|Bangkok Picasa Photo Album|
After spending three days in Hong Kong, Drew and I flew to Bangkok, Thailand on January 18th. Bangkok has the honor of having the World's longest place name. In Thai, the city is called Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit, and no, I have no idea how to say that. Roughly translated, it means "The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukam"--at least that's what Wikipedia tells me. I'm glad we use names like "New York" and "London" in the west.
Before going to Thailand, I had talked with several people who had previously visited Thailand, and they told me that Bangkok was nothing special compared to some of the other places in Thailand. So, given that we only had one week in Thailand total, we only stayed one night in Bangkok. In fact, we were in Bangkok for a total of about 16 hours.
In the 16 hours we were in Bangkok, we slept a few hours (we got into our hotel at about 4 am), went to the train station to get train tickets, took a couple of tuk-tuk rides around town, got some awesome Thai food for lunch and took a cruise down the river. But the best story from our time in Bangkok occurred when our tuk-tuk driver took us on this tour that included going to this shady gem dealer place that we really didn't want to go. They tell you that it's the last day before the sale ends! And you can take these gems (which are probably fake) home and sell them to a gem store for twice the price! And people come here every year to participate in the gem sale! And it's all too good to be true! After we didn't bite on the gem scam, our tuk-tuk driver took us to this giant buddha thing and then took off, never even getting us a chance to pay him.
On to the pictures...
The Bangkok train station.
The highlight of our time in Bangkok was our ride down the river.
Some of the buildings you see from the river.
Bangkok, and Thailand in general, is a bit gaudy. Decorations such as this one abound.
A very, very tall Buddha.
That evening, we took a train to Chiang Mai, in the north west of Thailand.