Honeymoon - Bangkok

Check out photos from our time in Bangkok here. As I mentioned in my previous post, we were unable to get to Laos on schedule due to weather delays, so we decided to head directly to Bangkok so we didn't waste any time. We switched our flights and booked our hotel from the airport's WiFi! It was all quite exciting.

We arrived in Bangkok around dinner time, but it took quite a while to actually get to our hotel because there was so much traffic on the highway. I think it actually ended up taking as long as our flight, which was about an hour and a half. We were pretty relieved when we finally got to our hotel, which was Siam @ Siam.

Not only is it an odd name, it is kind of difficult to tell to cab drivers since there is also a Siam hotel: "No, not Siam, Siam@Siam!" It actually ended up being a pretty good hotel for a reasonable price. The design was really unusual, very industrial looking in an edgy way.

We got in pretty late to have dinner and most of the restaurants were closed, but luckily there was a street vendor right around the corner from our hotel that was cooking Pad Thai! We were both quite excited to have some authentic Pad Thai as our first meal. It was quite tasty and really cheap!

The next morning, we headed toward the river for a tour on a long-tail boat, which the concierge suggested. They are these skinny boats with the drive-shaft extending pretty far off the back of the boat. They steer by moving the whole engine and drive-shaft. It was actually similar to the boats we saw in Cambodia, except more narrow. They really zipped along! We got a bit wet, but it was a really hot day so we didn't mind.

The first stop on our tour was Wat Arun. It is along the river and quite tall and ornately decorated. Quite a bit different from the temples we saw in Cambodia! We were able to climb up the stairs and get a nice view of the city as well, which was nice. The stairs were pretty steep as you can see!

After that, the fellow driving the boat took us through some side-canals off of the main river. It was pretty fun zipping through them and seeing the houses on either side of the canal.

The tour ended near the Grand Palace, which would be our next stop. As we walked off the dock, we walked into a big market selling mostly food which looked really good. We weren't quite hungry yet so we wandered a bit and the market continued along the road. They were selling all sorts of things, many sold these miniature carvings which seemed to be for some religious purpose.

After walking along the market for quite a while, we headed back to the food area to get some food. We found a nice looking street restaurant and grabbed some food there. I got Pad Thai again because I love it and it is particularly tasty here! I don't remember what Kellian got but it was also very good.

The Grand Palace was quite impressive, as you would expect! It was a walled area with a number of beautiful buildings inside. The main site of note appeared to be the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which was a magnificent building with a green Buddha inside. It is actually jade, I think, not emerald, but it still looks quite cool. There is all sorts of other statues surrounding it, as well as very detailed paintings all around the walls of the building. It was pretty incredible! Unfortunately, we could not take pictures inside. This is a picture of me next to the outside of the building. They do like their gold! Check out the photos for more pictures of this area.

After a long day touring around, we decided to check out a Muay Thai fight! Muay Thai is also known as Thai boxing. It is pretty much like boxing, except you can kick and knee your opponent as well as strike with your elbows. It was pretty intense! We watched 10 matches, each of which was progressively more interesting as the fighters were more skilled. It was fairly expensive and lasted for quite a while, but we really enjoyed it! The athleticism was really impressive! There were two knockouts, which was pretty exciting too.

The next morning, we decided to check out Jim Thompson's house, a historical site, since it was right around the corner from our hotel and our friend Vichu recommended it. Jim Thompson was a silk trader who lived in Bangkok and his home consisted of a number of traditional Thai buildings that had been moved to this site, joined together, and adapted somewhat to suit his tastes. There was also a bunch of artifacts that he collected throughout his home. The interesting part is that he mysteriously disappeared during a trip to Malaysia. Nobody knows what happened to him!

The house and gardens were really beautiful, and they had a nice tour that explained some of the interesting architectural features of the home as well as background on some of the artifacts he collected.

After that, we made our way to our second hotel, where we were planning to stay in the first place: The Mandarin Oriental. This was a pretty fancy hotel, which was a nice way to end our trip. The room was very nice and the location was quite good too: right on the river with a great view of the city.

One neat feature is that they have a ferry that will take guests to a few locations along the river, so we decided to take it over to the sky train rather than walking. It is a really cool ferry, it looks like a house with beautiful dark wood. I don't think I got a good picture of it from the outside, but we got some pictures inside.

We took the sky train over to the weekend market, which is an enormous, sprawling market. They sold pretty much anything you could think of there. My favorite spot was where they were selling pets, they had some really cute looking puppies and bunnies that you could pet. It was a bit sad though since they probably don't have the best living conditions.

After wandering in the market (and eating some more Pad Thai!) we made our way over to a show called Siam Niramit. The show was incredible! It is a bit hard to capture how spectacular it was, particularly since we couldn't take any pictures. It involved some traditional Thai dancing, multiple amazingly elaborate sets, and beautiful costumes. There were even two elephants, a goat, and a chicken involved! Halfway through the show, a river emerges from the front of the stage that a dancer dives into. There were boats floating down the river with people paddling them. There were multiple people flying through the air at once. It was really a feast for the eyes, we loved it! Definitely check it out if you go to Bangkok!

When we returned to our hotel, we found a nice heart made out of white roses on our bed, as well as some delicious chocolates and papaya cut into hearts. This honeymoon stuff is great!

The next day we went to find Chinatown, which was one of the things folks said we should check out. I'm not sure if we just didn't find it or what, but we just found a bunch of street vendors selling watches, switchblades, and other random stuff. Oh well!

After that we made our way over to the Siam Paragon mall which was supposed to be particularly awesome. We're not really mall people, but it was a really nice mall. The food court was incredible, and there were a bunch of neat shops. There was a luxury car dealership that was on the 3rd floor, I wondered how they got the cars up there! It seemed a bit unnecessary.

After that, we saw a great puppet show at the King Power Complex. While it wasn't quite as extravagant as Siam Niramit (nothing really could be), the show was really good! They had some greats sets, and the puppetry was very good. Each puppet took three people to operate: one person operated the left hand and head/body, one person operated the feet, and one person operated the right hand. They performed some very intricate traditional Thai dances, and even came out into the audience so we could get a closer look and interact with the puppets. Definitely worth checking out!

The following day, we headed back home! It was an incredible trip but I was definitely ready to be back home! Heres' a picture after our long flight back.

A big thanks to everyone who helped us with our trip! I hope you've enjoyed reading about it, we had an awesome time!

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