We got to fly Thai Airlines on the 4 ½ hour trip to Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. They didn’t have flat beds on this flight, so I didn’t get much sleep. We had dinner on the plane and it was very good. I think I might like Thai food. We landed close to midnight, and the airport was very crowded for so late! There were long lines of people everywhere. It was nice to finally get through passport control, pick up our suitcases and get to the car the hotel sent for us.
WOW! It sure is hot here. It’s just after midnight and it’s over 90 degrees! We still had on warm clothes from Tokyo and Taipei, so we were not dressed for steamy Bangkok. Fortunately, the driver turns up the air conditioning. I’m just happy it’s not raining.
We arrive at the hotel at 1 in the morning. The hotel staff is very nice. Everyone bows to you with their hands pressed together below their chin in what we would think of as a prayer position. Aunt Colleen says we don’t have to do the same, just smile and say thank you to everyone. The room was very pretty. The housekeeping staff even put fresh orchids on our pillows. They smell very nice. I was happy to crawl into bed and go to sleep. Good night!
Breakfast the next morning was very good. I especially love the fruit they have in Thailand. My favorites are the dragon fruit and the rose apples. Dragon fruit is white with black specks and it is very sweet. Rose apples are not really apples, but they smell a bit like roses, which is how they got their name. The bananas are also only 3 inches long! They are very sweet and tasty.
Here is a picture of me on the sofa in the living room off the bedroom, where I had breakfast. The red fruit on the left is a dragon fruit, the long dark red one next to it is the rose apple, and the mini bananas are next to that. On the far right is a honey tangerine. Yummy!
After breakfast we had to wait in the lobby for a while – there were security people all over the place, and they wouldn’t let us leave. All of a sudden there was a big motorcade of police motorcycles escorting a large, black car and three vans. The vans stop and all these men in dark suits emerge. Then a man wearing some sort of traditional Asian dress got out of the black car, and surrounded by all these people, he walked into the hotel. All the staff from behind the desks were lined up and bowed as he walked by. The doorman told us the gentleman was the President of the Senate of Laos – a country on the northern border of Thailand. This is a very important man in his country.
We finally walked to our meeting with the news agency in Bangkok. The streets are all torn up – there is construction everywhere, which makes it difficult to walk without tripping on something. Everyone rushes here and there, and there are lots of bicycles. I thought Taipei smelled funny, but it was nothing compared to Bangkok. Whew! On all the sidewalks, there are food stalls with people selling barbecued meat on a stick, fresh fruit, and something like a doughnut, but not quite. I have no idea what it was, but Aunt Colleen said it wasn’t safe to try anything, so I never got to find out.
After a few hours of boring business meetings, I was happy to walk to a local Thai restaurant for lunch. We had Pad Thai, which are tasty noodles with vegetables. It was very good – I like noodles! For dessert, we had a local specialty – custard apple ice cream. I really liked that, and it felt good to have something cold. It really is hot here. Finally, the meetings are finally done. Yay! We walk back to the hotel, dodging people, dogs, and construction debris. I think it’s even hotter than it was earlier.
It’s time for dinner, and Aunt Colleen decides to stay in the hotel and visit the spa. Michael and Scott decide they want to do a Boys Night Out on a river dinner cruise, and they took me along with them. It was my first time on a Thai river boat, and it was fun. The boat we were on had many carved wood screens and tables. The canopy over the boat was of carved wood too. As it got darker, the lights from the boats and the buildings danced on the river water. It was cooler, and we had a very good time.
All the other boats we saw were decorated in pretty lights, and one said “Long Live our Beloved King”. The King of Thailand’s picture is on many billboards, building signs along the river, and there are banners and signs congratulating the King on his recent birthday. They really love their King in Thailand. I think that is nice.
Time for bed now – it’s been another busy day.
We enjoy another yummy breakfast of fruit and rolls with jam. Now we get to go shopping for an hour before we have to get back to the airport. We take the Skytrain to a special store where they sell local Thai handicrafts. The Skytrain is a train that runs above the city on a monorail, and it’s completely electric. We climb up a whole lot of stairs to reach the train. It’s interesting, looking over the city like this. I see more big pictures of the King on buildings with the pretty writing they use in Thailand. He really is everywhere!
We’re at the special shop, and Aunt Colleen, Scott and Michael buy all their presents for the people who work for them, as well as their friends and families. Oops – we’re almost late for our flight! We take a taxi back to the hotel, and the taxi drivers here drive like crazy men! Whew – we made it safely, and have to run up to our rooms to get our luggage. The same car is taking us back to the airport as brought us here two nights ago. I’m sad to leave Thailand – I like this country.
Now we’re in the Bangkok airport, and we’re on our way to the airline lounge. Scott decides he wants more of that custard apple ice cream we had yesterday, and we’re happy to find a stand that sells it. I decided to have dragon fruit ice cream this time, and I think I like it just as well.
On our way to the gate, we see a neat series of statues in an exhibit of Thai art. Aunt Colleen wanted to take a picture of me in front of the purple God of the Ocean, but Scott and Michael both argued that the three-headed dragon was better. That’s good, because I really like the dragons best.
Michael took this picture of me. Check out the funny hats the statues are wearing. They’re traditional for Thai ceremonies and dances. They really like gold here – everything is painted with it, it seems.
Time to get on our plane for the next country. This is such a fun trip.