21.04.2008 - 27.04.2008 98 °F
I had been to Bangkok Thailand about 5 years ago and swore I would never return again unless it was only to go through the city. But when we purchased our plane tickets we were able to get cheaper air going through BKK and then come to find out our friends Tracy and Rob were planning on being there around the same time. Needless to say, we ended up spending 5 nights and 4 days in a city I had previously swore off. I must say, I rather enjoyed BKK this time around and I think our lodging had something to do with it, I'm sure the company helped as well.
Thanks to a suggestion of a friend (thank you Courtney) we found wonderful a place to stay in the hot, dirty, noisy and busy city of BKK. The Shanti Lodge was not only a wonderful oasis to return to after a day of touring but they also had amazing food. For those of you that know me and how much I love food and never miss a meal.....infact after each meal I start to look forward to the next. Well thanks to the food at the Shanti, Breezy started to get more excited about each coming up meal than I was. One of the great pleasures of traveling.....to experience different foods. Anyhow, for anyone looking for a place to stay on your next BKK visit, we strongly suggest the Shanti Lodge!
But onto our adventures in BKK. Breezy and I arrive two days before Rob and Tracy and wanted to wait and hit the hot tourist spots with them. So our first day we set aside as a day to get lost and explore the city. We managed to find a tuk tuk driver to help us with this. For those of you that do not know, a tuk tuk is a 3-wheeled vehicle with open sides that are notorious for scamming tourists into a "cheap tour" of the city. They end up taking you to a couple temples and then take you to some over priced tailors and jewelry emporiums, which in return give the drivers fuel vouchers. It is an amazingly entertwined system that we found ourselves in the middle of. Since I had been to BKK before and the whole tuk tuk scam was one of the reasons why I had no desire to return the city. But we had time to spare and the open air felt great in the 90+ heat. So we saw some of the not as well-known sites in BKK as well as two tailor shops and two jewelry emporiums. Atleast we got this BKK experience out of the way.
The next day we decided to get our of the city and took a tour of Ayuthaya. This was the Siam royal captal from 1350-1767. It was a day full of stupas, roosters, buddhas, temples and elephants. I actually got to feed some elephants, which was one of the coolest experiences so far. Its a little overwhelming with 4-6 giant worm-like things coming at you (the trunks). Very cool!
Rob and Tracy arrived that night, so we had to celebrate Bangkok style. Staying up until about 4:30am. Rob, Tracy and I actually took a 4am tuk-tuk ride. Since the jewelr4y emporiums were close at this hour we were able to just get a nice open-air tour. Then the next day we spent shopping in the markets. Tracy and I found that Rob and Breezy were more into the shopping than we were. But we all came away winners in the game of BKK shopping.
Our last full day in BKK we decided to explore the city via boat. We stopped at the famous Grand Palace to visit the Emerald Buddha and take many photos of the intricate decore of the many buildings. Photos just do not do justice to the Grand Palace, but we all tried. We then took the boat to the 2nd biggest tourist hot spot, the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) which is a 46 meter long golden buddha lying down. We finished off the day with another amazing meal at the Shanti.
The next day we said goodbye to our friends and hello to Kathmandu Nepal. We have been here for two days now and are enjoying the friendly locals and cooler weather. We set up our trek today and will leave tomorrow morning for Lukla to begin our 13 day trek in the Everest region. There won't be much for internet access on most of the trek so you won't be hearing from us for a couple weeks. But don't you worry....I'm sure we will have plenty to write about when we return
Jason and Toni