On a Street With No Name
Trip Start Aug 23, 2007
61Trip End Jul 17, 2008
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The next morning, P.C., our guide, bought a giant hat so that we could identify him in a crowd and we made our way by bus, boat and foot to the Grand Palace, a spectacular place of stone sculpture, mosaics and paintings. I found several people in the midst of restoring the artwork on the wall painstakingly with tiny little brushes. I had my first lesson in Basic Buddhism and saw the monks in the temple (don't forget to take your shoes off) praying.
P.C. took us out in a water taxi in the most poluted river I have ever seen for a trip around the 'suburbs' of Bangkok. It was facinating to see how people live. Saffron robes blew in the breeze off a clothes line. A group of boys played in the river, splashing and screaming...I had to put the polluted water out of mind to enjoy the scene. We stopped for lunch at a little place by the water and enjoyed a pad thai. They don't give tourists chop sticks and our guide went somewhere else for lunch because he said it wasn't spicy enough for him, but o.k. for us.
Finally, we picked up our things at the hotel (complimentary bed bugs included) and headed off to catch the overnight train to Chang Mai. I was expecting much worse, but it turned out to be a great trip. We had supper on the train and indulged in a little Thai rhum and coke. The overhead compartments fold out and when you ask the employees to come make your bed, you find yourself neatly tucked away, curtain and all. The beds were not only more comfortable than the hotel, but a lot cleaner. We enjoyed a decent night's sleep and the next morning out the window of the washroom, I saw the monks collecting alms from the village as we passed by at sunrise. Does it get better than that? Always something new to see in Thailand and I have a feeling the rest of the trip is going to be the same. Enjoy the snow!