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Jamie's Global Adventures

Sawadee from Bangkok

THAILAND | Sunday, 16 November 2008 | Views [1429] | Comments [1]

The view from our hotel.

The view from our hotel.

Thanks to everyone who has viewed my journal. It's comforting to know that you all are interested in my travels... at least for now. :-)

Our trip is off to an interesting start. I can't say amazing because honestly we haven't been able to see or do much. We somehow managed to time our arrival with the funeral ceremony of Princess Galyani Vadhana, the elder sister of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. She died of cancer 10 months ago and the funeral ceremonies have been in planning every since. The grand palace and most temples have been closed since our arrival. Most businesses are also closed as the majority of people from the city are attending different funeral services. It's incredibly interesting to witness, but somewhat disappointing when you consider the sights we're not going to experience. We may stop back through here to work on Australia visas so hopefully we can squeeze in the sights then. 

Some details about the funeral services:
- Over $9 million spent for week long celebration.
- Grand Crematorium — a $5.7 million temporary complex of pavilions in Bangkok built by hundreds of Thai craftsmen over the past seven months.  We've seen it on TV a couple times. Incredibly impressive.
- People sat in the streets all night watching performances on large screens from the royal palace. This included some great traditional dancing and puppet performances.
- Most businesses closed, except for the knock-off markets and the boom boom clubs. :-(

Despite the disappointment, Sebastian and I have had a great time catching up with one another and slowly preparing for the adventures ahead. We've had some fun walks through the city and several good meals from the different street vendors. We got lost right away and couldn't find anyone who had heard of our hotel. We've heckled prices on fake Diesel shoes. We've jumped in a couple  tuk tuks (so much exhaust!) and even managed to get sandwiched in a line for mourners paying their respects to the Princess. We got hit on by a couple drunk Thai prostitutes on their lunch break. So many fun experiences and we're only on day 3. :-)

My favorite quotes so far:
- "I eat man!".... prostitute when asked what she was doing tonight (Koh San road).
- "You can't beat little girl in thunb wrestle?!".... 10 year old street vendor.
- "Oh you American?... Obama!"....  prostitute.

That's all for now. We're heading north starting on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to less of the Bangkok madness.

Tags: bangkok, funeral services, koh san road, somil soi 2




Yay! Jamie - I am so happy that you are off on an adventure and I can't wait to hear more. Lots of love, Alena

  Alena Nov 19, 2008 3:38 AM



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