Two days. Five airports. 8,000 miles. A transfer in Seoul, Korea and an arrival in Bangkok at midnight yesterday. Everything went smoothly including successfully spotting my name scrawled on a piece of paper in a sea of other names and Asian faces. A mad dash from Suvarnabhumi Airport (hands down the coolest airport I’ve seen to date) to the hotel where I finally hit the pillow at 3 a.m. in a semi-delirious state.
This morning I had free breakfast at my hotel which overlooks the Chao Phraya River. Eat your heart out, Best Western. I hired a driver for the day and set out to see Bangkok. I’m not going to lie, I was somewhat prepared for utter chaos and the stress that comes with it, but Bangkok is surprisingly comfortable to me. I probably have India to thank for that. The traffic is congested yes, but organized and not nearly as noisy as I anticipated. The streets are not filthy, they do not reek of piss, and I do not see heaps of animal excrement everywhere.
I visited three of the more popular temples including Wat Phra Kaew (home to the Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (home to a 46 meter long golden reclining Buddha, the likes of which I have never seen) and Wat Benchamabophit, aka the Marble Temple. I shot over 500 photos before noon so I consider that a good day.
I made a visit to a shopping mall in search of a cell phone and was met with neon lights, enough pastels to induce a seizure, and swarms of giggling children – turns out it’s a national holiday today – Children’s Day.
I passed the UNICEF office and would like to make a visit before I depart from Bangkok. I plan to also visit ECPAT, an organization working to eliminate child prostitution, pornography, and trafficking.
I have ample wifi right now so I will post updates and photos as much as I can via the blog and Facebook. What will tomorrow bring? Hopefully a Thai massage!