Tag Archives: Bangkok

Floating Market Day!

I only got about three hours of sleep last night… I’ll thank my childlike excitement about going to the floating market for that!

Imagine hundreds of little souvenir shops, food vendors, and grocery stores lined up along a canal and placed into canoe-like boats. This is the floating market. We drove for about an hour and a half outside of Bangkok to reach the small town where the floating market is located.

We arrived at a small boat landing where we had ice cream for breakfast, a treat from our guide because it “is too hot out to not have ice cream.” We boarded our boat and were on our way through a series of canals surrounded by coconut plantations and dilapidated houses.

Canal to floating market.

The market was originally for locals to buy groceries and trade goods, but since it was discovered as a place for tourists to visit it has turned into a bit of a souvenir nightmare. But most of the souvenir shops are along the side of the canal, and the boats are mostly filled with the traditional goods.

Souvenir man!

Soup boat.

Women trading.

Monk shopping.

Up front and center! Me on floating market boat.

Market after it died down a bit.

I did give in and buy one of these beautiful monk paintings from this guy. He was painting them right there. I also bought a crazy four-eyed laughing man painting which he made in college and was very reluctant to give up, but after I told him that I would be hanging it in my house for all my friends to see, he was pleased to pass it on to me.

After we got off of our boat, I went over and befriended this gem of a lady.

Priceless!

She even let me sit on her boat (which is not easy to balance, let me tell you!).

I wanted to grab some soup in the market, but you would think I were wanting to play Russian Roulette the way my dad reacted. This is the first very exotic place that he has traveled to, and is terrified of the local water and sanitation, which is probably good thinking but I like to take my chances and absorb everything I can.. especially the food! But I let him win this time, and really it was a win win because look at this lunch! Curry pineapple rice with tofu.. served in a pineapple! Yumm.

Pineapple rice with tofu!

After lunch, we headed back to our hotel.. which is absolutely beautiful!

The Peninsula, Bangkok.

We ended the day with a traditional Thai massage, which is like yoga for a lazy person. You stay clothed and the bend and stretch you every which way. It feel wonderful! And is such a steal.. they come to your hotel and give you a Thai massage for an hour and a half for $20.. and that’s the tourist price! I couldn’t bring myself to even attempt to bargain when It is already 1/4 of the cost of a massage at home.

So now I’m heading to bed, and waking up at 5, jumping on another plane, bidding adieu to Bangkok, and moving onto Chang Rai, a city in northern Thailand which is supposed to be beautiful. And in the afternoon I get to play with elephants! Probably going to be restless with excitement all night again.. Oh well!

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A day in Bangkok…

Felt like three! If we would have planned any more to do today, we wouldn’t have had time to blink.

We began early with another amazing breakfast.. photo as promised:

Breakfast

If you know me, you know that I LOVE food, but am not a breakfast food fan.. well looks like Asians aren’t either! Ah what a treat!

After breakfast we headed to see the Golden Buddha, the world’s largest solid gold statue which weighs 5.5 tons and is about 10 feet tall.

Golden Buddha.

 

Parents and me infront of the Golden Buddha.

Then we went for a stroll through Chinatown. But let me tell you.. I have been to Chinatown in a few cities in America, but this was a completely different experience. No fake purses or watches being sold here! It was a place truly for locals to buy their groceries and everyday household items.. which to us are really not so everyday.

Chinatown in Bangkok

Vendor in Chinatown

Beautiful dried fruit!

Crabs in Chinatown

Fish Kissy!

Rice cake chef.

I also learned something new while I was in Chinatown today. It is Chinese tradition for when someone dies to bring paper representations of material goods they used while alive to their funeral and burn them. There was shop after shop of paper models of planes, watches, phones, crock pots, coffee makers, cars, shoes, clothes, anything you could imagine.

Chinese Funeral.

Chinese Funeral.

After Chinatown we went to visit the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace by Tuk Tuk. The compound that the palace is on is unbelievable. The colors, plants, layout, and intricate detail on every inch of every building is like nothing I have seen before. But of course.. I accidentally packed an extra tank top in my purse instead of a coverup so I got to wear a super stylish Hawaiian button-up shirt. Luckily I wasn’t the only one walking around with the island vibe.

Looking stylish at the Grand Palace.






Emerald Buddha

Buddha

Grand Palace

After we finished exploring this astonishing palace, we moved on to a possibly even more breathtaking sight.. the “Reclining Buddha.” 154 feet long and 50 feet high. It is housed in a small building so hard to get a good photo of the whole thing but i was about as big as three of his toes.

Reclining buddha.

Then we took a longtail boat for a ride through a few of bangkok’s 500 canals which are lined but slightly decrepit but incredibly interesting houses.

Longtail boat ride.

Me on the longtail boat.

House on a canal in Bangkok.

Bangkok canal convenience store.

We ended the day with a punch.. or two.. or three..and some kicking..

At a Thai Kickboxing match. These guys were brutal! And the best thing about it was the crowd going crazy after each round placing bets with each other. They were yelling and throwing up hand signals all over, looked like a Thai version of wall street.

Getting thrown!

Crowd going wild.

Sitting Ringside!

My mom and I with the winner. He won 40,000 baht (=$1,333.00)

Photo overload? Never….! Just wait until tomorrow, we are visiting the floating market. Something I have wanted to see for years!

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Doha & Bangkok

Doha, Qatar Airport.

Doha, Qatar Airport.

My mom and I flew into Doha, Qatar (Dubai’s sister city) in the middle of the night. As we stepped off the plane we were hit with an intense heat wave, it felt like we walked into the driest and hottest sauna there is. I figured it must just be the engine heat but I was incredibly wrong. It was 104 degrees out… AT NIGHT. Wow! I cannot imagine what it must feel like during the day. We had to quickly remember etiquette in the middle east, so I put away my usual eye contact and smile that I pass around to everyone since it is not ladylike to look a man in the eyes and definitely not to smile at them. So we decided to just sit and have some coffee. And because I love food.. let me just give some recognition to Qatar Airways for their amazing service and food.. When is the last time you saw something like this served on a 5 hour flight?

Amazing lunch on Qatar Airways.

And yes the wine was included, and no there was no limit on number of drinks.

We arrived in Bangkok at 7 a.m., incredibly tired but eager to see the town. So we decided an energizing massage would help us out. Well, we both fell asleep in the massage and my mom woke herself up because she snored too loud and I must have had a bad dream and yelled which scared both my masseuse and myself. But it did the trick! We hit the town and because we only had a few days we took some beautiful fabric that my mom bought in ghana to a tailor, along with some photos of clothes too expensive to buy, but easy to replicate.

Fabric from Ghana we are making clothes with.

My dad arrived in the middle of the night and flew into my room like a tornado. He immediately started telling me a story (he is a renowned story teller whose stories take 10x longer to tell than needed). His everlasting energy then got us up and going at 7 am. We ate an amazing breakfast at the hotel (will definitely post pictures tomorrow), and then went off to the “Mo Chit” stop on the train to go to the Chatuchak weekend market. An endless maze of vendors that stretches for miles.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

There was a lot of junk but also some really beautiful and bizarre things. I bought a necklace that will definitely turn some heads.

Beetle Necklace.

There was also an entire food section of the market. I now believe that Thai food is by far the most aromatically pleasing and tasting food! Have you ever seen prawns this fresh and beautiful?

Fresh Prawns

Prawns

I will leave you with a couple of my favorite characters I came across today…

Little old lady just people watching.

Little old lady just people watching.

Tuk Tuk driver with his lunch to go.

I found him!

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