Photos: Bangkok - our first brief exposure
We have arrived in Bangkok; we are only here for a day so we knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time in this sprawling city. Our first impression of Bangkok was that it appeared to be a much larger city than some of the very big cities in China that we had visited. But we were wrong, only 6 million in Bangkok out of the 60 million population in the country; it was the traffic and people congestion that gave the false impression.
Our hotel is right beside the Palace on a small nondescript lane.
John finishing his breakfast.
We would never have found this place on our own, there are small lanes all along Maha Rat Road.
The owner cannot call it a hotel; just a home with five rooms…old Bangkok rules. It is a little gem in the midst of old Bangkok, he redid his grandmother’s house last year, teak walls and floors and very large rooms with five star amenities. A few owners of these old homes are converting them to boutique hotels.
Our first stop had to be an optical shop as John destroyed the frames of his glasses when leaving the boat. We took the Chao Phraya River boat, with
stops at various landings all along the river. The river connects you with the Sky Train System and Metro Subway as well as the various districts in Bangkok. The ferry boat was very, very, crowded and people were standing on the stairs – well anywhere they could, the attendant on the boat kept on yelling at everyone to move to towards the bow of the boat and I swear if he had a crop he would have used it. We are still not sure if the angry face is just to get people to move or it was the real thing.
When we took the boat that night, we had a very different experience, much more mellow! They have tuk tuks in Bangkok which is a great way to get through the impassable traffic congestion from the boat landing to the optical shop, we just showed the driver the address where we wanted to go and off we went.
A view of modern Bangkok
This is reminiscent of Vietnam ….but instead of parked motor bikes totally filling the sidewalks, here there are stalls selling everything from small writings of Buddha to fried bananas. They sell them on the streets: when the lights change to red, the banana sellers go from car to car with a plastic bag of fried bananas.
Our time was getting away from us, John now had replacement frames for his glasses but we didn’t have enough time to visit any sites……… so we decided to take a side “tour” of Istanbul, London, Rome, and San Francisco. We took the Sky Train with a connection between lines to a unique Shopping Centre, Interchange 21; each floor featured a city with stores that sold goods from that city. This seemed to be the best way to spend a couple of hours out of the heat as we were still suffering with a nasty flu bug picked up in Penang.
First stop San Francisco, lots of sea food restaurants.
…and the Golden Gate Bridge in the heart of Bangkok!
Seeing these lights brought back memories of the Grand Bazaar indoor market in Istanbul.
John with his new glasses and a new Turkish friend.
We really wished we were in London to get away from the heat……well maybe not really…because we know the cold of winter will be approaching that region of the globe.
It took a lot of convincing to stop John from buying this Carnaby Leisure Suit!!!
Back, by river, to our “not hotel” >> we need a good night’s sleep as we will be travelling most of the tomorrow.
The Pagodas look so different from the river at night; we knew this was but a small preview of what we would have in store by way of temples and pagadas.
Next stop > Myanmar.