t like them at all. At least I tried!

Things to eat in Bangkok
Oysters at Monsoon. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

Invariably, during the rainy seasons, Chris and I would be out and we’d get caught in the torrential rain, so we’d have to stay in the bar! (That was our excuse and we were sticking to it!)

Places to go in Bangkok
Sheltering from the rain. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

Another night out, another new place on Udomsuk Road – ศาสตร์ สุรา (translated as alcoholics 🙂 ). Jokingly, I was always saying to Chris how much better Udomsuk was than 101/1 because everytime I went home on a bike, it was buzzing with noise and laughter coming from the bars and restaurants. When we arrived, it was closed, so we had a beer in a place on the opposite side of the road until it opened. We had a few beers there before scuttling back to 101/1.

Places to go in Bangkok
ศาสตร์ สุรา. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

October

I went to the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre to attend an art exhibition called Imaginarium by Oleg Shuplyak. His paintings are fabulous – paintings within paintings. What looks like an eye or a mouth turns out to be a bird or a house or a person! It’s just fabulous!

Things to do in Bangkok
Imaginarium by Oleg Shuplyak

November

Although I had a regular teaching job at AUA, I sometimes got extra classes and I had been going to Nestle for a few months. November was the time when I had to say goodbye to my students at Nestle. I loved going there twice a week and teaching them English. It was such a pleasure to help them learn the language and I was genuinely sad when I had to leave them.

Things to do in Bangkok
Teaching English @ Nestle. Photo Credit: Soraya Boonsangsawang

Chris and I took several trips around the city to revisit them one last time together. We took a trip to Banglamphu by boat on the Saen Saeb Canal..

Places to go in Bangkok
Canal trip along the Saen Saeb Canal. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

We went to Santi, an Indian restaurant on Soi Rambuttri..

Places to go in Bangkok
Santi Indian Restaurant. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

We had drinks at Korbua – a lovely little canal-side restaurant which I’d found a few weeks earlier..

Places to go in Bangkok
Korbua

A wander round the streets of Banglamphu trying to locate a Buddha statue..

Places to go in Bangkok
Searching for the Buddha

A quick beer in Phra Nakhon Bar & Gallery with some cool views..

Places to go in Bangkok
Phra Nakhon Bar & Gallery with views of Wat Saket

And ended the day in Superflow on Khao San Road. We had such a fabulous day together and we walked over 17,000 steps revisiting some of our favourite places and going to some new ones too.

Places to go in Bangkok
Superflow. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

December

This was the month I left Bangkok for good. Although I was sad to be leaving, I was determined there would be no tears and that my last month would be full of laughter and joy. I had a leaving do with work at Monsoon. When the time came, it was horrible to say goodbye to the people who were my colleagues but had also become my friends.

Places to go In Bangkok
Work leaving do @ Monsoon

We went to Silom Soi 4 for one last time. There are lots of gay bars and clubs in Silom, but our favourites were Balcony, Telephone and Stranger. Over the years, we had many a funny and drunken night in all 3 places.

I said goodbye (again) to Patrick and Andrew, my friends at Devilish.

And final goodbyes (several times over) with my Chris…Back at Zinc 101, much to the surprise of Furn, one of the staff we had befriended. We had told her a couple of times that we wouldn’t be back, but we had to – just one last time.

Places to go in Bangkok
Chris, Furn & Me @ Zinc 101 – one last time. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

The final farewell was the day before I left and it was the one I was dreading the most – saying goodbye to Chris. We spent as much time as possible together as my departure day grew nearer. I had butterflies in my tummy for weeks before, and as the time went on those butterflies turned to a feeling of dread – dread that I was leaving Bangkok and everything I love about the place, and dread because I would be leaving my friend – I (we) felt sick! I went round to Chris’ house and we managed not to cry. Instead we laughed and joked as usual and he presented me with a parting gift. A cocktail shaker, in memory of the hundreds of drinks that we had enjoyed at this house, a box full of little mementos of our times together, and a card with a few heartfelt words.

Memories
Our last day together. Photo Credit: Chris Wotton

It was heartbreaking to leave Bangkok and I still think about it and miss it every single day. Even now, some days I wonder why I left, but I hope to return there for a holiday at some point. In any case, I am on a new journey and who knows where I will end up!

I spent the last few days of 2018 in my second favourite country – Sri Lanka. Back in Hikkaduwa, I met up with friends, ate delicious Sri Lankan curry, and explored some more.

Places to go in Sri Lanka
Hikkaduwa – a wonderful place to do whatever you want

Writing this has put me in a melancholic mood, but I wouldn’t be without these fabulous memories. 2018 was a blast and I am grateful and happy that I got to share these wonderful times with all the incredible people that I have in my life!

8 Replies to “Tales of 2018”

  1. It is lovely to have such wonderful memories, and think back, relive them and smile. I’m sure you still keep in contact with some of your friends in Thailand. New things come and it will be exciting again. Thanks for going down memory lane., enjoyed the year with you!

    1. I agree! I was smiling and feeling sad at the same time. My best friend Chris who features a lot in my life, now lives in Rotterdam, so I still get to see him, just not as often as before. Yes, new paths are exciting! Oh my pleasure, thank you!

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