“Last Post Explained” or,
“Here Are Lots of Pictures” or, in any case,
“Parti di’Un Viaggio: Bangkok”.
Okay, so I didn’t know what to expect from Thailand, other than everyone I knew who had gone had loved it. And let me also preface by saying that living in a place and visiting a place are two very different experiences. Keep in mind that I have been trying my best to be as respectful of Korean culture as possible for the six months leading up to our trip when I was suddenly dropped into a major city where I didn’t even know how to say “thank you” in the local language.
We started out
by searching for and failing to find a proper Lunar New Year celebration. We did, however, find Chinatown, and had ourselves a lovely street meal of giant prawns, grilled fish, and other delights. And thanks to Andrew and his proficiency in Mandarin, our server seemed to like us. I believe John and Andrew were also wearing bow ties, which may have affected any of the above events.
We discovered that Andrew had a connection in Pattaya, the infamous epicenter of Thai sex tourism. John and I had never heard of it, let alone thought of visiting it, but plans to make a detour soon evolved (When would we again have the chance to be escorted around Pattaya by an expat in-the-know?). Before high-tailing it out of Bangkok, we got drinks at Vertigo at the Banyan Tree. Vertigo is a restaurant on top of a skyscraper and is quite breathtaking. My experience was a little soured by having to borrow weird clogs from the Maitre d’, but the view was spactacular and the air was cool and refreshing. Here are a few pics I found online:
I totally tripped up those cliff-hanging stairs in those damned clogs. Why exactly did I opt not to bring the tiny black dress and heels?
We also rode up and down Chao Phraya, the river running through Bangkok. I’m not sure how to pronounce that–don’t ask me about the Romanization of the Thai language–I think it is said CHOW PREE-yah. Or CHOW PRI-yah. But Thai is also tonal, so I’m not sure about the tones one should use. Anyway, Bangkok is (or was) the Venice of Asia, and I could have spent a lot more time exploring the canals. We only had time to run up and down the river on a cheap river taxi, talking and observing the different wats (temples).
We got out at a sort of secluded temple and the boys played chess in the yard.
Next in a series: Chiang Mai.