Sunday, January 19, 2020

On To Krabi

Our last full day in Bangkok was part administrative, part exploration of the Thong Lor district (poor advice from a guide book), and part jet-lag recovery. On January 14, we packed up, indulged ourselves in the Marriott/Aloft breakfast, took a cab to Suvarnabhumi, and jetted to our next destination, Krabi, on the southwest Thai coast. Sun and fun and...long-tail boats and karsts.
One of the nicer breakfast spreads we've seen, both Asian and western

On approach to Krabi, aboard Thai Airways, one of the perennially top ten
airlines in the world

I think their perennially high rating must be based on international flights...

Yum...who could resist hot tuna and mayonnaise?! Interestingly (I checked),
there are no US carriers in the top 40, although eight are in the top much
for American exceptionalism

A forty minute shuttle took us from Krabi airport to our hotel, the Holiday Inn
Express at Ao Nang beach
Standard Thai housekeeping welcome
Including, day-time, a view of the beach, across the street, through the trees;
already feeling smarter

Next morning stroll along the low-tide beach; the karsts out there in the Andaman
Sea are what interests us about the area

Later in the day, walking up toward the western end of Ao Nang beach

Beyond the promontory is Railay Beach, which we'll visit in a few days

Obligatory sunset pix...

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Khaosan Road And Return

Khaosan Road was another bit of Bangkok we did not see in 2008, and, as one of the world's great backa-packa ghettos, it was something I wanted to see. It's also the last stop on the hop-on/hop-off boat. And no, we did not see a ping-pong show.
Khaosan Road itself is less than a kilometer long, but the roads leading to it from
the river are pretty much the same scene

Did the Dude visit Thailand? We know he smoked Thai stick...

Are we back in Edinburgh?! No, it's the Golden Johnnie Walker

Restaurant decor

The Google Maps route to Khaosan Road led through this
and other interesting alleys

Finally, we are there

Grilled scorpion anyone?

Maybe some crocodile roti?

Well, one out of four isn't bad

On the return up the river

Wat Pho

Wat Arun

The IconSiam shopping center

Stunning place, Bangkok

Wat Arun, Reclining Buddha, But Not Wat Pho

After Chinatown, we walked back to the river, hopped on the boat, and zig-zagged our way to Wat Arun, from which we took the ferry to Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha.
River scene; most of traffic we saw was tourist in nature, but there were a few

Thai tug boat

Beautiful Wat Arun, something we missed in 2008; it was
about this time we began thinking perhaps we should revisit
some of the sights we saw then

Alas, you can't take your drone into Wat Arun without first
getting permission!

Wat Pho, approaching on the ferry; we sought access to the temple, marched in
long lines, but at length were denied access for violation of the dress code--
which, we aver, is not consistently enforced at the various sights--our knees and
arms and shoulders were all covered, and other parts too, but still they said no

Vicki did get in to see the enormous Reclining Buddha;
while I was visiting the Standing-In-Line-For-The Return-Ferry

Restoration work

46 meters long, He is, about half the length of a futbol field;
not solid gold, however

Murals abounding

I don't think she was chanting

Vicki and the great Reclining Buddha

Note extremely balanced and harmonious toes

Nice sandals too

Unusual dorsal view; thanks, Vicki!

Major merit earned here

Penny ante merit

Bangkok Chinatown

It's best seen at night, they say, but we were there and didn't think we'd have the stamina to come back in the evening. We wandered the streets a bit, had a great Thai lunch at Tammour (spiciest ever, 3-alarm for me) and then waded into the covered alleys, which proved to be the great experience of the day.
River side gate

Stupid elephant tricks

Fuller Brush man

Popular restaurant on street

Now into the alleys

New Year's goods piling up everywhere

Cardboard costumery

Massive quantities of food everywhere

Dried squid

There are street food stands in Bangkok that are Michelin starred; this one only
Michelin Red recommended

Mushroom district

Rib stand

Architecture above

As elsewhere in Bangkok, you can buy pretty much anything
on the street