One night in Bangkok

We learned a bit about the true cost of buying a “hacker fare” on the trip from Bali to Da Nang. When we arrived at Bangkok’s Don Mueng airport, we had about an hour and a half to make our connection. But after queuing amongst a very tired Chinese tour group, we were told instead to report to immigration.

It turned out we weren’t making both legs on the same ticket, but rather we had two separate numbers. So, we had to actually land in Thailand and then re-exit.

By which time we had of course missed our flight. Some more anxiety and lines later, we found ourselves, tired, in the equally tired Amari hotel connected to the airport. We had dinner at Henry J Beans bar and grille, serenaded by a duo of local kids killing us softly with our songs. Or “kisen may sofy wisda soon” as we say in these parts.

We had a little dip in the hotel’s big pool and headed to the room. The big bed was magically soft and the A/C positively arctic, so we slept well. But we were still on our way out the door when our 4:45 wake up call rang.

A three hour tour

Bangkok has an extensive canal system, and the long tail boats or a real attraction. I would guess they are roughly 50 feet in length, and only about 4 feet across the beam. Many of them, the entire (large) diesel engine is mounted on the tiller and swings back-and-forth. There’s no rudder at all, but instead it is the propeller itself that moves in the water at an angle to the boat for steering.

The boat ride was fun, although somewhat noisy and smoky from the old engine. We saw some interesting buildings, although nothing spectacular.

After we finished the tour, it was lunch in the mall and then grab your suitcase for the flight to Nay Pyi Taw. 

Bangkok Grand Palace tour

A few more pictures from our tour of the grand Palace, which was the residence for a bunch of Thai kings, but is now mostly a tourist attraction and used for certain Royal ceremonies. The old King, who was much loved, died in December of last year. If I understand the tour guide correctly, his body is still lying in state and being visited by many thousands of people lined up all day for the chance to file by and pay their respects.

You have to take your shoes off before you are allowed to enter the chapel with the Emerald Buddha inside.

This campaign to be more respectful with the Buddha is all over the place, on billboards and bus stops and so on. 

The whole complex is a riot of color and decoration, and must be one of the most photographed spots in Thailand. It was wall-to-wall people (cheap admission on Sunday) but the etiquette and culture around giving people a clear picture was very well-developed. 

That entire dome is made up of 1 in. square tiles, applied by hand over a period of many years.

One night in Bangkok 

Made for memories including a “laugh about it later” cab ride story (the Thai pronunciation of Radisson and Renaissance is deceptively similar), Tom Yum flavor ramen, and the sharp juxtaposition of only 3 hours sleep and an absolutely wonderful bed. 

But the writing is beautiful…

One day in Bangkok gave a tour of the Grand Palace and more Tom Yum,

at the biggest mall ever, 

and — as always — a reminder that the global 1% live awesome lives. 

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