Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hello Thailand!

We are sweating it out in Bangkok. Hot and sticky Bangkok!

On May 10th, the 6 of us siblings arrived in Thailand from three different countries: Carlynne and Dan from Canada, Marc & Kylie from Cambodia, and Lowell and I from New Zealand. (Shareen and Craig- the last of the G sibs- are still in Canada and have been missed!!)

Since we only had 3.5 days all together before Marc & Kylie returned to Canada, we decided to stick around Bangkok. We stayed at "Lamphu House" which is a safe and clean yet CHEAP guesthouse. We treated ourselves to 2-3 much needed showers a day (in the unisex bathrooms) and enjoyed the plethora of shops and street vendors directly outside the building.

In our first 2 days, we used nearly every mode of transportation available.

Water taxis…

(The homes we passed in the water taxi).

Crazy Tuk Tuks…

The Sky Train...

(We were sopping wet after strolling through the sketchy red light district in the pouring rain).

Regular Taxis...

(We all crammed in one taxi where I pulled out my new inflatable neck pillow in an attempt to combat motion sickness).

Motorbikes driven by officers...

(Kidding kidding. Carlynne didn't actually drive with him- he was just tickled pink by the photo opportunity and oddly excited about Natalie from Canada who is/was Miss Universe. “Do you know Natalie? She from Canada. She Miss Universe! Do you know Natalie?!”)

Crazy canal taxis (of which we have no pictures) ... and TONS of walking. And also darting across roads filled with maniac drivers.

We experienced a lot of the culture while strolling around Bangkok.

1. Some aggressive Thai women forced bird feed on us (in hopes of receiving monetary compensation) causing birds to dive bomb all around us.

2. A weight-lifting parrot…

3. Many outdoor markets with tiny roads that are shared with every type of vehicle plus pedestrians.

It was here that we discovered their very literal ice cream sandwiches- ice cream folded between two pieces of bread. We found this very amusing (and slightly disgusting).

4. Delicious fruit EVERTHING... everywhere.

Cut up fruit in bags that you eat with a stick…

Fruit shakes…

And unique new fruits…

5. The Flower Market (which mainly sells produce) where dogs or cats lay on counters & among the produce, and kids play with their little “Easy Stir Fry Sets” (as opposed to the “Easy Bake Ovens" that WE had growing up). Very cute.

At the flower market, we unintentionally passed through the “ice room” which was a delightful reprieve from the heat. It was all I could do to resist rolling all around the giant ice cube.

6. We attempted to tour the palace, but the beloved King was there blessing the rice crop, so it was closed to tourists. We contented ourselves with tours of Buddhist temples…

There was a lot of gold, several fancy buildings, and many MANY Buddhas.

We paid a visit to the reclining Buddha- one of the largest Buddha’s in the world.

Since Carynne has rather large feet (in proportion to her size), I felt obligated to snap a shot of her with the big Buddha feet.

7. Rihann is a friend of Marc & Kylie’s from Canada who is currently living and working in Bangkok. She took us to a fancy restaurant called “Cabbages & Condoms”which, believe it or not, was very classy! The reason for the unique name is that proceeds from their sales go towards sex education and aids prevention programs in Thailand.

We experienced a sequence of odd events on our way to the restaurant, but eventually arrived to enjoy a delicious authentic Thai meal.

The calamity of events included:

1. Getting in one taxi then immediately exitingg when the driver refused to use the meter.
2. Dan dangling off the edge of the canal taxi. (Those things mean BUSINESS. Dan, the last
one of us to enter, had barely set foot on the ledge when the boat sped off).
3. Kylie walking on the sky train ahead of us and nearly getting closed in alone.
4. Lowell’s ticket getting sucked into the mechanism that lets you OUT of the sky train terminal
and the officer with a seriously tight uniform causing a huge hassle.

Anyhoo, we did eventually make it to the restaurant, and were very amused by the d├ęcor. Everything was decorated with colourful condoms including Condom Santa…

Flowers…

Lanterns…

Captain Condom…

AND MORE!

Instead of receiving dinner mints following our meal, we were given condoms and encouraged to grab another one on the way out (our choice between “Republican” and “Democratic” sizes.)

8. Things are cheap. I hate bartering, but as long as one of the boys is with me, I get a steal of a deal. Any type of spa treatment is also ridiculously cheap, so we’ve treated ourselves to regular massages, manicures, pedicures, and facials. I’m pretty sure that in TOTAL (between all 6 of us) we’ve spent less than it would cost for a single 30 minute massage in most other countries.

Today Marc & Kylie head back to Canada while the rest of us will hop on a night train and continue touring the country. Cooking classes, beaches, and more cheap shopping here we come!!

6 comments :

Bloggy Mama said...

Wild. What a fun adventure with your siblings!!

Shelley said...

wow! so many adventures already!
Too bad Shareen and craig couldn't join you guys :(

Safe travels! Can't wait to see more!

shareen said...

the weight-lifting parrot made me giggle. glad to see you guys are having a good time...looking forward to seeing you when you get home!

Avery said...

What a change of pace from New Zealand - lots of Buddhas and temples! Cooking classes eh? I look forward to hearing about Thai cooking classes:)

Anonymous said...

I would have been terrified in that bird craziness!! It looks like you are having a crazy good time. Enjoy the rest of the holiday!! Are you heading to the coast at all? I have heard the Thai coast is gorgeous!!

kendra

JulieAnne said...

I loved the weight lifting parrot! Haha. Looks like you're having fun!