Last time I went to Thailand, there’d been something of a misunderstanding about accommodation, and my friend and I ended up in a dive on Khao San Road. In a grim room with stained mattresses and peeling paint, the thud of beats from the disco made everything vibrate gently. Stalls outside offered fake IDs, tatty souvenirs and novelty edible insects. I’m not averse to eating crickets, but these ones needed embalming fluid, not cooking oil.
So we took a tuk-tuk across town to the Grand Palace, just seeking a break from sunburned students in short shorts drawling about full-moon parties. Instead, what happened next was one of the highlights of the trip. In a courtyard, past the gold domes, the jewel-encrusted statues and the emerald Buddha, we stumbled across the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.