Flowers, Papaya Salad, Royal Barges, Wats

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
Trip End Mar 09, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  , Kanto,
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Even in the middle of the night the Bangkok International Airport is busy. By 1:00 a.m. this morning we had our luggage, met our tour leader Otto and found Connie who had traveled from Kentucky, and were speeding along the expressway to the Pantip Suites Sathorn. We each truly have a suite with living room, dining room, kitchen in addition to the widest king-size bed I've ever seen. Traffic is a challenge as the road in front of the hotel is being rebuilt to repair 2010 flood damage. Walking to the 7-11 two blocks away when sharing a narrow strip of road with motorcycles going both directions is a tourist challenge.

The wholesale Flower Market at Pakklong Talad was immense, small stands specializing in a type of flower or handcrafting decorations or artistic displays. I bought a bunch of red rose buds -- maybe two dozen wrapped in paper --for 30 baht ($1). Marigold chains are often hung on spirit houses and for decoration everywhere.

Lunch was a buffet selection served on a river barge in the old part of the city. A first taste of Thai papaya salad and coconut dumplings, excellent stir fries and mee soup. We skipped the spaghetti and chicken a'la king section of the buffet.

We departed the restaurant via motor boat and stopped first at the Royal Barge National Museum. Beautifully decorated barges -- search Google images to see.

Then off for a long boat ride down the river and klongs, the highways of old Bangkok, thru residential areas with wooden houses on stilts, teak mansions, Buddhist wats and temples. The final stop of the trip was at the Temple of the Dawn -- Wat Arun.
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