Alpert-Shroyer 2010 Bonus World Cruise travel blog

Entry to Bangkok made easier by these elevated super highways. Bangkok boasts...

Roadside aquaculture continues because of laws preventing wholesale comercial development w/out approval

Shrines are found everywhere in Bangkok & its countryside, suberbs & neighboring...

Less developed slums are gradually being replaced by gov't sponsored housing (apartments)...

Chinatown area of Bangkok before the day gets started-almost looks vacant or...

As rush hour starts, people come out of the backgrounds to view...

Trash from the river & tributaries is picked up manually & hauled...

Flowers for garlands or shrines is a big business in Chinatown-people make...

Grand palace Buddha shrine before our entry this 1st day in Bangkok-this...

Two fear inspiring statues guarding the shrine of Buddha in the Grand...

Ornate detail of glass, ceramics & gilding make the temples at the...

Relative size of temple "beasts" guarding the royal shrine & Emerald Buddha-no...

Fierce looking little (about 2 ft ) "beast-men" supporting the temple's pillars,...

Beautifully renovated temple spire, such detail & inspiration of design

Gilded tapestry to a woven ceiling covering & gilded rosetts above a...

Gilding on the massive door casing to the entrance of the royal...

Smaller flying beast-birds all around the temple inside & out. Attention to...

Emerald Buddha & royal statuary on each side-photos were not allowed inside...

A small (finished) renovated corner shrine at the royal Buddha temple-others were...

Details of a shrine roof & bell tower on the Buddha temple...

"Official" royal palace guard who had to bear the incessant tourist need...

Beautiful ceramic colors in the statue & figure composition make them stand...

22 karat gold leaf applied to ceiling tiles in the royal palace-they...

Topiary in the royal palace main courtyard to look like large gumdrop...

"Warm up shrine" before entering the main palace hall behind. This place...

A royal palace guard with active armament at the gates of the...

Another view of the Buddha shrine stuppa's

Chilled green coconuts waiting for hot, tired tourist to the Grand Palace-looks...

Protection around the Grand Palace was evident everywhere inside & out

Police in riot gear on the ready for the "red shirts'" protest...

Handmade brooms, sweepers & dusters for businesses & homes pedaled door to...

This street figure was found near a jewelery factory looking longingly at...

View from our magnificent room's balcony at the Shangra-la's Krungthep's executive wing,...

All rooms in the Krungthep wing had a wonderful river view from...

Massive Buddha statue in the Shangra-la's Chinese restaurant, Shang palace where Ellie...

Entry to Shangra-la Hotel in Bangkok with attendants waiting for the next...

Several wings of the Shangra-la were linked together, this "monument" identifies our...

Hilton millinium hotel viewed up the river from our hotel

Water taxi's & tourist's junks along the riverfront of our hotel balcony

"Red shirt" protesters filling the raised streets beside our hotel & slowing...

Truck full of "red shirts" protesting dictatorial take over of parts of...

Krungthep wing's entry from the portico

Tuk-tuk shuttle between the Krungthep wing & the main Shangra-la hotel was...

Group of fellow World travelers waiting for 2nd cocktail boat at Next...

Ellie enjoying the water & a hors d'ouvers while we tour the...

Fellow Charlestonians, Pat & John Dolven (on right) waiting for a cocktail...

More "upclass" waterfront development on the Chao Phraya river

Twinkling lights & spotlights appear on riverfront restaurants & other tourist attractions,...

Private home's stuppa stood out against the darkening sky & other gilded...

Wat Arun Temple of Dawn compound before sunset on the Chao Phraya...

Wat Pho temple stuppa & shrines-extreme gilded detail on this riverfront temple/shrine

Thai navy gunboat protecting the Royal Grand Palace

Royal Grand Palace river entrance & temple spires at dusk

Rama VIII bridge over the Chao Phraya river, well lit & creating...

1st supporting spans of cable of the Rama VIII bridge

Ellie & I striking a pose with the Wat Pho temple in...

Ellie & I posing for the camera & trying not to sit...

Hilton's Millininum hotel smartly lit in blue & white lights

Evening finale of fireworks for Regent's World Cruise travelers on the Chao...

