Back at my blog! 😀. Dave and I are currently in Dubai, waiting for our flight to Bangkok! We are headed to Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. We’ve been planning this trip for about a year – worked with a company called Trails of Indochina. These people help you plan a trip to SE Asia – a trip that will work just for you. We’re partnering with John and Laurie and Martha and Doug, folks we have explored the world with on other trips! We think it’s going to be awesome! Lots of great foodie tours. (You can see where my mind goes). Lots of Buddha’s. Interesting hill tribes and colorful markets! Beautiful people. Should be really fun as well as as informative!
The other four flew west via California. We flew east on Emirates Air through Dubai. I sat next to a wonderful young woman. She is a Harvard graduate student in the department of public health. She was traveling to Uganda, by herself, for a month of work studying maternal prenatal care. Her job was going to be researching why the moms died giving birth and how these deaths were reported. She’s trying to decide if it makes sense to go to medical school for eight years – knowing she would get better jobs and perhaps have a more interesting career . . That would be on top of her masters degree in public health. We really enjoyed meeting her . . She had been told to just stick to her little town and not go traveling around by herself She had decided not to drink at all – or to stray far from the hostel where she’ll be staying . . .
So we’re currently in the airport waiting for our flight to Bangkok. This airport is amazing! Very modern and full of glitter and glitz! One practically needs sunglasses just to traverse the corridors! It was fun watching the city appear as we flew in to Dubai. This city is third in the world for sheer number of skyscrapers! Who knew! :-). Our seats weren’t overly huge on this flight – but the service and food was excellent! 12 hours in the air – felt not so bad! Apparently it’s mid 80’s and cloudy in Bangkok with temps climbing! Yikes!
Our second flight was only six hours . . Another dinner at midnight and several movies and we had landed. This plane was huge! As in 600 people! Double decker and 10 seats across each row! Crazy. I’ve never been in such a huge plane! The landing was super smooth and since we’re senior citizens, we got selected for priority immigration! (John and Laurie had waited 45 minutes in line the day before . . ). Good to get some perks from looking old! :-). Our contact was waiting for us. .and we were off to our hotel. It was now 8:30 AM. We completely lost one entire day . . . So we joined the others for breakfast in the hotel and made a plan for the day.
It was overcast but very humid and 80 degrees. As in very hot and sticky! We couldn’t get into our hotel room so we spent our third day in the same clothes. Yuck! Martha has done lots of studying up and so she had a pretty good plan for our “free” day! We spent some time early on getting ourselves oriented with help from these really special Thai young women who work at the hotel. They straightened us out about public transportation (we hate taking taxis if there is any other way to get around). This one woman fixed our phones up so that we could get internet anywhere we went in Bangkok! We have turned off our data and we decided not to buy SIM cards here . . Apparently, the hotel has this service they provide to their guests! Pretty sweet!
We headed first to the train station, where we bought a train pass for the day. They are very proud of their accomplishments to upgrade services here in Bangkok! First stop was to visit the Jim Thompson House. So this guy was an American who served in this area during World War 2, then visited Thailand and fell in love with the country and its people He decided to live here and he is credited with the revitalization of the silk industry. He vanished at the age of 61 and his houses have been open to the public for many years They are constructed of teak wood and filled with beautiful art works He also loved gardening and the grounds are stunning!
Then – after a bite to eat, we decided to take the canal boats and explore the life that happens along the canals Dave and I split an entry for lunch and we asked for medium spice . . Big mistake! My lips and throat were burning for a good hour! Lesson learned . . . We loved the canal ride – flowers and laundry and shacky tenement style living – mixed in with little places to eat and drink Just a cross section of life! The pictures will tell the story . . .
By now, Dave and I were getting tired No sleep since our first flight and we had been walking and walking . . . Five miles for the day . . . We decided to take a river boat home . . Tons of boats on the river Tons of boats on the canal! Fun way to transport ourselves around this city. 🙂
I must tell you a little about the city! First of all, crossing the streets is darn dangerous! There are few traffic lights and seemingly no walking lights! Tons of traffic. As in cars and buses and tuk tuks and millions of motorbikes! You take your life in your hands just to cross the street! You start out, and then give the cars the straight arm look and hope for the best! 🙂 There are little steeet vendors here and there and lots of little speciality shops! Just people doing the best they can to make a living. The smells along the street are pungent . . Making me wonder what it’s like here in the summer when it’s very hot and humid . . .
More to write but I am done for the day . . . 🙁 Tomorrow we have a guide and we’ll tour the important sites Also going out to Chinatown for dinner Supposed to be very special . . .