Friday, September 13, 2013

Thailand: Bangkok & Getting Home

After we left Railay, we headed back to Bangkok.  We only had about two half days to work with so we packed in as much as we could.  What we didn't realize was how HUGE Bangkok was.  So we decided to see The Grand Palace, Asiatique (per recommendation of our friends from the elephant ride), and Lumphini Park.  

So we were off on yet another airplane. I am so glad we only packed carry-on's for this trip! It made life a whole lot easier!

As we arrived in Bangkok, we were on this shuttle to the baggage claim and I saw this girl.  I thought she was really pretty, had great style and did her make-up well.  And then I saw her adam's apple.  She was indeed a he. There are quite a few cross-dresser's in Thailand and it was always shocking when we went to ask a question to some worker we thought was a girl, and she (he?) spoke back with a deep, manly voice.  But this girl/guy was the most convincing one.  He/She is the the blurry one with the heels.  Wish I had a better picture.

We were a little concerned when we got there because none of the taxi driver's knew where our hotel was.  So we were sent to drive around with a guy who didn't know any English, and didn't know where on earth our hotel was.  We tried calling the place but they weren't picking up.  So, we were just driving with this man and no idea if we would be driven off to be murdered on our very last part of our trip.  Luckily, he was able to find it and we made it safely.  

Our hotel (which was more of an apartment) was within walking distance to the Skytrain (BTS). Nate brought out his inner-explorer and figured out their public transport and felt so please with himself and his navigation skills in a foreign country.  

We decided to make our first stop to Lumphini Park. It is this huge and beautiful park, and may I say sanctuary, to crazy busy Bangkok.  People go there to walk, exercise, eat, play, and enjoy the scenery. There was a gym, several aerobics classes, huge monitor lizards swimming and walking around, a massive walking/running trail, and it was just beautiful!

A bird guy just outside the park.

The gym.

Walking/Running trail.

This exercise class was huge with music and an instructor in front. It was pure entertainment. 

We saw these monitor lizards swimming and this one came out of the water and stopped, just long enough for us to get a pic, and then he got back in the water. Nate felt totally comfortable but I was a little nervous getting so close. Anyway, he looks small but he is about 7-8 feet behind us.

Before we left, I was on the hunt for a specific souvenir and a woman directed us to Asiatique to try and find it.  We had heard great things about this place so we decided to go there.  We had to get on the Skytrain and hop on a ferry to get there, but it was worth it.  Asiatique is a huge mall-like area with several warehouses according to category of merchandise.  Each warehouse was packed with as many booths as possible and it really was the ultimate shopping experience.  Unfortunately I did not find what I was looking for, but it was still worth the trip and we had one of the best mango smoothies we have ever had. :) 
Waiting for the Skytrain.

After Asiatique, we grabbed dinner and then headed back to the hotel and passed out.  When we woke up, we had this breakfast waiting for us: Crinkle-cut fruit, a fried egg, fried rice with pork and veggies, a slice of ham and what I think was sausage.  They also gave us coffee and we felt bad asking for water instead. The chef looked at us like we weren't very appreciative.  

Then we were off to our last attraction, The Grand Palace. But first, I don't want to forget that there were a lot of pink cars and taxi's. :)

And the fact that there are pictures of the King and Queen everywhere

The Grand Palace was busy.  You have to wear pants or a long skirt and you must wear sleeves.  The only pants Nate brought were his pajama pants, so that is what he wore.  And I wore a really light, long skirt and a light shirt.  Despite our lightweight clothes, it was still so hot! I felt like I was going to pass out by the end.  

Anyway, The Grand Palace was beautiful and it was really touching to see the culture of it all. Our favorite part was going in the temple of the Emerald Buddha. There was absolute silence as we went in there and many were praying, including several monks. It was really touching to see. 

Our only complaint about this place was there weren't really any clear explanations in English about each building and what was represented.  We saw some cool things and the ornate details of the buildings were just stunning. But we really wish we understood what we were seeing. 

After we left, it was time to go back to the hotel to get showered and ready for our long journey home. 

Waiting for our taxi.
 I don't want to forget the Thai Bhat.

And the fact that even the airport is plastered with pictures of the King and Queen.

One last pic of us before leaving Thailand. 

And we can't forget our airport waiting room in Taiwan.

Side story: Our big hiccup heading home was Nate. We were on our last leg home in the Chicago airport and suddenly Nate had an excruciating pain in his leg and it hurt to even walk.  His vericose veins had a huge bulge behind his knee and it was hurting him so badly! I was nervous to even fly with it. After coming home, he went in to Urgent care and it turned out that he had a huge blood clot in his leg.  They did an ultrasound to ensure it wasn't a deep vein (luckily it wasn't) and he just had to elevate it and take care of it.  Now he flies with compression tights and that seems to help. :)

We absolutely LOVED being in Thailand but we loved being home with our girls even more.  We were and still are so thankful for Pat for coming out to watch our girls with us. They had so much fun going on so many walks, looking at nature, doing arts and crafts, reading stories, and much, much more! As we were about to take Pat back to the airport, Lyla became really quiet and sad. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was going to miss her grandma so much! So, to make her feel better, we took one last picture of them. And boy it turned out to be a cute one!  Thank you to Pat for taking such great care of our girls! We love you!!!
Lyla and Grandma Wright, May 2013.

1 comment:

Dale, Julie, Jaxon, Britta, and Max said...

SO awesome to see and read your Thailand stories!!!!! What an adventure!