Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bangkok ~ กรุงเทพมหานคร

This is awfully overdo, but I have to post some photos from my spring break trip to Thailand!  We were there for over a week starting May 4th, and it was paradise!  It was a really good opportunity to gain perspective on another Asian country.  We started out in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and the most populous city at almost 8.3 million people.
Judging from the brief time I spent there, Bangkok cleaner, quieter, and friendly than Shanghai.  Obviously there are a lot of factors here, and we didn't really seek out the darker side of things, but I appreciated how drivers didn't honk their horns (and drive on the left), the slower pace of life ('Thai time' -- I theorize that it's so darn hot, no one wants to move any quicker to sweat more!), vendors and taxi drivers are courteously pushy but not relentless, and if you make eye contact with other individuals, they would actually smile back.  The Thai culture seems to value politeness, which was refreshing.
 Us seven ladies stayed on the 33rd floor of the Anatara, a luxury hotel experience that probably won't be repeated for a while (Expedia was had 50% off all hotels and it helps splitting the price between so many people).
 The views from our two(!) balconies were spectacular.
 Thailand is almost completely Theravada Buddhist, and I loved seeing the shrines and temples.
 We squeezed seven of us into these scooter-carts that they call Tuk Tuks (Charlotte took this photo and piled in after)!  Even the driver thought it was hilarious.  
That afternoon we took a cruise on the Chao Phraya River, which gave us so many views that we would never know from the street.

 We also took a look at one of the most famous temples in the city, Wat Arun.

 The Theravada Buddhist architecture is so distinctive and colorful.

To cool down from the heat of the day, we lolled about the infinity pool at our hotel with some cocktails.  
Oh, how I wish the Shanghai skyline burned during the sunsets like Bangkok!  

If you've seen The Hangover Part II which is set in Bangkok, maybe you remember the scene when they're at a rooftop restaurant and a helicopter shooting occurs?  We were able to go to that Sky Bar!  It's the world's highest open-air bar on the 63rd story of the Lebua State Tower.  Unfortunately I don't have any decent photos, but the 360 views were unbelievable.  It was a classy establishment, with attendants in suits and a dress code for patrons.  Because you weren't allowed to linger on the stairs and patio that lead to the restaurant,  we were all ushered to the crowded bar and viewing platform.  Afterwards, we went to a night market called Patpong, which was complete with food vendors, counterfeit goods, sex shows and bars.  It was a fun area to wander around, but no, we didn't have any experiences like The Hangover Part II! 


Donna said...

I was really happy to see these photos, it all looks so beautiful. Wonderful experience!!!

Jen N. said...

Nicole, I am just now catching up on all of your marvelous adventures thus far and just want to say how much you amaze me! throwing yourself into all of these experiences seems so brave and I love being able to read your intelligently written blog posts about it all. I miss you a ton and cannot wait to see you and here about all of this in person as well. I'm sorry we haven't had the chance to talk since you've been gone but I'm so glad to see how brilliantly things are going for you. Keep on adventuring and I hope to see you soon.

Allison said...

These pictures are stun-ning. I dream of visiting Thailand and am so jealous of you and all your amazing adventures. I LOVE that you're taking so much time to travel around Asia and soak up every possible moment. These are the experiences of a lifetime, and you're taking every single advantage of it, which I love and envy all in one! Can't WAIT to see more (and even though I haven't commented lately, I've been following religiously). Love you, dear friend!