Saturday, February 02, 2008

Today was, by any account, an awesome day. After our usual great breakfast, we went down to see the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, one of the premier festivals of the area. We watched the parade for a couple of hours, then walked through the old city to a large park where everyone was gathered. All of the floats were there for everyone to see, and everyone was indeed there to see them. After walking around for a while, we actually took a tuk tuk, our first, to The Chedi, a high end hotel, where I bought some cigars. I paid way too much, of course, but WTF, we're on vacation, right? After getting back home, L went shopping, and I sat on the porch and smoked a Cohiba and had a couple of beers. All in all, it is hard to imagine a day being any better. More stories and pictures when I return.

Today was, by any account, an awesome day. After our usual great breakfast, we went down to see the Chian mai Flower Festival.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well, it's raining today in Chiang Mai. According to teh intertubes is might rain all day. This would not be a problem if I had a cigar, since we have a porch that would be perfect for smoking one, but, alas, I have no cigars as of yet. I am currently here in the lobby looking at the weather and also trying t find a cigar store. Not as easy as one might think...

The last two things we saw in Bangkok were terrific. Wat Pho, with the giant Reclining Buddha, was really cool. It was a lot different from Wat Phra Kaew, which is where the Emerald Buddha is located. That temple was amazing, don't get me wrong. However, Wat Pho was different. Wat Phra Kaew was very clean, and very proper, as befitting it's status (it is in the Grand Palace grounds, after all). The temple holding the Emerald Buddha is essentially the Thai equivalent of the Sistine Chapel. Wat Pho is more lived in. Unlike the other, it has a resident group of monks. It is also older that Bangkok itself.

Well, someone again is waiting for the computer, and I have been monopolizing it for a while. I'll talk about Wat Arun later.

Well, we made it to Chiang Mai. It is nice here, not least of which because it is much cooler. We are checked in to Baan Orapin and it is fantastic. Such a nice place.

Over the last couple of days, we saw Wat Pho and the Giant Reclining Budda, Wat Arun, and many other things. We also learned that riding the Chao Phraya River taxis is a really great way to get around Bangkok.

There is someone waiting to use the computer, so I'll write more later.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Well, that is one heck of a flight. From our front door to the motel in Bangkok was just over 30 hours, and it felt like every second of it. We made it, though.

So far we have not done a whole lot. The first day we went to the huge MBK mall and shopped, then after a great lunch in the food court we went to see Jim Thompson's house. He was an American OSS agent that stayed in Bangkok after WWII and revived the Thai silk trade. He had an amazing house (six houses, actually) right on the canal. It consisted of several old traditional Thai houses that he had brought in and rebuilt in place. It was a great tour.

Today we went to the Chatachak market, said to be one of the largest markets in Asia, if not the largest. I certainty believe it. This place was enormous. It had everything from fighting roosters, to rabbits to furniture to, well, pretty much anything. Of course it was crowded and hectic and hot. Did I mention it's hot here? It's in the 90s everyday. I can't imagine coming here in summer.

After a rest at the hotel we tried to go to this famous fried chicken place. Of course the cabbie didn't know where it was, and was only interested in taking us to his friends place, or to get a suit made or the like. After not finding the place and turning down numerous offers for other things, we had him simply take us back to the hotel. Lesson learned, I guess. On the plus side the whole fiasco only cost about 2 bucks, so really a cheap lesson I guess. On the other hand, getting around on the skytrain has been great.

I can't really post pictures here, since I'm in an Internet cafe, so I will post a longer description of this trip, including pictures, when we get back. Tomorrow we are going to the Grand Palace, which will include our first ride on the river. Should be fun. Later.