Thailand the land of smiles :)

Bangkok Travel Blog

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April 11th- We had a limo service come pick us up at our house and take us to Newark airport. Our flight was from Newark to Hong Kong then transferred to a different flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok. We boarded our Continental flight and some woman was supposed to sit next to my mother on the flight but she asked the steward to move a few aisles up. We have no idea why she wanted to relocate but great for us. We spread out and had an empty seat to ourselves. Great news for our 16 hour flight! I've never been on a flight longer then 8 hours, so it was a little tough for me. Luckily we were on the flight where you can choose from over 200 movies to watch.
I caught up on all the new releases (Blind Side, Whip It, Avatar etc). They served so much food on this flight too. Breakfast, snack, Lunch, snack, Dinner. Too bad it was gross. But at least it passed the time. We finally got to Hong Kong airport, which was huge by the way, and only had 30 mins to get to our next flight. We ran through the airport and made it right on time for our next flight. We boarded Thai airways. Wow what an amazing flight that was. They gave us peanuts, an entire Thai dinner, Chinese Tea, Wine and a beautiful Thai Orchid. There were so many flight attendants all dressed in traditional Thai attire. Such great service. Couldn't speak more highly of a flight. We then got picked up at the airport and were transported to our hotel, Marriott Resort and Spa Bangkok and crashed for the night.

 We woke up & my mother burnt out her new Chi blowdryer (make note not to plug in your electronics without an adapter). We went down and met our tour guide in the hotel lobby. Our guides name was Ning and she first took us to ride the elephants. OMG my mother absolutely freaked out. I have never seen her so petrified in my life. She said it was the scariest thing she ever did (as you can tell she doesn't take risks at all). When the elephant stopped to eat something she started whistling at him to keep going. It was all too much, thought the poor lady was going to have heart failure.  After the ride, mom calmed down a bit. We stopped for some coconut ice cream. Mm delicious, then headed off to the floating market. There were so many different types of food and souvenirs sold.
Pretty interesting. We took a longtail speed boat ride, which was an excellent way to see the houses along the river. I really enjoyed it, very relaxing and serene. We then headed over to the Bridge Over River Kwai. We ate a buffet Thai lunch, which was not at all what I expected. The food was less then mediocre. They even had spaghetti and marinara sauce there, I was disappointed. Then we went to check out the Bridge. It was HOT, about 100 degrees and humid as hell. I felt like I was going to faint so I sat down. Ning made me inhale this little stick that smelt like Vicks vapor rub. I immediately felt better, powerful little stick. I wanted one, so we stopped at 7-11 where I bought the vapor stick, and also picked up cheap flip flops (so that my shoes don't get stolen at the temples the next day) and Red Bull (which was in glass medicine like containers, pretty cool and really cheap less then 50 cents).
We then headed back to the hotel. Before we left for our trip I researched the best Thai restaurants in Bangkok and made reservations for Thiptara in the Peninsula hotel.  We took a taxi over from our hotel to the Peninsula, it was less then a 5 minute ride. We entered hotel and walked to the other side where the restaurant was located. It was outdoors, along the river. Incredible views. All the boats were lit up. Our meal started with some spicy cashews (incredible). Then we ordered Chicken Satay for appetizer. Those were also delicious. The peanut sauce was to die for. I ordered Chicken with spicy basil, my mother ordered sweet and sour chicken wrapped in leaves and my father ordered Tiger Prawns. And we all split an order of Pad Thai. Everything was SPECTACULAR. By far the best Thai food I've ever had.
My dish was real spicy, but all in all delicious. During dinner there was a beautiful Thai girl playing an oriental instrument of some sort, such a nice dining experience. Would have been so romantic if I weren't with my parents!

The next day we were picked up by Ning again and we headed to see Wat Pho home of the reclining Buddha. The Buddha was gold and enormous, beautiful. We were handed a tin filled with coins and had to drop one coin in each metal bucket that was lined up. Supposedly gives you good luck. We went outside the temple and was given a bowl filled with water and poured the water over Buddhas shoulder in honor of Songkran the Thai New Year. There was a huge gong that my parents headed over to get their swing at. There were all sorts of stands set up for the Songkran festivities.
I ordered an old fashioned blueberry soda that came out of rocket ship like machine. I was a little scared to drink it because I was told not to drink the ice, but I did, and it was delicious and I was fine.

We then headed over to the Grand Palace. My father and I had to rent clothes because we were dressed inappropriately. I was given a hot pink Hawaiian shirt and a long wrap skirt with elephants, and my father was given pants with yellow elephants on it. Haha, great attire. It was again incredibly hot out. The humidity made it so much worse. We went in and checked out the Emerald Buddha, not as impressive as I expected after just have witnessing the reclining Buddha but beautiful never the less. We walked around the Palace a bit, absolutely breathtaking.
I have never seen building as intricate and beautiful in my life. We left and then took another long tail speedboat ride. Again another nice peaceful ride along the river until... another boat passed by us and everyone on the boat decided to throw buckets of water at us in celebration of the New Year. Well my mother flipped out because not only was she soaked but her camera was too. I was using a water camera so wasn't phased. We quickly dried off her camera, and luckily it still functioned. Happy New Year! Haha, it was rather humorous to me. My mother is the type of woman who spends 5 hours a day doing her hair so to see her get wet was a comedy to me. She knew it was Songkran so she couldn't really get mad, she got over it pretty quick. After the boat ride we got back into the van and headed over to a mall so that my mom could buy a new blowdryer (since hers blew out).
I was amazed by the food sold there. For example they had Pringles... but had the most dynamic flavors. Crab, shrimp, blueberry flavored? I was in amazement. After the mall we headed to the port where we would find our cruise ship, the Diamond Princess.
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photo by: rintjez