More than one night in Bangkok

Trip Start Jun 25, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2007

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

He Said:

A short flight from Langkawi brought us to the Thai capital of Bangkok. Forget any illusions you might have about Bangkok being exotic and mysterious. Maybe it once was, but now is very much a pulsing, sprawling, modern metropolis, complete with mass transit, skyscrapers, elevated super freeways, trendy malls and probably the most modern and architecturally interesting airport I've ever seen. The city has everything you'd expect in a cosmopolitan hub, and we immediately felt right at home.

My parents arrived looking amazingly chipper after almost a full 24-hour day of sitting on airplanes. Checked into the incredible Millennium Hilton, which has turned out to be one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in and is certainly a giant step up from the budget guesthouses we've been occupying for the last eight months.

In Bangkok we occupied ourselves sightseeing, shopping and catching up with my parents. Between all the conversation, we filled our days seeing amazing places like the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the interesting traditional Thai architecture of the Jim Thompson House, the visual feast at the sprawling Chatachuk Market, wandering the ultra-modern shopping malls, walking in the green oasis of Lumpini Park, and taking advantage of the plush amenities of the Hilton. Tomorrow we head back to Singapore to spend another three days with my parents there.

She Said:

Todd and I went to Bangkok a few years ago, and I remember thinking how different and exotic it was. After traveling around a lot more, I realized how much my perspective has changed. Man... it is really modern and I struggled to figure out what I found so exotic the last time we were here. Things were clean, public transportation was efficient, and even the local market with all its smells, crowds, and sounds seemed tame compared to the frenzy of India or Cairo. Perhaps the truest test is the reaction of Todd's parents to their Bangkok experience...they didn't seem to experience a single symptom of culture shock. They have been good sports and have let us drag them all around the city!
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aurangabad on

the river . . . .
hey katie and todd, oh boy i LOVE staying at the millenium right on the chao praya river! they have the greatest buffet at night there, with all these signature chefs from all over the world. my mexican friends were in town, and we had dinner there one evening this past january, and it was one of those evenings that will last a lifetime. that pool on the 4th floor is convenient also if you want to cool off in the middle of a hot bkk day. make sure you catch the amulet market, up the river past wat pho. there is a river transit stop called tha maharat, get off there, and walk up a couple blocks, it is unlike anything else i've ever seen and is full of alleys and alleys and passages that still sell, for the most part, buddhist amulets and buddhist religious exotica and statues, small and medium and huge, at the cheapest prices in the world. the hilton's riverboat (free to guests) in point of fact goes right up there to a nearby stop. it's not maharat but it's close enough. i like taking the long-tail public boats all over the klongs and canals and just watching all the scenery. i esp. like going up the khlong bangkok noi, just across the river in thonburi. you go by all these temples, teak houses on stilts, and the farther up you go the greener the scenery. it makes one realize what a water and canal culture bkk really is (and was . . . a lot of the khlongs have been landfilled during the last century as they were breeding grounds for mosquitoes and pestilence).

sometimes i'll just get on some boat and take it to it's last stop, then get off and get on another one, and just go wherever it takes me, thereby exploring the myriad waterfront neighborhoods of bkk where you can see people living, some of them grandly, on the waterfronts. even if you get lost it is always easy to get back to the chao praya and you can take it from there to get back to the hotel.

happy trails!

gene fedorko

skulemarm1 on

Hi Todd, it's been almost a month since I've heard from you two. I'm wondering if my email was deleted or something else is up. We've so enjoyed your travel log. Hope all is well. Cindy and Mark

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