Thursday, July 31, 2014

Escapades to the World of Buddha

My two former officemates who are now working elsewhere invited me to join them to Bangkok this year. That was at the beginning of the year. I just said yes with the condition that we will be going to Myanmar other than just Bangkok. Two of us have been to Bangkok a few times, only Shawie has not been there yet. They agreed and online plane bookings to Bangkok were hurriedly completed. There was no direct flight to Myanmar (formerly Burma), so we automatically will pass by Bangkok. Another serendipitous situation works for us fairly well. My former officemate travel buddy is now working for an international organization based in Bangkok. That is a bonus. We can stay in his condo unit, we already have a travel guide, someone will feed us, he is also a good cook and he will be joining us to Myanmar! That was a very good plan at the start of the year!

We set our dates in July to accomodate his schedules, and we didn't book our Yangon, Myanmar tickets nor accomodations because his staff will book all of us. Sometimes, plans no matter how perfect are not really perfect after all. He was given assignments on our travel dates, and who are we to interfere in an employer-employee transactions! No matter how bad and disagreeable the circumstances were, we continued our journey on our own; booked our tickets and accomodations, plan a new itinerary and searched for a lot of possibilities. For consolation his staff booked us to a convenient and nice hotel in Bangkok on our way back home. So we suddenly put our thinking to be on our own, and that is more exciting. So our stay in Bangkok was set 1 day before and 1 day after Myanmar.

Our friend has a corner unit on a high rise building, where we had a good view of the city at night. 

We started early as we only have a day and a half before our flight. We first took the Chao Praya Cruise, where there are 13 pier stops. A full ticket entitles one to get off at any pier, roam around the tourist sites near it, then ride the boat again for another pier stop of interest. We only did 5 stops, as some are shopping stops and we didn't like that. We just toured those with temples and local market. We content ourselves mostly with the sights while on the boat. Chao Praya is the main river in Bangkok and very useful also to commerce and tourism.

 Those boats are for rent by small groups, stops and duration depends on their negotiation.

 This is the big passenger boat that allows passengers to have tickets only to the pier of their destination. We bought the full ticket allowing us to get off and on the piers we want to see.

 Wat Arun Temple is a famous landmark in Bangkok, but we failed to get off in this pier. We were busy talking and we forgot to disembark early. We saw people climbing to the middle of the temple and walking around. We should have done that too! Anyway, maybe there's a next time.

 That is another private boat for rent, resembles boats of old. 

 Another older styled boat.

There are also beautiful high rises along this famous Chao Praya River.

look at that modern bridge on the right, isn't that lovely, complementing the twin towers

The Peninsula, Bangkok

 We almost finished the whole day, and we capped the day with a Thai massage in the afternoon just before dinner. We intended to have the dinner cruise, but it turned out that cruises sometimes take day-offs too. So we landed at the restaurant near where the cruise starts, near the steel bridge.

 Periodic drizzles did not drive people to take covers, and we enjoyed the view and the food.

Sea bass and salad are just two in our menu, and i really love the seabass with that sauce, oh i can eat that again and again. Shawie didn't know that orchid flowers can be eaten, she thought that is only for decoration. So i showed her how to eat that. She was so astonished because most people here collects orchids, there they make them into salads, haha!

We stayed longer there talking and eating, drinking and eating again. Then we left to have coffee in another place, and it was really an awesome nightcap! Bangkok this time is placed at a different light in my memory trunk!

Then the rest is sleep!

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