|For a quick overview of Thailand provided by the BBC, click here
Sorry to those who have noticed we went "off the grid" for a few weeks.
Now...where were we? Yes, entry into Thailand. So, you'll all be very happy to know that we are becoming much more savvy when it comes to booking transport. To get to the Thai border from Battambang, Cambodia we needed to hire a share taxi. We thought to ask all sorts of important questions like "how many seats are there?", "what kind of vehicle?", etc. Turned out the Toyota Camry is the taxi driver's car of choice and that typically 4 seats were sold for the back and 2 for the front(nevermind this means putting 7 people into a car designed for a maximum of 5). So, clever travelers that we are, we bought 3 seats in the back so that we would only have one more person join us and our big western behinds would squeeze in okay. Worked magically. Though, we were slightly surprised and amused when the driver picked up an additional passenger (we already had 2 ladies sharing the front seat, the driver plus 3 of us in the back) and proceeded to sit him on his lap for the last hour of the trip! In any case, arrived at the border within 3 hours, crossed over with ease and were able to get into Bangkok in less then 4 hours after crossing the border. Easy trip!
Bangkok is a huge, sprawling, modern metropolis with over 6 million people and lots of interesting neighborhoods concentrated around the Chao Phraya river. We spent 3 days here seeing the sights (Grand Palace, Wat Pho's Giant reclining Buddha, Jim Thompson's House, the flower market, etc.) Enjoyed some of the most beautiful food we've had yet in our travels, though are finding it hotter than expected. While the Thai people have been extremely friendly, helpful and sweet, we've been very put off by many of the foreigners that seem to be populating the streets. It seems the sleaziest people from all the Western countries come to Bangkok for sex tourism, drugs, who knows what all? But, they are of a very different ilk than what we've encountered thus far in our travels. Unsavory characters abound! Not generalizing, of course, but noticable difference.
A highlight of our time in Bangkok was meeting up with Christy's uncle Jerry's High School Friend, Rob and his wife Edie. Rob has been an expat in Bangkok for over a decade and graciously hosted us for drinks at his home about an hour from Bangkok and dinner at a delicious, local, riverside restaurant. It was great to meet Rob and Edie and we look forward to sharing some of the stories we heard about our dear uncle when we return! Secretly, we also loved that he sent his driver to pick us up from the city with a cooler full of ice-cold beer in the back seat!! He knows how to live!!!