Sunday, October 15, 2006

Good news/Good news

Well, I'll start with the good news.  My iPod is OK!  Apparently the issue was with the electrical outlets or something.  I had no problem charging my camera battery but the iPod would not charge in Chiang Mai.  However, when we got back to BKK and I plugged it in - no problem.  WHEW!
Also, the bonding project is going well.  Our tour has also increased by five as of today so we are no longer the newest.

late post insert:I forgot to mention the Floating Market, which was a little too neato not to include! When we got off the overnight train a couple of stops before downtown Bangkok and boarded vans to the floating market after a quick stop at the gas station mini-mart for breakfast. We shunned the gross eggs they would cook for you and instead ate packaged nuts with our coffee and tea.


The beginning of the market tour consists of half tourist boats and half vendor boats all floating along together in both directions so you really have to react fast if you want something.

Floating market from above

The boat vendors mostly are selling fresh fruit and vegetables, but some also have snackey foods that they make in little makeshift canoe kitchens. We tried these crispy crepes which appeared to be filled with something resembling marshmallow creme. Kinda gross but cool at the same time! Further down are a series of canals lined on either side with vendors all selling pretty much the exact same assortment of little figurines, colored pencils, spices and straw hats.

Floating market

It was all too fast for me to try to buy anything (and of course I'm still too intimidated by the haggling game) but I just enjoyed the ride.

The bridge on the River Kwai was...bridgey,

Dag on the Bridge on the River Kwai

but the museum (I think it was called something like the Death Bridge museum) was incredible.  I've never found myself wishing I had MORE time to spend in a museum before (at the Louvre, I wished for more energy and maybe a footrub, but not more time), but this one, I did.  They had a lot of personal artifacts from the POWs themselves - journals and drawings - really heavy stuff.
Last night we went to a really nice place for dinner.  We had panang curry and this truly awful dish consisting of catfish fried to a blackened, unchewable crisp and covered by deep fried...fried stuff that was just dripping in oil with a few shavings of papaya on the top.  Bleah.  The restaurant was gorgeous though if a little Vegas-ey with Greek columns and lots of fountains and lights.  Afterwards we all congregated at a gas station that turns into a bar at night (should there really be candles on those tables???).
Several members of the group went off to a questionable show in a questionable part of town and for us - there was no question.  We just headed back to the hotel and continued reading our Dark Tower books (Dag is reading Wizard and Glass, which I finished in Tokyo and miraculously was able to pick up the next one, Wolves of the Calla, at the airport). 
Today after breakfast we were picked up by my friend Suwalee and her husband and two kids who took us on a whirlwind tour of the city.  We started at the Grand Palace, which I was totally not prepared for.  I've never seen any man-made structure even near as breathtakingly beautiful. 





It was really hard to get good photos of, however, because everything was both giagntic and really close together.

After, they took us to the temple with the enormous Buddha

Reclining Buddha

and for a ride on the river Taxi.  I will add more details when I post the photos.  I need to get moving now though.  We're catching another overnight train south to Kao Sok National Park - woo!
Thanks to everyone for all your comments!  It's so cool to know that you are all with us on this amazing trip!


Leanne Bernhardt said...
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Leanne Bernhardt said...

I'm so glad you were able to go to the Grand Palace - Difficult to explain the beauty of the Palace to someone who hasn't been there (of course they turned me away at the gate becuase my skirt didn't cover my ankles --- that is where the .25c skirt rental comes in handy. Glad your iPod is working again - phew, all those pictures. Have fun at Kao Sok National Park --- looks beautiful!

Uncle Larry said...

Hi Leslie can't wait to see the photos, Grand Palace sound pretty cool. I didn't realize the river Kwai was in Thailand!? guess I never really thought about it. Have you posted anything on Flickr yet? Love you.


Jen said...

Hooray for good news (both kinds)!! I am loving these blog updates and can't wait to see them illustrated with your photos (yay ipod!).

If you can stand it, please have a little extra fun soon on my behalf.

Baby Boy D said...

I think that I am actually jealous, but in a good way. I can't wait to see all of the lovely photos...

Leslita said...

Leanne - I saw some of those rental skirts and they didn't look half bad!
Uncle Larry - I haven't tried loading any photos from any of the cafes. Connections tend to be slow and it seems to be more trouble than it would be worth. But I expect to spend every evening after I get back getting the photos in order and onto this blog (and flickr of course)!
Jen - I'm definitely working on having a little extra fun!
Danny - your little green monster is adorable