Daniel's Travels

Thailand

TG699-TG794

I have been to Thailand two times, both brief. I first stopped in Thailand on my way back to the US from Cambodia in 2006 to see my friend, Visrin for a day. Having arrived from Phnom Penh and two weeks in Cambodia, Bangkok seemed like stepping back into a developed country. Although when I look back at pictures now, I realize that Thailand is still not there. The night I arrived, Visrin and her dad picked me up at the airport and drove me to their house. I went straight to sleep as I had been feeling quite sick for the last three days from something I caught in Cambodia.

The next morning, she took me on the Skytrain down to the riverfront and then on a boat up the river to the Royal Palace. I remember it being almost exactly like the Cambodian Royal Palace except the Ramayana was more well maintained and the temples and buildings were covered in more gold. It was sunny and therefore blinding to stand there between all of the gilded, shining buildings. We left the Royal Palace, had a coconut, and then lunch. Lunch was a pink-colored soup and my first introduuction to fishballs. We went to buy tie pants (Thai pants?) and I got 6 or 7 pair for everyone back in the US. I had just enough time to get an ice cream and a nice haircut before I went back to the airport to head home. The haircut was fun because the ladies cutting my hair gave me what was essentially the Thai version of Cosmo to read while I waited and my friend translated what I wanted to look like.

I had a great time in Bangkok and Visrin was an excellent host, but I think I was kind of out of it because I was so sick from Cambodia. The entire fifteen-and-a-half hour flight back to LAX (nonstop, direct all the way from Bangkok), I had a sharp pain in my stomach from a combination of whatever I had eaten in Cambodia and whatever illness I had.

Grad & Shopping Trip

Being stuck in Singapore sucks, so Grace and I planned a trip to Yangon, Myanmar for a long weekend but because of Cyclone Nargis, we cancelled the trip and had more free cash. We went to Bangkok with Grace's friend, Shermaine and her boyfriend, Jonathan, for her grad trip. We went for just a few nice days outside of Singapore. Because of budget constraints, we again flew from a nearby city as we had flown to Jakarta. This time, however, instead of taking a boat to Batam, we grabbed a bus and then a cab to Johor Bahru's Senai Airport, grabbing a Mega Mac (Malaysia's 4-beef pattie Big Mac) along the way.

It was fun to just wander around shops and see what is there. We went to one of the infamous sex shows, which was kind of disturbing for me because all of the participants looked absolutely depressed (as I think I would also look) while lots of drunk military guys (and other curious guys and girls like us) watched. It was quite strange to see the sex industry right in my face because I generally am so oblivious to it that I generall only notice the most blatant examples (such as a line of prostitutes along a street in Phnom Penh).

Besides that, we mostly shopped and ate. We covered a lot of ground in the Chatuchak Weekend Market and spent quite a lot of time in MBK. It was a good shopping trip for Grace and she returned to Singapore loaded with booty. On our way back, it took us only 35 minutes to go between the airport and the causeway, but three more hours to get all the way home.

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