One Day in Bangkok

Another article in our OBT series. The next stop on our roving retirement was Bangkok Thailand. We had about 24 hours in Bangkok, including sleeping, and we sure got a lot done. After our Southeast Asia tour, we have another two days in Bangkok to see anything we might have missed.

We have been on the road for a month and I really needed some personal grooming, in this case, I needed to get my nails done. So, from Japan, I found a place near our hotel in Bangkok and made an appointment for the afternoon we arrived. We walked to the nail place and back and even had lunch before it was time to meet our group for the 18-day tour we were starting.

Getting my nails done, priorities

Impressions of Bangkok

Driving into Bangkok from the airport, we saw the king’s picture everywhere. On the sides of buildings and in front of most businesses, they looked like shrines set up with flowers and yellow and white bunting. We asked our guide about it and she said it was the king’s birthday, that is why the entire country seems to be decorated. On the downside, we didn’t get to go to the Royal Palace as planned (being closed for official functions) and we’ll have to do it when we return to Bangkok.

Picture of the king

Starting Our First Tour

There are 9 other people on the tour and it turns out to be a great group. Best of all, everyone is on time, quite unusual for a group tour.

Our tour got off to a busy start at 8 am with a long-tail boat tour of the old Bangkok city canals. The weather was very pleasant and the homes on the canals were super interesting. We also saw small shrines everywhere because most people are Buddhist and have been living on the canals for hundreds of years. As we slowly motored, all of the people waved and smiled at us and it occurred to me the people looked very happy. We also saw lots of dead fish floating in the river, several monitor lizards swimming in the river and people fishing, for live fish, in the river. I won’t be eating any river fish here.

The First of Many Temples

Our boat dropped us off at Wat Arun, a temple where some of the Lord Buddha’s ashes are interred. The stupa was decorated with broken porcelain, which was a gift from the Chinese that broke in transit. The Siamese so admired the porcelain that they used it for the temple anyway. There was a monk chanting and offering lucky strings to all of us. I must say the worst part of the entire trip so far was kneeling on my knees to get the string tied on my wrist. But, I’m glad I did.

Blessed by a monk for good luck on our trip

We then went to see a giant golden Buddha in another temple, it was really a startling sight. Each of us got to ring a huge bell 3 times for luck and good fortune in business.

We Were Off to Chiang Mai

We then headed to the airport for our flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Since this tour involves a lot of flying, which is much better than super long bus rides, we have resigned ourselves to lots of waiting in airports. One interesting thing about the Chiang Mai airport was the golf course right next to the runway. By that, I mean between the runway and the taxiway. The people playing even had golf carts. Once we arrived in Chiang Mai, we settled in quickly, dropped off our laundry across the street, $1 per kilo, and met the group for dinner at a karaoke bar cum restaurant. That was a very busy first day on tour.

What would you like to see in Bangkok?

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  1. You are bringing back great memories of our time in Bangkok! When you return, try to fit in a massage! Only $9/hour next to our hotel. I didn’t let them walk on my back, but some people did.

  2. Do not miss the royal palace. It will blow you away. Sorry you didn’t have more time in Bangkock. you missed a lot.

  3. We are actually back in Bangkok right now and we went to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho today.

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