Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 7 of 17 › view all entries
I almost didn't go on the excursion because I was so tired from the night before, but alas, I paid for it, and damnit if I was going to let the money go to waste.
Out friends from San Bernardino went as well, and I spent most of the day with them. It was HOT. We boarded a bus and rode for about an hour to the Ancient City, which is like a Thai religious amusement park filled with Buddhist temples. This was pretty much the first time I'd gotten to see the roads of Thailand in daylight, and it was such a neat experience to take it all in. Most homes have small replicas of temples on their property where they give offerings and light incense. And lots of poverty right next to wealth. It was fascinating. I listened to Strauss, I think, and kind of dozed as we drove.
The Ancient City was really not geared for Westerners, I think.
Hours of walking, shopping in the Floating Market there, taking photos, and being hotter than hell, and finally we boarded the bus and went to the dinner. This was pretty much my first real glimpse of Bangkok proper, and it was like a very extreme version of San Fransisco's Chinatown mixed with Las Vegas mixed with another planet. I can't really describe it.
We shopped for a bit while they prepared the banquet, and then we went upstairs in this gigantic skyscraper to a banquet room. The food was amazing. All the other excursions people had taken wound up meeting us there, and we all ate together and had fun. Then we got to go to the top of the skyscraper to the open-air revolving deck. It was kind of like the Space Needle, although most likely much less safe. I'm afraid of heights, but I made it around for one revolution and didn't die or puke.
That night, back in the dorms at Assumption University, I slept so well. I conked out. I'd gotten to eat vegetables. I got a bit sunburned. I saw beauty, and I saw filth. It may have been the most restful night I spent on the whole trip.