Jeff's Mid-Life Crisis goes Round the World (RTW)
About Me (1)
HONG KONG (2)
* ST. ANDREWS
* FROM TRAVELER TO TOURIST?
* HONG KONG
* BANGKOK TO HONG KONG
* BANGKOK TO PHUKET
* PHNOM PENH
* ANGKOR AND SIEM REAP #2
* ANGKOR AND SIEM REAP #1
* CHANGES IN LATITUDE CHANGES IN ATTITUDE
* VANG VIENE
* LUANG PRABANG #2
* LUANG PRABANG #1
December 27, 2004
THOUGHTS AND RAMBLES ABOUT BANGKOK #1
It's Tuesday morning, December 28th and I am in Chiang Mai after spending 7 days in Bangkok. I thought it would be a good idea to do a couple of catch all entries about my time in Bangkok, my observations and thoughts and, best of all, post some pictures.
One thing that was very intriguing to me about the people of Bangkok is how they observed me and what they thought I was doing. I spent most of my time in that city going somewhere, mostly by walking from place to place. The Thai people must really think that I am out of shape and that I need some sort of Physical Therapy. Why do I think this? Well, on literally every street corner in Bangkok (and I walked by hundreds of them, some more than once) I had the following conversation:
Jeff: walking, looking around and minding my own business
I literally had this same conversation hundreds of times. I don't know why the all the Thai guys that hang out on the corners think I need a ride somewhere. I'm a fairly fit guy, it wasn't too hot or humid and I wasn't sweating or wheezing or anything. Also, I don't think I look like a guy who needs physical therapy or a massage. I am in good health and walk upright without limps or any obvious physical pain. Maybe that's how I appear to them, who knows?. But I really do appreciate their concern for me!
As I mentioned above, I spent much of my time in Bangkok exploring as much of the city as I could using a guidebook and recommendations form people of what to see and where to go. It was quite easy to get around as the trains and river taxi systems are easy to figure out and use.
One day I went to Wat Pho. There are lots and lots of Wat's (temples) in Bangkok and all over Asia for that matter. The culture is ancient here, going back thousands of years and the wats celebrate Buddhism and are used to protect or signify a particular statue, event or reign. There are wats everywhere!
Wat Pho is home to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This Buddha is apx. 50 feet in length and 17 feet in height,
It is the oldest, largest and most architecturally spectacular temple in Bangkok. Wat Pho was built in the 16th century during the Ayutthaya period and expanded by King Rama 1 and later by King Rama III.
Here are some images of Wat Pho and more of the Reclining Buddha. You'll notice many different Buddhas in a variety of poses, shapes and sizes:
That's enough of Wat Pho. It is an amazing temple with so much history and a very sacred place for the people of Thailand.
In addition to touring around and seeing the sites I had fun sampling the cuisine in Bangkok:
Kacey - I took these pictures especially for you.
The giant cockroaches tasted good, a bit crunchy and the legs tickled my throat as I swallowed it. If anyone is interested I'm sure I could post you some of these - let me know!
Most of the food vendors on the street sell excellent, good quality, safe food. I ate lunch and dinner from different food vendors most days while in Bangkok. Most don't speak english but understand basic terms and I can't speak or understand any Thai so I just point to what they have and they cook it up right in front of you. I don't always get what I thought I was getting but it all tastes great and they don't spice it up too much knowing I'm a foreigner.
I haven't really got sick yet (I did have an afternoon with a mild upset stomach after eating at one place I really shouldn't have - It was kinda gross). As long as you can see them cook it and the ingredients look somewhat fresh and you see others eating there you can feel relatively safe that the food won't make you sick. I've been lucky so far!
The water in Thailand is not drinkable for westerners and you need to be careful about ice (I haven't had any yet) and produce that needs to be washed (rather than peeled) like lettuce as well as the sanitary conditions of the plates and utensils (this seems kinda shaky as you can see the street vendors washing the plates and forks and it looks a bit unsanitary). Bottled water is available everywhere and is quite inexpensive (5-9 baht in stores, 10-15 baht from the vendors - the exchange rate is apx. 40 baht to the dollar). I am drinking about 2 gallons of water a day as it is important to stay hydrated.
This is all for this entry today, I will post follow up Bangkok entries in the next few days.
Thank you for reading this. I hope to make this blog both interesting and entertaining. Please post a comment and let me know your thoughts, observations or counsel. Hearing from readers and knowing I have an audience is a great motivator and will be a great morale booster during down times on the road. Don’t forget to bookmark this site and tell a friend! Please feel free to e-mail me at “JeffMichie at Yahoo Dot Com”
Posted by Jeff on December 27, 2004 11:10 PM
Email this page