Our flight from Hanoi to Bangkok and subsequent Skytrain ride to the central city put us navigating the streets of Bangkok at about 8 pm. The wise thing to do would have been to accept the offer of a tuk tuk ride and let the savvy driver take us to the hotel, but for some reason we insist on walking. That only served to make us hungrier, thirstiest, and crankier. We were glad to check into the Centre Point Petchburri residence inn, on the 25th floor, no less. Here is a picture looking down to the lobby from the hallway outside our room. There are no safety guards here; I could have base jumped down to the lobby.
The room was large and nice, although the shower temperature control was nearly useless.
We went back out to the street in search of food, but street food was not looking good to either of us, so we got beer, yogurt, and water at the Kwic Mart and some fruit from a street vendor and called it a night.
The next morning we enjoyed the first real sun we had seen since leaving Cambodia almost two weeks ago. The pool was great.
We had seen a lot of wats in Chiang Mai, but nothing nearly as massive and glitzy as the complex of Wat Phra Kaew. Everywhere we turned there was another building covered in colorful tile, mirrored tile, bells, gold leaf, and statues.
The color of choice for religious temples and statues is gold here.
Well, not all the statues were gold. Some were stone,
Adjacent to the Wat is the Royal Palace. The royal family used to live here.
To get back from the Wat we took another form of water transport, the water taxi on the Chao Phraya River. It was really fun, cheap, and exciting.
Yes that is a monk in front of me. I was riding a water taxi with a monk.
After a 45 minute break from each other (our first time apart from each other in the entire trip) for me to make one last run through the shopping stalls and street food vendors and for Drew to plan our last meal, we walked to an oasis of a restaurant called "Once Upon a Time" located in the middle of all these gigantic high-rise hotels and office buildings. The garden setting was romantic and the food was good.
Drew had a chicken curry served in a hot pineapple
And I had mussels. I asked for spicy, but either I have fried all my taste buds on my homegrown habanero peppers or the restaurants here have a different scale of heat.
Today, we just lazed around the hotel, had a good breakfast and one last poolside siesta before heading to the airport, via tuk tuk to the Skytrain this time.
So now we are on a plane bound for Seattle and our vacation will be over in less than 24 hours. I guess I am ready to get back to everyday life - I know Drew is anxious to fly again and we are both looking forward to getting back on the bikes to train for another season of racing.
I will wrap up this post with one last totally Asian picture - the everything toilet! Seat warmer, two different wash cycles, air dryer, and sanitizer. And yes, I did try them all ;-)