Saturday, February 18, 2012

Enchanting Thailand, A Few of My Favorite Things......

We loved our 4 weeks in Thailand, it's a wonderful country with a fascinating culture and beautiful, friendly and gracious people.  We spent at least a week in 3 very different areas of Thailand, and each had their own distinct personality.  My favorite?  Hard to pick just one, but I'd probably choose the northern city of Chiang Mai.

Bangkok is a big dirty, busy, crazy and wonderful city of amazing contrasts.  We were continually  surprised and delighted to find the ancient, the old and the ultra modern side by side.

Street after street of modern skyscrapers,  stunning modern architecture:

Right next to very poor shanty neighborhoods:

And just a few blocks away, you'll find an ancient Buddhist Temple:

Thailand is a country with a very different, and still developing infrastructure.  In both Chiang Mai and Koh Samui we had brief power outages, this rat's nest might be a contributing factor: 


We really enjoyed Thai food, and had some seriously yummy dishes, both in restaurants and street carts. I even learned to like spicy food!  We did, however, pass up these crispy treats. I really thought I could do it, but absolutely could not put one in my mouth.  You win, Dad!!

And these Kermit-on-a-Sticks didn't pass our lips!

Lost in translation menu items:

 We were pretty adventurous eaters, and lived to tell about it.  No "Thai Tummy" or "Bangkok Belly"--not a single tummy issue.

Favorite hot weather drink--without a doubt it was the "less than $3 Mojitos", mmmmmm good!


I was amazed at the scooter traffic in each area we visited.  Everyone rides a scooter!

Cute young lady in flip flops:

Two on a scooter, sidesaddle:

Three on a scooter:

And.....FOUR on a scooter:

I'm sure if I stayed in Thailand long enough, I'd see 5 on a scooter!

In Bangkok--taking Grandma for a ride on a scooter!  Dainty, sidesaddle style!

Cell phone talkers, lots of drivers on their cell phones, talking AND texting:

Lots of kids on scooters, some standing in front, others hanging on for dear life on the back:

Look at this cutie smiling at me:

Here's a scooter with a side car, buzzing down a narrow market street, carrying a very pregnant lady.  We saw several of these scooters with sidecars, some carrying whole families:

Flower Delivery on a Scooter, Bangkok:

Soup on a scooter, special delivery:

If the traffic is too bad, they just drive on the sidewalk, and nobody even bats an eyelash! 

Some scooters shots I missed:  Man on a scooter, carrying a VERY long bamboo ladder, broom and brush man on a scooter, and several Husband/Wife on a scooter, with the woman carrying a baby in her arms!

And, my personal favorite--Scooter with a Poodle!  We were riding in the back of a songthaew, this lady followed us for several blocks, I hope she doesn't let her dog drive!

On the way from the airport to our bungalow in Koh Samui, we saw several sidewalk stands selling these colorful bottles. 

David asked me what they were. I wasn't sure, maybe be fruit flavors for shave ice??? Nope--it's gas for scooters, sold in 1 liter bottles for about $1.30 a liter (U.S dollars).  Why all the different colors-I don't know, but don't ask for it on your shave ice!


I'll admit, I have a very warped sense of humor!

Found at the Chiang Mai Zoo,  There are times I'm VERY happy to find the "Happy Room", maybe not moved to tears, but still happy!

Don't wait too long, or you'll look like this:

Obviously he's really gotta go, but what's up with HER?

Man on the run:

T-Shirt bathroom humor, Chiang Mai street vendor:

 Who washes their feet in the toilet????

No picture, but sign in a stall politely asking:  "Please don't put stockings in toilet"  I didn't!!

Found in a airport restroom, I passed on this one too!

Saving the best for last; I kept seeing these "Etiquette Bells" in bathroom stalls, mostly in upscale shopping areas, and at Incheon Airport in Korea:

 I didn't dare press the button--what would happen?  Would an attendant come running to rescue me?  Bring me TP? Call 911?  I was too chicken to find out, but I did "Google"  Restroom Etiquette Bells.  Here's the scoop:  When the bell is pushed, it makes a loud flushing sound, thus covering any, uh, embarrassing sounds that just might drift from your stall!  It's all about manners.....

On a more serious note......

Monks! I loved seeing monks in their orange or yellow robes, to me it's quintessential Thailand.  My favorite monk pictures:
Near the Royal Palace, Bangkok

 Monk Mobile--happy novice monks, chatting and laughing:

 Chiang Mai, Royal Flora Exhibition, they noticed me taking their picture, and smiled!

 Chiang Mai,  near Doi Suthep Temple, shopping monks

There are seats on the subway and Sky Train reserved just for monks:

And my very favorite:

Our first morning in Chiang Mai, waking to the sound of chanting monks and temple bells.  It was one of those "magical travel moments" that I'll always remember.

Would we go back to Thailand?  In a heartbeat! Probably not anytime too soon, there's the whole wide world to explore, and we're on our way!

(And Paris is still my very favorite city!)


  1. Thanks for the wonderful journey seen through your eyes. I particularly like the motor cycles/scooters with the side cars and, especially, the one with the flower wreath. Sorry it took a while to read your last posts. I look forward to viewing all of your other pictures - especially if you provide popcorn! :)