Sunday, January 12, 2014

a vacation (part 1)

My sister and a friend came out to spend the Christmas break with me and we toured the country from one end to the other. After several delayed flights and weather issues and rescheduling half of our itinerary and a ton of headaches we finally met up in Bangkok on the 22nd in the midst of all the political upheaval and protests there.

Our hotel wasn’t far from everything going on but aside from a couple of cab drivers refusing to go that way from the airport we didn’t have any problems at all. We even stumbled on the demonstrations one night and saw truckloads of people making their way there each evening after work. I know they’ve had some violent breakouts and even a few people killed but we were lucky enough to miss all of that.

Instead we spent a huge chunk of our time visiting temples, shopping on Khao San Road and getting massages. We made a stop at the Grand Palace and got our fortunes told (we were all assured that we would be rich, successful and happy and that we should wait to get married, “no worry, no worry!”) We visited the largest reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and braved the madness of a night flower market. (What do they do with all of the leftovers? Soooo many flowers!)

Christmas Day came and went with relatively little fanfare. I’d mentioned before how strange it was to celebrate a Christian holiday in a Buddhist country and while it helped a bit to be in a hotel filled with westerners (the hotel had put up some decorations for us) and to have Kat and Dave here, it just didn’t ever feel like Christmas. My aunt had sent some gifts and a cute felt Christmas tree so we hung up our tree, opened our gifts, listened to some holiday music on my ipod and, in keeping with our family tradition, read a Christmas story together. But, other than the chocolate Santas and Peeps, there were no special meals or anything to set the day apart from any other. It made me a little sad. I can’t wait til next year. I’m going to pull out all the stops and make up for everything I missed this year!

We came back to Bangkok a few more times on our journey. It was our transfer point for buses and airports along the way. But the big city was/is my least favorite place to visit. I much prefer the smaller cities with a little less crush of humanity and a little more space to breathe.

the making of a Buddha

Oh Christmas tree!

protest or party?

on their way to the rally

pick of the bunch

one of many temples

Buddha toes-the longest reclining Buddha

fortune telling

1 comment:

  1. So fun, even if it wasn't the big-celebration Christmas you're used to. Nice to have people from home come visit. I've been to that Buddha and was so impressed by its scale!