SMOG = SMOKE + FOG
Trip Start Feb 07, 2009
40Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
option (though always the cheapest). Yes, the wind soaring through your hair on a steamy Bangkok
afternoon is great and all, but the amount of exhaust fumes inhaled does at some point become problematic. On our third and final tuk-tuk ride during peak Bangkok traffic (I say this, but really, nearly every hour in Bangkok can
seem to be peak traffic in this city), the burning in our eyes and lungs was nearly unbearable. Will someone please sell me a gas mask? I got 20 baht on it..
I also began to think about my impressions of China so far and the proclivity in that nation's inhabitants for expelling phlegm, loogies, you name it onto the city sidewalks. To be fair, I think they really have no choice in the matter. When the pollution and 50/50 fumes are so intoxicating on a constant basis you simply have to get it out of your lungs immediately or risk early onset emphysema.
Yesterday we also experienced a wonderful reminder of why I love this nation so much. For those travelers out there, you'll know what I mean when I say that immediately upon landing abroad, the mind switches into
protective mode, like how your hand instinctively covers your purse or wallet in pocket when boarding a crowded subway. You just have to watch out, especially in big cities where pick pocketing is a full time gig for many. While
walking purposefully (because this is another must-do rule when abroad, walking purposefully, even when deeply lost) to the Vietnam embassy to collect my visa for upcoming travels, a well-dressed young man with perfect English struck up a conversation. My instincts were to keep walking, give short answers, make it clear we know exactly where we were going and what we were doing in this locals-only spot in town. Daniel was friendlier, however, and after a brief time the man informed us that he just took hi family to Vietnam and the embassy was the
worst place to get the visa, due to their slow pace and the incredibly long lines
After wandering through one of the myriad of spectacular temples in the city, Wat Phro, we were tuckered out and ready for some Hyatt style relaxation and our pending date in a restaurant chosen by Daniel called Srirocco, one of the best in the city. This evening, my friends, was nothing short of spectacular. Upon arriving we ascended to the top floor, floor 64, to a level at which even my Colorado-trained ears popped twice. We exited to a balcony overlooking the entire city in all its glory, with the aptly named Sky Bar jutting out onto its own terrace, a 5 piece band hovering over dinner tables, and candles all around. As we descended the stairs all aglow to our
table, I truly felt like Cinderella. This was our fairy tale. The feeling of enchantment continued throughout the evening as we poured through a delectable meal and bottle service. Fantastic. We were in such high spirits that we did
have the energy to go out and danced the night away at a local club with our vodka and Thai Red Bulls pulsing through our systems. I had that familiar feeling of wonder again as I drink, curious as to what exactly in this potent concoction made me feel this way. Why, oh why, is Thai Red Bull such a crazy, cracked out cocktail?
Now we've taken a ride into Hua Hin to see the other Hyatt property in Thailand. So far this has been far from a backpacking budget trip!