Monday, March 11, 2013
Hi From Bangkok
3/11/13 Today is officially the 2nd day of our 2nd tour here in SE Asia. This one goes from here (Bangkok) to Malaysia to Singapore and takes 15 days. Last night we met our tour group and it is a very international bunch. There are people from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada, and us. Many are here as part of long trips through Africa, India, and Asia. Everyone seems congenial and we are hoping that it stays that way. There is also a good mix of ages. Our last tour group, which was 15 days in Myanmar, was pretty evenly split between people in our age group and people 45 and younger. By the end of the 15 days there was a tendency for the group to be split because of that. But again, all were experienced travelers and interesting people. This is one of the big reasons why we enjoy Intrepid Travel tours. In a short while, our group will be heading for the train station to take an overnight train to southern Thailand. We have taken trains here before and found them to be comfortable, although they usually have the AC up too high and we have to pile on warm clothes and blankets. Outside it is hot and humid, and we sweat a lot. Today we did a khlong boat ride through some of the small waterways here in Bangkok and that was very interesting. The boats are very long and thin (2 persons wide), and they are powered by huge engines in the back that are as big or bigger than automobile engines. They turn a propeller that is on the end of a very long pole, so they are called "long tail boats". People have built houses of varying size and complexity all along the canals and also we passed lots of Buddhist sites. Then we went to a wat (Buddhist temple) where there is a 45 meter long and very tall and huge reclining gold Buddha. There are lots of stupas as well and even a Thai massage school. Because we have had such limited internet access, and we have been moving pretty fast and doing lots of tourist activities, we haven't been posting on this blog. I am also unable to post any pictures because it is slow here. So I will wait to do a more complete report, and add pictures, once we get back to the USA on or after March 26.