Wednesday, August 5, 2015


My birthday was in July, right when T had a two week training in Thailand. It's just a short and direct flight to Bangkok, and I had some time off, so I decided to join for a week and explore the city. I had been there once before way back in 2003, and wanted to see a few new things. Because it was the rainy season and so hot, I didn't end up doing that much, but I did visit a few beautiful sites around Bangkok. [Photo heavy entry!]

Hot pink tuk tuk is a quick and easy way to get around town
Shawls, sarongs and cotton Aladdin pants
Meat on a stick!
Seafood on a stick!
Fruit markets
I guess they got tired of tourists taking the wrong boat

Wat Pho
First up was Wat Pho, a beautiful expansive compound with the famous Reclining Buddha. I had been there before, but didn't wander the whole site, so I spent this trip walking around a bit more (though I did of course visit the 46 meter-long Reclining Buddha!).
Reclining Buddha, peaking through the beams
The Reclining Buddha, 46 meters long
The story of Buddha, painted on the walls at Wat Pho
Gold leaves decorate a Buddha
Details at Wat Pho
A Buddha waits to be covered in gold
Gold hair
Details at Wat Pho
China Town
I was looking for something to do on my last day, and of course, why not go check out fabric stores!?! I found China World in China Town, a giant, sprawling, 5-story fabric store where everything was the same. I didn't find anything I like, but I did have a great day walking the neighborhood. (Oh, and as I walked around China World, I really thought the vendors language sounded familiar. Wait, are they speaking Nepali?? So I turned to one and asked him about some fabric (in Nepali) - his response was classic. Confused, but also jumped right to answering because he understood, and then realized a white lady in Thailand was speaking Nepali...Word quickly spread around the entire mall, and I was greeted with Namastes everywhere I went).
Steaming baskets for sale
Sauce anyone?
Shrimp galore. Oh, the smell...ugh!
Bang Krachao
Right smack in the middle of Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River makes an almost-oxbow as it twist in on itself in the city. The area of land that almost forms an island is called Bang Krachao, a green oasis of thick jungle vines, and stunning views of the city across the river. Strict rules about development have kept this part of the city pristine, and an amazing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. We took a taxi to the Khlong Toei pier, down an unassuming alleyway to the water. It was 5 THB to cross the river to Bang Krachao, where we rented bikes for the whole day for just $3 (they were a little rickety, but worked). The Sri Nakhon park is a short ride away, and fun to explore. I found a pulley bridge to cross the marshy waters and dragged myself across (later, when we returned, the tide had gone down and the bridge was beached on the other side, so we had to find another way around).

The most exciting part of the "island" was the crazy, seemingly random network of elevated sidewalks in the jungle. The entire area is marshy and floods, so everything is build on stilts. These elevated pathways snaked around the area, with "driveways" into the homes of residents. Careful to not fall off, it's 6 feet down to a swamp!
A pulley bridge across a small river.
The elevated pathways wandered throughout Bang Krachao, and made for fun exploring on bikes.

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