Sunday, December 4, 2011


We had just two short days in the exciting, worldly capital of Thailand. Together with our friends, we packed it in.

An important stop for me was the Jim Thompson House. This American ex-pat helped bring Thai silk to the world after the second world war, and his company has become an institution in the design industry. His house is made from reassembled traditional Thai homes, and is filled with an impressive collection of Asian art. It was beautifully decorated and although the tour was insanely boring and no photos were permitted inside, I enjoyed seeing it.

We also visited the royal complex of temples and palaces. Incredible architecture, a mix of the 18th and 19th century 'Bangkok' style with European influences. The Thai take the monarchy seriously. Photos of the king are everywhere, all over the country.

These huge buildings were filled with intricately painted murals. So delicate and constantly being restored.

Street scene!

The flooding had mostly subsided, but we did see some flooded areas near the river during high tide. It was interesting to speak to people about the causes and repercussions of the floods. Most feel the blame lies with a political system mired in corruption that prevented proper preparation.

As evening arrived, we hit the streets of Chinatown for some mind-blowing food.

That included durian, the world's most stinky fruit. Not a favorite.

We also explored the night flower market.

I think we ate two dinners. Or maybe three. Afterwards we wandered around the red light district of Patpong and saw things we never want to see again. The night ended with a harrowing tuk tuk (motorcycle taxi) ride back to the hotel at 3am. Bangkok knows how to have fun, for sure.

The following evening we went to a Thai boxing match, which was a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be.

As much as watching the fighters, who were elegant and skilled, watching the spectators was just as much fun.

On the way out of town for a couple days we stopped at a floating market. The market we visited seemed to be Thailand's biggest tourist vacuum and something I recommend avoiding, unless you are looking for cheap tea shirts and tacky souvenirs.

We spent two nights in a tented camp 3 hours from Bangkok in the Kanchanaburi province. The camp is located on the infamous River Kwai, where the Japanese forced POW and constripted laborers to build the "Death Railway" to Burma during World War II.

More nightmarish monkeys.

Our last night in Bangkok (and Thailand, and of our trip) we had a great meal in a quiet residential neighborhood near the royal palace.

The restaurant, Chotechitr, had a lot of forign patrons, but turned out to be delicious nonetheless.

Chicken with coconut flower.