Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thailand,..Some Things Look Familiar

Thailand is the first country we've visited so far that I have been to before. 18 years ago after completing my teaching year in Japan, I took a little holiday to Thailand before heading home.  I was here for relaxation so I booked a flight straight to Phuket and after asking around I found a little place to stay close to the beach.  I don't remember which beach I stayed at but I recall that the restaurant of the guesthouse faced the water and after a short stroll I was on the beach where there were a few beach chairs spread out along the long stretch of sand.

The sand is still soft and the water still clear and warm  - no wonder there are hoards of tourists who want to spend their precious holiday time here.

3 rows of lounge chairs crammed side by side the full length of Kata Beach
I also had been on a tour to Phang Nga Bay including James Bond Island with a stop at a floating island for lunch many years ago.  It didn't take me long to persuade Paul and Chloe that it was well worth the money to do it again.  The boat was bigger and faster and there were once again a lot more people enjoying the sights but the scenery was just as beautiful as I remembered!

We took a canoe ride around some smaller bays and islands in the area.

The speed boats in the forefront is what we were on and the longboats
in the distance is what I rode on during my last tour to the floating island.  
Amazing Race fans may recall this playing field on the 
floating island as a pit stop from last season.
After a few busy and somewhat overwhelming days in Phuket, we took a night bus to Bangkok.  It is certainly not less crowded than where we left but there were crowds 18 years ago and I was prepared for crowds today.  We took a walking tour around the area that included visits to the Grand Palace, the Reclining Buddha, the vegetable and flower market as well as a longboat ride along the canals.

Outside the Grand Palace
While admiring the reclining buddha we
noticed a continuous clanging sound in the building.
Rounding the other side we saw that it was the sound
of coins dropping into metal bowls.  20 baht (about 65 cents)
gives you enough coins to drop 1 in each bowl, giving you good luck.
A friendly woman at the market giving us
samples of some herbs and spices.
The flower market 
From here on it's new territory for all of us (until we hit Europe in May).  We are catching another night bus up to Chiangmai to check out some of the northern areas of Thailand and then it's down to Cambodia and then on to Vietnam.  The adventure continues!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... this is all good ... beautiful scenery, fascinating cultures, amazing architecture, breathtaking geography and wonderful people. What the fans really want to see is the tatoo!!
    Give us a peek (or is it in one of those places that can only be shared with Heather?).