Friday, January 13, 2012

A Day in Greater Bangkok

We spent Wednesday with Mr. Boonya (the same fellow who picked us up at the airport) who took us outside of Bangkok to the southwest.  Our first stop was at the market at Maeklong Station in Samut Songkhram, where the vendors display their goods right up against the tracks, and thus move everything forward and back because of the trains 4 times a day. 
 We arrived just as a train was leaving and so missed the transition.  That's Mr. Boonya in the background buying vegetables.

Morning glory vines--yum!
The array of eggplant available--the smallest are the size of large peas.
Some merchants have their goods on tables which can be pulled back and forth quickly on rails.
Next stop was the floating market at Damnoen Saduck, a community that still lives in a network of canals.  The commerce is strictly aimed at tourists however--lots of women paddling boats and selling fruit and cooking food on board (it was only 10:30 so we didn't feel like eating), and many canal-side stalls all selling the same cheap and cheerful souvenirs.  We think our boat driver was sad that we didn't buy a thing...
Drinking coconut juice straight from the fruit at the roadside.
The tallest stupa in Thailand--at Nakhon Pathom
We finished that day as we do everyday with laundry!  We've become adept at washing even our pants and shorts in the sink. This is the kitchen window of the condo.  I was able to take this picture by leaning out the window of the elevator hallway.  
We spent Thursday rambling around the big sights in central Bangkok (the Grand Palace, etc.) with the hoards of other foreigners, most of whom we think are amazingly inappropriately dressed for both modesty and sun protection!

And then at 7:30 PM we climbed aboard a VIP coach for the overnight trip to Phuket.  The seats reclined to about 175 degrees, just enough to get comfortable and then stiffen up because of the inability to shift around too much!  For a side-sleeper it's not the best.  But oh well, we arrived 12 hours later...  There was a stop at 1:30 for a complementary meal at a huge very commercial rest stop.  It was a welcome meal of congee and accompaniments.

Our hotel is in the outskirts of Phuket, about 3 km from the town centre.  We were able to check in early, had a shower and snooze to revitalize, and then hailed a cab to explore the town for the afternoon.  I'll download those pictures later--there's some very interesting architecture here called "Sino-Portuguese" which is a hybrid of Asian and European styles.

We're now off to find some breakfast and catch a local bus to the beach.  Might even go to one of smaller islands too.  It's now 8:15 AM Saturday and already hot and steamy--close to 30 degrees.  My Pi shawl is coming along nicely, and I'll take that to the beach with me.

1 comment:

  1. It's 8:10 pm on Friday in Vernon and I'm catching up on your blog written on Saturday morning. Enjoying it immensely. Imagining myself riding along on a creaky bike and trying to sleep on a bus. Not a pretty thought. But enjoying the pix a great deal. Look forward to your next posts.