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!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wildflowers Again

At the height of our rainy season grasses and weeds also make their profuse appearance. But as the term connotes, they normally mean invasiveness. They are not purposely removed or lessened they just stay, multiply and invade as they wish. If weeds are favored by animals, then they might be cut and carried to the animals, but if not they grow and develop to their full glory.

This Ruellia tuberosa lines the side streets, and i have been posting them before in my previous posts. This time they are not fully blooming yet so i chose only one clump. In a little while there will be a lot of them, by that time i home i will be going home to take the photos.

These grasses are also at the side streets, and they are at different levels of blooming. The purplish hues are when the yellow pollens have already fallen.

A still pollen grain-filled inflorescence

with only a few pollen grains left on the spike, leaving the purplish structures

This is an almost spent inflorescence showing the white structures that will eventually hold the seeds.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rains At Last!

The much awaited rainy season has arrived. In previous years,  May is the start of the rainy season, but this year some rains dropped in June although not as plenty as in previous years. It is already July but the heat is still high; rains do not come every afternoon, and plants are still thirsty. I guess the clouds are still not yet very heavy, or winds are not carrying them in our direction. Nevertheless, my 5th Floor Window scenes changed dramatically. However, yesterday i purposely went home early, yet the west horizon is closed with thick black clouds. I didn't bother to shoot as the sunset is not visible at all.   These are a few shoots for the past few days.

clouds trying to group themselves

i love it when the sun's color can still peep through, as fiery as this

some afternoons, the clouds are just laid back, resting

sometimes color is different just like this

And when my horizon looks like this, i immediately get my plants from outside the window. In a few minutes heavy rains will be here, and my pets might die! It is not a lovely sunset photo, but we sorely need this for our plants, and for ourselves to walk outside in slight comfort. Rains cool the environment so quickly, as well as my tired disposition. Rains, rains, rains, please come more often! 
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