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Bangkok | Southern Beaches | Chiang Mai | Running Hash

Thailand -- January 16, 2003 - February 22, 2003

We spent five weeks in amazing Thailand, and already cannot wait to go back some day. The Thai people are the nicest, most gracious people we've encountered anywhere... the food is spectacular, the landscape is gorgeous, and the price of it all is enough to leave you crying in your European beer.

Arriving in Bangkok — And the World's Our Oyster Sauce

We landed in Bangkok, the gateway to Thailand, a city to overload every one of your senses with the sight of elephants clomping down city streets surrounded by bicycles, swarms of motorbikes, and tiny tuk-tuks (motorized tri-shaws) weaving in and out of the congested traffic; streetside food stalls selling fried grasshoppers and other incredibly large and crunchy insects(cockroaches?!); spicy smells of Thai cooking in the air mixing with wafts of sewage and exhaust fumes; bald-headed monks in bright orange robes patiently picking their way through crowds of dread-locked backpackers; families of five piled onto a single moped zooming by with the mother nursing a newborn baby while elegantly riding sidesaddle and crossing her high-heel-clad feet at the ankles...

We spent most of our time in Bangkok on the infamous Khao San Road (the backpackers' haven). A mix of pre-90's Times Square and Blade Runner, Khao San Road is crowded and dirty to the point of being stifling. But it is also the most useful place to provision for traveling on the cheap. While everyone back home was digging out of 3 feet of snow, we were sweating in oppressively hot 95 degree heat, navigating through the tuk-tuks, street vendors, backpackers and back alleys of Khao San, chasing down travel visas, used travel books, cheap clothing, and the ever-elusive quiet bar to have a Chang beer. To Dana's great dismay, we found ourselves back in Bangkok far too often in our attempts to get to more remote parts of Thailand, but this gave us plenty of time to visit such Bangkok wonders as the ornate and elegant Grand Palace and the Wat Pho, with their golden Buddhas, bejewelled, palatial marbled walls and floors, and cheap Thai massages.


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