Meeting up with old friends in Bangkok

Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
Trip End Nov 28, 2011

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 We left the warm embrace of our very efficient tour company, Enchanting India and heading off to start our last leg of our Asian trip with Gate 1 Travels to spend two nights in Bangkok, two in Siem Reap and ten or so nights in Vietnam. We travelled with Gate 1 when we toured Jordan and Israel and, with some minor exceptions, found the company to be fairly efficient with good guides and hotels. However, it did not start well! We were to be picked up at the Bangkok airport but some how that fell through but fortunately they had a back up plan that did work but delayed our arrival at the hotel about one hour.

When Jacqui and I toured the Western Deserts of Egypt, we were in a tour that had only one other couple, Ivor and Sriyani from Australia. We had contacted them and asked if they were interested in any of the tours we were taking this year and they agreed to join us on this one. We met up with them when we arrived and headed out for a meal next door and a great chat. (I could not believe the cost of food in Thailand, it is even cheaper than India.)

In the morning we met our excellent tour guide for Bangkok, Oh. She was to be our guide for the missing tour of Thailand and it is a shame that we did get to enjoy her skill for the entire trip. The tour was to the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace with the attending temples is unbelievably beautiful. The place is huge and breath taking. Photographing a place of this size and splendour is very difficult to do it justice. I suspect that the ancient palaces in India probably had some of this magnificence if they had been preserved and restored. I believe the Grand Palace was built in the 17th century and had been recently restored in the 1980's.

After the tour we headed off to the gem factory. Jacqui and I rarely enjoy this places as all they attempt to do is sell, sell, sell. It was marginally interesting to see the massive rings with their gems and wonder who would wear such a thing but all-in-all not so much fun. After a rest at the hotel, the four of us headed out by subway to the night scene in Bangkok with the Lady-boy shows, the bars and night markets. We wondered around like tourists got approached several times for a 'good time' and sat and had dinner then headed back.

Bangkok is still very nervous of flooding and you can see evidence everywhere with sand bags surrounding many businesses and hotels. Areas of Bangkok and parts of country are flooded and they need to wait for the water to drain through flood control systems down the river that runs through the city. They can't release the water faster or the city (read businesses) will flood as well, so the poorer areas get it in the neck while they wait for the water to recede.
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Ivor and sriyani on

Great blog Doug great place,great guide and good food. Pity it was not a little longer in Bangkok

Jill on

Beautiful photos of the Grand Palace.

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