On our way in Bangkok! Tues/Wed, Oct 27-28
Maybe you wouldn't be astonished, but it certainly was a wonder to Jimmy and me to be in Bangkok, Thailand, even for one day! Who'd a ever thunk it? But that's where our Roads Scholar trip landed us! So, imagine if you will, that we are traveling from 7,000 ft in Bhutan, with its clear, dry air, to basically sea level in overcast, hot, humid Bangkok. Our systems immediately hit the "dislike" button and our entire group suffered. Nevertheless, we soldiered on.
Our Drukair plane after landing. Very nice service on this airline.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a HUGE city, a sprawling metropolis of over 8 million people. Skyscrapers dot the horizon for as far as the eye can see; it makes Los Angeles look like a small town. And it has acute traffic congestion to go with the urban sprawl, despite an extensive expressway system, with masses of motor bikes and cars, motorized minicabs, and buses clogging the roadways. We were met at the airport by our Thai guide, Matthew (he pronounced it Matt-hew). Our RS bus (speaking of buses) was fancy with comfy upholstered seats and heavenly air conditioning (we were grateful), and we joined the throng of vehicles on the drive from airport to hotel.
Our room at the Majestic Grande Hotel was very nice, modern, on the ninth floor overlooking the pool on the seventh floor.
The elephants' trunks weren't spitting at this moment, but most of the time they were! We had our suits with us, but didn't take a dip. I wish we had ... it would've been refreshing!
We did not like the weather in Bangkok, but we loved the food -- we enjoyed the best food of the trip.
Our welcoming dinner at the hotel was not only delicious, every dish was beautifully presented.
The first course was vegetable spring rolls, with a yummy peanut dipping sauce.
Dessert was to die for: Fresh mango with white sticky rice and coconut sauce to pour over the rice. Oh my!
(I'm making myself hungry as I type this!)
Our group of 11 is happily working on the dessert! Our guide, Matthew, is at the head of the table.
Breakfast the next morning was beyond expectation! We've never seen such an array of tempting treats. Anything and everything, all fresh and scrumptious. Above is a honeycomb, with honey dribbling onto the tray beneath, and then into the bowl below. I can tell you that honey didn't last long in the bowl!
After breakfast, it was back on the bus. On our way to Wat Po, we spotted this fella, which, to me, looks suspiciously like a Mr. Potato Head.
Looking out of the bus window, we pulled up next to ... I call it a motorized minicab. We saw lots of 'em.
Seen from the bus window, this street is one small section of the famous ICP Flower Market. I wish we'd had time to explore this wholesale flower district -- every flower you can think of is sold here at very cheap prices. Fruits and veggies can be found as well. The market is open 24 hours a day and it's a real beehive of activity. I saw a riot of flower color just in the confined area we drove past.
Next, we'll tour Wat Po, the city's most famous landmark.