Fireworks lasted about a half hour & quite impressive to watch such...

Start of day 2 tour to floating market. Results of beaching a...

Salt fields in the low lying areas near the sea (sea water...

Hugh pile of salt ready for processing & sale on the road...

Many little piles ready to be brought to a collection point for...

Motors ready! Boats ready to take us through the canals of the...

All lined up & places to go. The tourist business is thriving...

Shrines big & small are placed whereever spirits may be to ward...

More elaborate shrines can be found around the canals. In fact, shrines...

Medium size local transportation & the usual rate of speed in the...

Shorter trips can be made the old fashion way with a paddle...

Water collection urns for rainwater piped from the roof. Concrete walls of...

Storage of spare boats or ones being worked on (& everything else)...

Several types of walkovers: good concrete to just 2 rails make crossing...

Very large Buddha in a public park provided by the local municipality...

Coconut & banana grove for the Thai "staff of life" (besides rice)

Washing of clothes in the canal is commonplace, also the daily bath...

Step into the washing machine, separate your load by colors; everything is...

Community collection of shrines, landscaped & well planned

Raising snakes (Cobras) are profitable for the village. Snake venom is sold...

A little morning shopping & back to the house-too many tourists &...

All faiths are tolerated in Thailand. These ladies look like they are...

Lots of tourist "stuff" (how do they know what "stuff" do we...

Hurrying to their stall in the market, this couple looks like they...

Good use of umbrellas for this outdoor stall

Cooking dishes of food right on the canal boat offers many advantages...

Breadfruits, mangostenos & sweet potatos for sale in the narrow canal river...

Breadfruit cut up pieces resemble Durian that are highly offensive in smell...

Coconut & rice flour cakes for sample to us-cooking unit is directly...

Long pole & basket is handy way to get hot food to...

Unmaned artist desk at the "land" market

Tourist "stuff" for your shopping pleasure

"Filled" seat & desk so the money making can go on while...

Congested waterfront between 2 land markets at the "floating market."

Small & smaller boats with bananas, pineapples, mangos for hungry tourists &...

Otherside of canal is just as busy

Hats & more hats and the extension pole coming in handy for...

Seasoning the dish in one of the market kitchens

One of every size boat being finished & stored next to the...

Bamboo root for kitchens in Bangkok being truckekd in to your favorite...

Mahogony boards stored & neatly stacked beside the highway on our return...

Tour of the largest Buddha shrine in Thailand: some 90 meters high...

Thailand's largest Buddhist temple main stuppa being repaired & renovated but that...

Snake theme is found in many parts of this country & others...

Large Buddha gilded statue in the temple attracts many followers & worshipers...

22 karat gold leaf bought in 1 inch squares & applied to...

One of the upper spires ornamental end caps having gold leaf applied...

Buddhist monk chanting a prayer for a family making a donation

On the job daycare while mom sends concrete, tile, brick & water...

Female image of Buddha. This temple provides multi-gender Buddhas for equal opportunity...

Worker drilling anchor bolts into the hardened structure for scaffolding tie downs

Fully clothed jack hammer worker removing old tile work above as they...

Crew of young workers posing for the camera on one of the...

Buddhist monk sprinkling holy water over the repenting but devoted worshipers, whose...

This man cleans up candles, incense & flowers offerings every few minutes...

Temple worker removing the paid for donations of flowers, incense & candles,...

22 karat gold leaf donations on many Buddha statues make the figures...

Monks inside & out sprinkle holy water for a donation & a...

Elevated roadside covered platforms are found all along the roadsides of Thailand-good...

Roadside kite stand for sale on the way in to Bangkok

The entire crew & staff came out to welcome the overnight travelers...


An overnight tour to Thailand's largest city sets the stage for viewing different cultures and customs in this very diverse country. We docked very early by 07:00 & was cleared to come ashore very shortly thereafter, tours started by loading of buses and people scurried around with last minute errands because there were so many overnight layovers in Bangkok & various tours that brought World Travelers, "segmentists" and the independent traveler to Bangkok & our hotel (Shangra-la) on the river (Chao Phraya).

