Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thailand!

For our October "Golden Week" holiday in China, we decided to head south to Thailand for a visit to Bangkok & a small island called Koh Chang (link). Lucky us, my folks and sister decided to take some time off to see us (read Gus) in paradise. We sandwiched a week in Koh Chang between two weekends in Bangkok.

What better way to get accustomed then take a longtail boat tour of Bangkok...

River shack

River Apt's

Bangkok by river

...and visit a few Wats (Theravada Buddhism temples). It was wicked hot and we had to wear close toed shoes and pants while visiting the temples!

Hot

Wat Arun

First was up was Wat Arun. The steps were unbelievably steep. Hard to capture in a picture.

Wat Arun...

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

The buildings were covered with old pottery. The guide said "what China throws away, we turn into art..."
Tile Gremlin

Wat Arun Facade

We took a quick ferry across the river and checked out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace where the King or Rama IX resides. I can't remember exactly what the guide said, but the Rama is sacred in Thailand. There are signs and billboards in random places proclaiming "Long Live the King." I think the Prime Minister has almost all authority, but the Rama is definitely the leader of the country.

Peak Gremlins

Wat Pho was basically built for all the Rama's over the years.

Wat Pho dude

Different colors of the buildings reflect each Rama's color, which I think is based off of what day of the week you are born.

Wat Pho Gremlins

The tiles on these buildings were covered in PLASTIC tiles. Weird.

Tiles of Wat Pho

The reclining Buddha is the biggest in the world, 46m, and covered in gold leaf and mother of pearl on its feet.

Reclining Buddha's peral feet

Towards the end of this hot, stickey, Wat marathon, we breezed passed the Rama's crib...
Kings Palace

We were starved for some Thai food, the tour book recommended the following...
Cabbages & Condoms
It is a restaurant founded by a Thai politician, and all the proceeds go towards charitable works to fight the spread of AIDS/HIV. So, we thought we could indulge our guts and conscience.
Sea bass
I am an adventurous eater, the rest of the family, not so much. I still got them to try some different stuff, AT LEAST THEY TRIED IT!
Delicious
We were then off to Koh Chang via Bangkok airport and a puddle jumper to Trat...
Trat Plane

Trat terminal...
Terminal
...where we hitched a ferry to Koh Chang.
Old tug
(Not THAT adventurous!)

The ferry didn't take long, just enough time for a cooling beverage on the viewing deck...
Feeding^3

Welcome to Koh Chang
Nadia and I wanted a resort, my folks wanted Jurassic Park, Becky wanted a massage, so we settled on a couple huts on the beach, with a swim up bar.

We got our way...
Loungin'

Paradise

Pops & Gus

More Loungin

They got their way...
Hut

Rain Forest Trek

Elephant feet

Mom's Elephant

Nadia's elephant

Fishing Boat

3 islands

My folks and I went shore diving (snorkeling) by these three islands to experience the renown Thai reefs. It was stunning after I quelled my fears of sharks and open water.

The sunset was amazing. After a long drop of increasingly bigger sun, the entire beach looked purple. It was weird. It made everything appear in a purple haze. No, I did not eat the mushrooms growing on the elephant poo! The sky had splashes of torquize too. I wish I had eaten the 'shrooms, it probably would have thought I was skating through an impressionist painting!

1 Comments:

At November 14, 2008 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous Mom said...

I enjoyed reliving this trip with Zach's editorial comments. It was an unforgettable experience. The best was the elephant ride.

 

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