Bangkok, November 2015 − Travels − Captain Tom

Bangkok, November 2015

Together with Franz I go to Bangkok and visit Toscha. He has to work but spends some time with us in the evening and gives some advice what to see.

We got many impressions in this one week and tried out some unfamiliar things. We got along with the slogan "Mai Bpen Rei", which means something like "it's ok", "no problem", "Don't worry", "never mind", a slogan which is quite common in Thailand

I have compiled some things below which were somehow impressive to me

1 The journey

There are no direct flights from Berlin. So I had to go to Frankfurt first and then on an 11 hours flight directly to Bangkok. It is quite long. The 6 hours time difference are quite bearable due to the overnight flight. On the way back the cabin staff of Lufthansa went on strike. So I had to go with Thai Airways via Kopenhagen back to Berlin. That required two additonal hours of travel

Start in Berlin
Ready for takeoff in Frankfurt
River Ganges in India
Himalaya mountains in a distance
Approaching Bangkok
Toscha lives in a skyscraper close to Sukhumvit - a major road of the town.
The view from the 38 floor is impressive.
Taking off in Kopenhagen I can see Öresund bridge between Denmark and Sweden. On the right hand side is Malmö in Sweden and on the left hand side is Kopenhagen in Denmark.
Approaching Berlin. It is chilly and the trees are glowing in fall colors
2 The temples

The temples are very impressive and prächtig. We have visited some of them. In Bangkok we had to go the the Temple of the reclining Buddha Wat Pho and to te Grand Palace. The resplendency is unbelievable. The former capital city Ayutthaya contains much bigger temples but they decay as they are not in use anymore.

The Reclining Buddha is 138 ft (46 m) long
Walking around
More buddhas and sculptures
Chedis are places of prayer
The Grand Palace is home of the Emerald Buddha, one of the main sanctuary. You need to wear appropriate clothing. So long pants are required which you can borrow at the entrance.
The area is also the King's Palace with audience room and throne room. That's probably why there are some guards.
More views
On our way to the former capital city Ayutthaya about 50 miles north of Bangkok we pass by the summer residence of the king in Bang Pa-In. Very glorious.
Then we go the the temples. Many of them are decaying and one can see the basic material is bricks. But many of them are still in use. You see Buddhas "in operation" and places of prayer.
The temple Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
The bricks on the stairs are completely worn
An old temple viewn from the river (Wat Chainwatthanaram). We will visit it later. The corncob shaped chedis are called prang
The very calm temple Wat Choeng Tha without visitors provides tranquility
Temple Wat Mahathat displays the head of a buddha in a tree
At temple Wat Ratchaburana I climb the prang
The reclining Buddha of Wat Lokayasutharam
The final temple Wat Chaiwatthanaram is the one at the river
I am done.
3 Other sights

We did not only visit temples. There are some other things to see.

The flower market
China Town
Khao San Road
Jim Thompson House
The Red Sky Bar on top of Hotel Centara Grand. Watching the sunset on 55th floor is quite nice
Red light district Soi Cowboy
Cocktails at night
4 Shopping

You can do shopping everywhere. We were more interested in gadgets and toys. Two of the malls did rather offer IT components and were not that interesting

Fortune Town
Pantip Plaza
Siam Paragon mall is big and focusses on luxury goods. There is even a line up of car stores.
The MBK center is a flea market on 6 floors. Many many little sales booths offer everything one can think of.
5 Food

You will eat what's put on the table. Sounds easy, is not quite that easy but it works. We have tried out a lot of thai food and it worked out well.

Breakfast is rather European
Thai noodles
Dinner with Toscha
Deep fried crab shell is quite tasty. The fish was not that good. It contained a lot of fishbones
Coke Zero in Thai
We found a dealer for insects and frogs. We tried the grubs and the crickets. Quite good.
Heinz Ketchup in a Thai version
We had the final dinner in the Thai restaurant Ban Khun Mae at Siam Square, the heart of the city.
6 The custom made suit

Franz needed a suit. You can get custom made suits in Bangkok. Raja's Fashion had a lot of recommendations. Our week in Bangkok was sufficient to make a suit

Selecting the fabric
Many letters of thanks
Taking measurements
First fitting - pants and shirt
Second fitting - the jacket has been prepared
Third fitting with jacket and vest
Suit is ready for delivery
Pope's appreciation letter
7 Transportation

We have tried many different ways to travel. We have used the BTS skytrain and subway MBR

On a longtail boat
A tuk tuk
Ride in a taxi cab
Water bus
A golf cart in Bang Pa-In
Ferry
Fisherman on a river
Another longtail boat
Scooters are all over the place
We did not dare to ride a scooter taxi
The rider has the registration card on his back
Heavy traffic at any time of the day
8 What else

Monks have priority in public transport
When in Thailand have a Thai massage
We have seen some animals: monkey, turtle, monitor lizard
The best tuk tuks are made by BMW