After 24+ amazing hours in transit, I finally stumbled off the plane in Bangkok at about midnight last night. It is very sprawling and sticky here, and most everything is a study in contrasts - from old style Thai teak buildings slammed up against modern apartment complexs, to the 7 children jammed in the back of a pick up truck riding down the highway past the two-story Porche dealership.
I’m on a program, so this morning we took our tour bus to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha. It was dazzling - sensory overload and a lot of sparkly bits of glass and gold covering huge structures that our tour guide described as “an upside down ice cream cone.” The guide was pretty awesome - he had heavy accent and later claimed to have learned English off Sesame Street.
I’m writing this from an internet cafe a few blocks from my hotel. It’s actually air conditioned and connection is not so bad. On the health front, the tummy is doing well, and the jet lag is not too terrible. However, we’ve only been eating hotel food, so who’s to really say. The hotel food isn’t bad, but I’m hoping for something more authentic soon. The fruit here is great - wonderful pineapple and dragonfruit that actually has some decent flavor (like mild kiwi). Sadly a lot of it isn’t in season until later in the year. Before I left my dad gave me this brochure on the “Fruit of Thailand” which is pretty hilarious, but useful too. I would love some good pummelo and/or fresh coconut.
Tonight I’m going on a dinner cruise along the river, and a visit to Jim Thompson’s house tomorrow. After that we’re leaving Bangkok for Chiang Mai overnight. I’m kind of excited to get back on the good ol’ sleeper trains - I assume it will be similar to trains in China. But on the flipside we’ve hardly seen Bangkok. Everything is such an overload the first few days anyway.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again - I’ll probably be out of contact a lot in Chiang Mai. I’ll try to see if I can get photos up too, depending on how things go. This trip is definately more technologically advanced than my last one. Internet in China is spotty, but hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up.