We made two stops in Thailand. The first was to Bangkok. Typical Asian traffic – totally unreal. We did have a lot of fun shopping in the open market, at least until the fumes began to overtake us. Also saw a sign advertising a Burger King Whopper for $59 (Baht), which is about $1.82 US. Hmmm? We then went to another Buddhist Temple (my soul should be SUPER clean by now). This temple had a new twist. Shoulders and legs MUST be covered or you can’t come in. Fine with me – been there, done that. Except that our guide told us that we “had” to go in because the group would be coming out a different exit and everyone had to stay together. So some of us wearing shorts or no shoulder coverings had to purchase an (UGLY) skirt or pants for $5.00. I still think someone had a racket going.
Heading back to the ship was no fun. We were scheduled to drive about 2 hours to get to Bangkok and then 2 hours to get back to the ship. It took us nearly FOUR hours to get to Bangkok and over THREE hours to get back to the ship. Our guide was very worried as the ship can rightfully leave us (if they don’t leave the port as scheduled, I’m told that there is a super fine of big bucks). Some of the older folks with us “had” to stop for a P break and the guide was pacing back and forth anxiously waiting for them. As it turned out, of the three buses in our group, ours was the first back to the ship; only two minutes late. The final bus was about 30 minutes late. Didn’t hear if we had to pay the fine, but no other ship was waiting to get in.
Our next stop was also in Thailand on the island of Ko Samui. Visited a monkey farm to watch trained monkeys climb coconut trees and knock down the coconuts for their owners. After that the guides took us to a shopping mall. Julieann split off from the group to get a worlds famous Thai massage for around $10 and I split off to have lunch with Nancy. We were stationed in Korea at the same time back in 2006. Had a very nice Thai lunch. Met back with the group and we headed back to the ship.