Published: January 5th 2009January 5th 2009
Bangkok traffic from above
A bird's eye view of Bangkok traffic - a much better place to see it from than being in it!
As some of you know, Berm and I have embarked on another travel adventure. This time we are in Thailand for 5 weeks. I've travelled to Thailand before, about 5 years ago, but am excited to be here with Berm, and with our friends Adam and Kym from Vancouver, and Daniel (aka Monk) from Seattle.
We escaped the snow and slush in Vancouver on the 27th, and made it to Bangkok about a day and a half later, after approximately 17 hours of flying. The sights from the window of the taxi that took us into the city of Bangkok at 1:30am that morning certainly reminded us that we were in a different world - a street corner market still packed with late-night dinners, and an elephant being led along a busy main road were only a few. Bangkok is an incredibly chaotic place; there seems to be no end to the traffic, noise, smells and strange sights. The fantastic food on every corner and friendly people make it a great adventure.
We spent our first few days exploring the area around Sukhumvit Road, and then moved over to the traveller's area centred around Khao San Road. The highlights
Wat Phra Kaeo
A few of the 112 golden garudas (birdmen) who hold up the temple walls
of our time on Bangkok included exploring the glittering temples, statues and murals of the Wat Phra Keao, one of the holiest temples in Thailand, and visiting the Grand Palace, which is a former Royal residence constructed in the 1780s. We spent a great New Year's Eve trying various seafood delights at a restaurant along the Chao Phraya River. Some of them were significantly more delightful than others - take our word for it that horseshoe crabs are both weird to look at AND to eat! We spent the last few minutes of 2008 working our way back to our guesthouse through the throngs of travellers and Thais celebrating the New Year on Khao San road.
The next morning we headed to the far south, first to Trang and then onward to Ko Tarutao, a beautiful, remote island that has the dubious distinction of being a location for one of the "Survivor" television series. It's easy to see why it would have been suited for Survivor, as the island is still very wild and undeveloped - it is covered in thick jungle, and there are hundreds of birds, monkeys, and other creatures, all of which seem relatively undisturbed by
the presence of humans. We most enjoyed the troupes of crab-eating macaques that would suddenly appear in the long grass on their way from the jungle to the beach, and the wild boar who had figured out that hanging around the little restaurant was an easier bet for finding lunch than rooting around in the jungle. Berm and I decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the fantastic beach and get the most out of our relaxation time. We were sorry to say goodbye to our little bungalow, the delicious food at the restaurant, and to the beautiful beach. Tomorrow we head to Ko Lanta, a more developed island, for a few more days of beach time and hopefully, some diving!
There are more photos below