Bangkok – Day One

Thanks for coming along on my newest adventure!  I’m so excited to be spending a month exploring Thailand!

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My 747 from Detroit to Seoul, unfortunately I spent the 13 hours downstairs, in cattle class

I slept through half of it, but was pleasantly surprised at the movie selection when I was awake, and the view wasn’t bad either:

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First sunrise of the new year, over Siberia

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It seemed endless, even from the plane

Even after spending 24 hours in transit, with a 12 hour time change, plus a hotel room with broken air conditioning overlooking (and overhearing) an elevated highway, I still had the energy for a long, busy day. In the morning, I took the ferry up the river to the Wat Po, home of the reclining Buddha, and the Grand Palace.  At the entrance was this sign:

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Who would put buddha on a dog bed anyway?!

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The Golden Buddha himself, or at least his head

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All 150 feet of him! (Except actually his feet, which are under renovation)

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Every single surface is so incredibly detailed, and in his reflection, the entire place glows gold

Leaning Temple Column

Close up of one of his columns

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Part of his pedestal

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Wat Po courtyard

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So glad I’m not in charge of the Windex!

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Many buddhas of Wat Po

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Gateway at Wat Po

After Wat Po I stopped to grab some breakfast.  I considered some of the delicious fruit on offer:

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Rose apples

But decided I needed some protein

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Plus, with this little boy cooking, how could I resist?

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Quail eggs served with soy sauce over shredded cabbage.

 

The Grand Palace might have been the most crowded place I’ve ever been.  I’m talking worse than Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve crowded.  Lift you off your feet crowded.  And it was 90+ degrees, in the blazing sun.  It’s my own fault for going on a Saturday, but wow!

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Elephant at the Grand Palace, Thai people rub their heads for good luck

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More of the Grand Palace

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Like how my the palace matches my borrowed skirt?

One of my favorite parts of the Grand Palace was the textile museum, which had a collection of the outfits worn by the Queen over the years, as well as information about traditional Thai silks and patterns.  There was even a movie of the various lengths of silk being wrapped around a figure so you could see how they are worn.  Besides the fabrics being intricate, the folds themselves are really complicated.  Unfortunately no cameras were allowed except in this demonstration area:

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A woman was hand weaving this silk shawl

Afterward the Grand Palace I went wandering…

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A “cider” and condensed milk drink, with a really nice contrast between the two

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A woman making a “rainbow” crepe.  I’ve never seen one before, or a squeeze bottle with three openings…

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You can buy almost anything on a stick

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Weirdly, there are 7-11s everywhere, although they don’t carry the same stuff as ours at home…

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Like fish flavored taro snacks inside, which are right next to the seaweed chips, neither of which I’ve ever seen at “Ghetto Sevs” 🙂

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Noodles for days

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Dried fish flavored with sesame, they’re actually pretty good!

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I couldn’t figure out what these little yellow fruits being sold in the markets were until I stumbled onto an old man in an alley who was cleaning them.  They’re baby pineapples, about the size of an apple.

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There are cats everywhere.  (And yet still a surprising number of rats!)

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Requisite arty picture

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Sunset over the Dawn Temple

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Banana-leaf wrapped sweet sticky rice with banana and peanuts, delicious!

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Color coordinated cash run.  Even monks need money.

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Flowers for sale in the flower market.  Before

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And after

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They’re bought for all sorts of reasons, many religious

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The arrangements are really labor intensive

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Boxes outside the market

I finally caught a cab back to my hotel, where I picked up my bags, and moved to a hostel where I checked into a women’s dorm.

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That’s my bed, one of the 8 in the room

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The hostel has a hip, modern industrial feel

There is a bar downstairs with outdoor seating, a laundry facility, and a “media room,” all for about $12 a night.  After getting settled in, I headed to a seafood restaurant nearby for dinner.  It was one of the first places I’d been all day that actually had a door.

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I had fresh water prawns with glass noodles in a hot pot and they were so good I considered a second order

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And, after a long hot day, a much needed beer to wash it all down

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Tuk tuk outside of Grand Temple at night

(I actually walked home, but tuk tuks are just so cute!)

6 comments

  1. mom · January 4, 2016

    loved the photos- can’t wait for more- just missed seeing the crowds at the palace after your description

    Like

  2. Sharon · January 5, 2016

    Beautiful! Keep sending food pictures.

    Like

  3. Dana Choi · January 5, 2016

    Amazing photos and professional postings!! I’m so excited to see the next one!😊😘❤️

    Dana,
    From upper bed🛌

    Like

  4. Kathleen · January 5, 2016

    This is great! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for your fun adventure!!

    Like

  5. ❤️🐘Cathy❤️🐘 · January 5, 2016

    Such Great pics & stories!! I say No to 7-11… Yes to all the fruits especially those cute baby pineapples!!! Can’t wait to see what day 2 will bring!!! 😘❌⭕️🐘🐘🐘🐘❌⭕️❤️

    Like

  6. Tom · January 6, 2016

    Such detail and color in the photos. Why is everything around here so brown and drab green…
    Good luck on your month of venture!
    Uncle Tom

    Like

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