Thailand - Bangkok

Day 1, 33 degrees.
I'm here in Thailand for just over a week for a travel writers conference. It's a great opportunity to catch up with all my friends and hear what's happening in the industry.

The flight over with Thai Airlines was a good experience. The late departure, 11.59 pm, meant a night sitting up but we arrived at our destination with a full day to spend exploring the city. The plane food was plentiful and reasonable, in terms of airline nosh, and the staff helpful. Based on this experience I would say fly with them. You might think that with a bunch of travel writers on board any airline would make sure they get it right, however I can tell you from experience, particularly an overnight flight on Vietnam Airlines with a seat that didn't recline (sigh, stamp my foot), that doesn't always happen.

From the window of my room at the Centara Grand Hotel I have a magnificent view over the city including a face-to-face with Bangkok's tallest building. Yes, the skyline shows signs of pollution but there is plenty of blue sky to be seen. The city I've seen so far is clean with plenty of green around. It's warm but doesn't feel as humid as Brisbane at the same temperature.

I ventured out onto the streets to nab a couple of bargains and complete my pre-holiday glam up which started a couple of days before departure in Brisbane.

There's nothing like a massage to get you into a holiday mood and the fact that Ripple came to my home was such an extra bonus. After two hours of pampering I felt my holiday had already started.

I followed it with a spray tan at Blossom at The Barracks, Petrie Terrace, for that 'I've been on holiday' look before I left. It was another good move. Then the manicure and pedicure in Thailand - cost me all of $28 and I paid too much.

Bottom line: I'm liking it here. It's cleaner, less chaotic and more friendly than I imagined. The shops are filled with bargains and the massages are great.