Friday, April 7, 2017

Days 19 & 20- Bangkok then Home

I was feeling sick yesterday and had a restless night. No runs but it felt like I had a brick in my stomach and I had no appetite. Even the smell of food repelled me.

We went to a nearby cafe and had a light breakfast before going across the very busy street to Lumphini Park. This park is an oasis in the middle of this very loud, very modern, very populated and very busy part of Bangkok.

It was mostly locals in the park. One little girl (about 10), looked at us, gave us a big smile and said " Welcome to Thailand". 

There was a vendor in the park selling snacks and those Asian noodle cups that you just add boiling water. She helped me choose one that wasn't too spicy. She was very friendly and went out of her way to be helpful.

John and I sat at a picnic table beside the man-made lake in the park. Some older men were playing some kind of a dice game at a table nearby. Suddenly I saw what I thought was a big turtle swimming in the water. It turned out to be a monitor lizard and it swam right across the lake. We saw many more of these very large lizards, sunning themselves or swimming in the water.

We walked around the park and watched groups of young and old people doing tai chi and another group doing some kind of a slow fan dance. Another lady was instructing an older man on some kind of a slow sword dance. There was a couple of old men helping each other perfect their sword movement technique. People really make good use of their parks. 

We next took the BTS Sky Train (an elevated subway) to Siam Square, which is blocks and blocks of a never ending, busy, high end but delightfully air conditioned shopping centres.

We walked to the nearby Jim Thompson House. Jim Thompson was a wealthy silk merchant who fell in love with Thailand and moved six traditional Thai houses to his property (now central Bangkok) and put them together to create his home, filling them with Thai antiques. He disappeared mysteriously in 1967 when out for a walk on a trip to Malaysia. 

I learned a lot about silk production and the property was beautiful. I was not feeling well, so after trying to find some gifts for the guys, we went back to our hotel for a rest.

Next we grabbed the MRT underground subway (John loves to use subways/ trains in foreign countries) to Siam Nirimat which we had reserved tickets for. Siam Nirimat is a large Thai cultural park. We first went through a reconstructed village of all the traditional type houses of the different areas of Thailand. They had demonstrations and samples of everything from Thai food, shadow puppets, music, flower garland making,weaving and more. We even had a Thai bracelet tied on us for good luck and were given a Thai blessing. 

There were elephants, performers in traditional Thai costumes and lady-boys that you could take your picture with. I took John's picture with a couple exotic lady-boys and he took mine with the traditional costumed performers.

We then went to a large Thai buffet. I had taken an Eno and was able to eat.

We next went to the large theatre where we watched a spectacular show highlighting Thai history and culture. There were over 100 performers including elephants and goats and many special effects such as  pyrotechnics, awesome lighting, great dancing, flying performers, fountains and even a river that showed up partway through the show that performers swam in and floated lanterns down. It was awesome (Note from John- as awesome as it was, Kimberly still managed to fall asleep partway through the performance).

We grabbed the shuttle to the subway and made record time in getting to the Patpong night market where we picked up a few souvenirs before booting it back to our hotel.

We caught a cab to the airport at 11:00pm and our flight from Bangkok to Shanghai left at 3:00am. Needless to say, we slept all the way.

We are now in the Shanghai airport waiting for our next flight to take us back to Toronto. 

Once we got on the plane in Shanghai, we waited on the runway for two hours before beginning our 13 1/2 hour flight home. We are sleeping in our own bed tonight.

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