Sunday, December 6, 2009

Terrific Thailand

I am so thankful of the opportunities that are afforded to us to travel to different parts of world, using Dubai as a jumping off point. A combination of proximity and government sanctioned holidays gives us some really great chances to see this part of the world. Last week we spent an extraordinary 5 days in Thailand thanks to the UAE National Day and the Eid Al Adha holidays.

We stayed in Bangkok and used it has a jumping off point to take in a few day trips as well. One of the best word to describe Bangkok is ‘alive’. From the moment you touch down you can feel the sense of energy and the hustle bustle that keeps the city going. The people are fantastic, for the most part they are happy and welcoming and willing to lend a hand.

We encountered our fair share of con artists but even they are more cunning than malicious and have a good sense of humor. As soon as they know they can’t put a fast one on you they smile and commend you on your smarts! The pace in the city is frantic and was shockingly not touristy. With the BKK airport take over last year and the downturn in the economy their tourism industry has been hit pretty hard.

In our four full days we took the time to see everything we could! Just a few of the things we did: the sights of the old city, lots of markets and yummy street food, traveled to the Khao Yai National Park, attended a Thai kick boxing match, and visit the floating markets.

The experience was fantastic! And we actually found a place that is hotter than Dubai this time of year which I thought was impossible!
These hats were awesome! They are fitted straw inside just like the old Chinese finger traps. They are comfortable and really good in the glaring Thai sun. The ox cart ride helps support local farmers.
The beautiful Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn, it sits right on the river and has a great view. The entire outside of the temple is decorated with broken pieces of Chinese porcelain. The Chinese ships used to use it as ballast and would dump at the port in Bangkok. The effect is stunning!The Wat Arun at night

The night market at Patpong, aka the red light district

Teak is plentiful in Thailand and the artisans are amazing. They have pieces that are commissioned from all over the world. This was was particularly stunning.
The champ! This guy was the winner of the main event (120lbs). I didn't plan for him to throw his arm around me...and my whole arm ended up covered in sweat and Vaseline...authentic! Matt wants to do a more detailed post on our 'fight night' so I'll save the details for him.

We took a night cruise on the river Chao Phraya it was a great way to see the city shimmering at night.

The Wat Po, or Temple of the Reclining Buddha, it was HUGE! This was our attempt to try to get a picture of the whole thing.

Working the quads at the Grand Palace.

The detail on the Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Standing in front of the floating markets, you'll never think of a traffic jam quite the same way.

Matt's in the driver's seat! One of the highlights of our trip with our friend Cherry. She was a beauty and was handsomely rewarded by Matt with 2 bushels of bananas that he bought. She ate about 20 of them in 2 bites.

These guys look pretty mad to be at the market

The fruit in Thailand is amazing! I got a little over indulgent in Chinatown by washing down my watermelon with fresh squeezed orange juice.

We hiked to a waterfall in the Khao Yai National Park. It was great to some scenery outside of Bangkok, it was so lush.

Having dinner on the 64th floor of The Dome building. The view was fantastic and of course it was packed to watch the sunset. It was pretty windy up there in case my hair do didn't tip you off.

1 comment:

udjim said...

Once again, thanks for taking us along on the ride! I have to wonder if it was Martha Stewart who gave the Thais the idea of covering the outside of their temple with pieces of chinese porcelain.

One more technical question - how did Cherry peel those 20 lbs of bananas, or was that part of Matt's job, too?