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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bangkok, Thailand

Apr 4, 2018 - Lessons learned

We have now been home for a few days, and it's a good time to look back and think about what we learned on this trip, and to offer some tips for overseas travel. 1. The news media doesn't tell you everything about what's really going on in other countries (does it even tell us what's going on here?) 2. Road Scholar trips have great guides, the people are interesting and there is no tipping; we highly recommend them 3. It is useful to learn a couple of phrases in the language of the country you are visiting. I would recommend knowing how to...

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Mar 30, 2018 - "One night in Bangkok"

On Thursday March 29, we had an early afternoon flight from Luang Prabang, Laos to Bangkok, Thailand. The airport terminal in Laos is only 2 years old, but it looks like they didn't bother purchasing any new stuff for the inside - the chairs were old and several were broken. Fortunately, we didn't have to hang out there too long. The two hour flight was uneventful, and we even had a decent snack. Two of us thought that the main protein was fish and one thought it was chicken. None of us has gotten sick, so we will never know. At the Bangkok...

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Mar 21, 2018 - Bangkok Thailand

History: Historic Siam of old, Bangkok is beautifully set on the Chao Phraya river. Thai culture is rich and engaging in this bustling center, where modern skyscrapers rub elbows with century old Buddhist wats or temples. The towering Wat Arun, named for the god of the rising sun, stands dramatically on the rivers bank. At the city’s traditional floating markets merchants sell all manner of local produce, from mango and dragon fruit to sticky rice. Okay very nice and interesting city but how many Buddha’s and temples can you have and PS the...

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Feb 25, 2018 - Thai field notes

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. The King is revered as a near diety. It is illegal to insult the royalty, a fact that makes political manipulation and oppression easy to do by the well connected. The Army has been in charge since it ousted the Prime Minister in a 2014 coup. The motto on Army headquarters is "Country, Religions, Monarchy, People." Thailand supposedly has one of the world's lowest unemployment rates at less than 1%. The data is open to question. Buddhism is mixed with ancient spiritual belief and practice. Our group...

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Trip Journal


Second Time Around

Feb 24, 2018 - Back to the city

Hill life was relatively simple. Walk to a village, decide whether to shower with hose, relax, repeat. Our first night, the village men were disembowling a pig when we arrived. Later, I observed briefly as the elders performed divination over the vital organs. Some of the pork was given to our group for dinner, but we passed on the blood-mince option. The second night featured Thai massage. Nine out of 12 passengers requested massage. Including Mo and me. After dinner, nine women from the village appeared. Each knew one one-hour routine,...

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Trip Journal


Second Time Around

Feb 11, 2018 - Love-hate in Bangkok

Tourist downtown Bangkok is hard to like. Two major issues are heat and crowds. The heat is a drastic change from Morocco and Greece. Throw in the humidity and our pace has slowed to a shuffle. More shuffling is required at the major tourist sites. We managed on our own to see two in two days. One was the giant reclining Buddha of Wat Po. The other was the Royal Palace which includes the Emerald Buddha. Approaching the sites, I never saw so many tourist buses. Ever. Dozens were lined up, each sqeezing out maximum numbers of passengers....

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Trip Journal


Second Time Around

Feb 9, 2018 - Transfers and temperatures

I was thankful that I didn't get hit with pigeon crap until our last day in Athens. A little thing, for sure, but annoying none the less. Our subway ride to the airport was uneventful. Turkish Airlines gave us the easiest check-in so far. I was secretly relieved as the Turks are not happy with the US because of a recent visa freeze and disagreements over the conduct of the war in Syria. But these things don't come up unless one brings them up. While waiting for our Athens-Istanbul flight, we were approached by a very shy and uncertain...

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Trip Journal


Second Time Around

Jan 17, 2018 - Thailand - Southeast Asia Cruise

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...

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Jan 14, 2018 - A lovely two months in Bangkok

Our 2 months in Bangkok is almost up. Yes, we’ve had a fabulous time eating, drinking, exercising and exploring but must admit the rose-coloured glasses are fading a bit. We had toyed with the idea of buying this apartment – it’s on the 14th level, large, airy, 2 bed 2 bath, in reasonable condition and most importantly in a totally Thai area close to public transport and the river. Kjell (the Norwegian owner along with his Thai wife) want about $250,000 for it and the body corporates are very low compared to Australia. Even rang the...

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Dec 22, 2017 - Bangkok

Six weeks have flown by – again won’t bore you with all the details – suffice to say we’ve visited every market either floating, temporary, permanent, open-air or undercover by bus, ferry, taxi, train, canal boat or elephant selling everything from fruit and vegetables to spliced raw frog and live snakes. Must mention the Maeklong Railway Market though, via 5.30am taxi, train, ferry another train with lots of walking in between taking about 2.5 hours to get there (70km outside Bangkok). Both train trips were fantastic (fare: 35c each),...

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Aug 4, 2017 - Last Hurrah

Well, we just landed on US soil a couple hours ago. Waiting for our final flight back to VA. After Koh Samet we went back to Bangkok for a third time and were there just long enough to...get tattoos! We got traditional Thai bamboo hand poked tattoos, both incorporating elephants and Thai text. We've had a wonderful trip but are very happy to be heading home... it's been real! Thanks everyone for keeping up with us along the way!

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Jul 20, 2017 - Bangkok

We spent a steamy, sweaty morning and early afternoon wandering around Bangkok. We ended up at Wat Pho, one of Bangkok's most renowned temples, famous for it's huge reclining Buddha statue. Shortly after, we headed to the airport and flew to Chiang Mai. Here our travels slow down a bit (and we are ready for it!) We will be in Chiang Mai for 9 days, 4 nights in the northwest of the city and 5 in the southeast. The northwestern part of Thailand is home to a lot of beautiful mountains and national parks. Our plan is to get in a bit of hiking...

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