The journey to Bangkok was about a 2+ hour drive & the start of our 1st tour to the Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha.

The compound is located on the very river our hotel is and a central point of the city, making our river cruise tonight very picturesque. The heat & humidity was so intense that Ellie stayed on the air conditioned bus & wisely decided not to exhaust herself with the long walk & her limited mobility.

The tour was amazing & intriguing to see the hundreds of years of design, development & ornate detail but our need to seek shade gradually increased as the noon hour came upon us and we all wanted to get to a more comfortable place like our hotel. Lots of photo opportunities were available at this venue but after an hour & half it was time to go. We could have spent all day exploring the compound of the Buddha shrines, temples, museum & Grand Palace but to view what we did in the heat & humidity, was enough for our short timed tour.

Check in at the hotel was a little confusing getting all the Seven Seas Voyager guests & World Cruisers in their appointed rooms. World Cruisers were assigned to the exclusive Krungthep wing of the Shangra-la hotel & the rooms were magnificent, extra large and well appointed. Ellie enjoyed the lavish appointments, extra large bathroom & balcony. The hotel had every facility a world class facility could offer. When we finally got settled in, I went to the very spacious & well equipped spa/health club facilities while Ellie got a chance to relax before our evening river cocktail cruise & dinner later that evening.

Our evening cocktail cruise was aboard a 60 ft ship built & furnished for dining or cocktail cruises. We toured many shrines & temples founded on the river so many centuries ago and all stood out in the evening lights for the evening river tourist. All of us enjoyed drinks, heavy hors d'ouvers, warm balmy breezes and beautiful, impressive lighted attractions on the Chao Phraya river.

Nearer the end of our cruise, we were treated to our own, private fireworks show for the last half hour before docking back at the hotel. All of us were well pleased with the entertainment & facilities Regent had arranged for the World Cruisers. Dinner was not as spectacular, maybe due to the heaviness of food served aboard the cocktail cruise and the ethnic selections of local dishes & spices. None were overtly unhappy but the buffet was not emptied as had been prepared for (which usually means the food did not meet expectations or the guest were not hungry).

Ellie & I went to bed early to enjoy the comfortable room & to get ready for our early morning tour of the floating market, which Ellie may or may not be able or willing to take because of the nature of the ride in the low, narrow boats. Tomorrow will be an interesting day & the heat and humidity will be even more ever present & oppressive.

Day 2: Ellie stayed in this morning, still exhausted from the bus ride to Bangkok & the evening festivities the night before, while I got ready @ 06:30 for the hour bus ride to the "Damnersaduak floating market" tour.

An interesting & exciting tour of the unique "city" that is referred to as the floating market was awe inspiring as well as intriguing. We had 5 people that got up early enough & dared to be "racing" down narrow canals in sleek, low riding boats powered by 8 cylinder, super horse powered engines and endure excessive heat & humidity. The floating market tour, itself, lasted about 2 hours in the canals & in the shops of the land market beside the canal vendors before getting on the bus to visit the tallest Buddhist temple in Thailand.

Common everyday sights along the way to the Buddhist temple further enriched our experience of this tour & I thought Ellie would have liked to enjoy this as well if she could have ridden in the boats, endured the heat and put up with riding on a bus another 2 hours.

The Buddhist temple was interesting to see so many worshipers donating & paying homage to Buddha & the monks that live in the temples. Interesting as well, was the renovation construction taking place while the faithful prayed & the business of religion continued on in spite of the inconvenience or a work zone. 45 minutes was enough for us to stand in the heat & humidity and we were glad to get back to Bangkok by 12:30 for a few hours before we had to go back to our ship by 16:00.

We were exhausted and "bus" weary and everyone openly expressed the desire to have another day & night in Bangkok. So, after an cramped ride to our Voyager, we were encouraged to see the entire crew & staff mustered out at the gangplank to welcome us back & help us with our bags and back to "luxury cruising." We will have a "short" 2 days at sea before we arrive at Port Klang & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"Our World, Our Way, No Regrets!"



Advertisement
OperationEyesight.com
Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |