Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bangkok Review

Hi everyone! I must have really had lots of that jet-lag stuff, because I keep falling asleep before I can finish the story of my adventure in Bangkok!

After we got to Bangkok, Kristin and her friends Michael and Elaine from the foundation decided to go to a place called "Chatuchak Market" or the "Weekend Market." Traffic is very bad in Bangkok, so Kristin and her friends decided to take something called the "Sky Train." It's one of those really cool trains like the Metro in Washington, except it is above ground. Kristin says it reminds her of the little trains we took to get around Las Vegas. I agree! Here you can see one of the Sky Trains arriving at our stop.

The train was very clean (and air conditioned!). We took one to the very last stop and then walked a few blocks to the Weekend Market. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed it is a place to shop, you guessed right! But this was a very different market than the ones I have visited with Kristin in the past. There are THOUSANDS of little stalls under a series of metal roofs. It is hot and REALLY crowded. It was so crowded that sometimes Kristin couldn't even walk I decided to stay in Kristin's bag most of the time. I was worried I would get lost of I didn't stay in Kristin's bag!

I did come out a few times to look at a few of the little shops. Here I am with my new friend Michael while we were taking a break from the heat.

Kristin let me buy a nice gift for Aunt Lynn. I also picked out a wooden frog that looks just like the frogs I saw in Siem Reap. My frog even sounds like the frogs in Siem Reap when I run the wooden stick across the back of the frog. How cool is that? Thanks Kristin for my gifts.

There were lots of places to buy food at the Weekend Market, but most of it smelled really strange and didn't look good. But there were a few sellers that had these interesting metal drums full of ice and circle pipe-like things. Kristin said the people were selling Popsicles. I've never seen Popsicles sold like this before, have you?

Kristin, Elaine, and Michael didn't stay at the market very long because they had to get back to work. :( But Kristin told me that if I was really good, I might get to go out again the next day. I promised to be good. And, Kristin bought me a book about Bangkok so I could learn more about the city.

The next morning, Kristin and Michael decided to explore the city. First we took the Sky Train, but then we got off and walked to a dock along the "Chao Phraya River." The river runs right through Bangkok. I noticed there were lots of boats of the river.

Guess what? Kristin says lots of people take the boats to get around Bangkok. It's like a taxi, but on the river. How awesome is that. Here I am on one of the boats.

Here are a few more photos Kristin took while we were on the boat.

After we got off the boat, Michael and Kristin walked to a section of Bangkok called "Chinatown."

There are lots of little shops there too, but the stores Michael was hoping to find were closed. :(

We walked back to the river and took another boat so we could see the National Palace. That's where the King of Thailand lives!

It was really hot outside and Kristin told me the King probably wasn't home. So we decided to leave and head back to the hotel to get out of the heat. It was SO hot outside that by the time Kristin got back to the hotel, her clothes were soaking wet! She looked like she had fallen into the river (Shh...don't tell her I told you, but she looked pretty funny!).

The next morning, I looked at all of the books Kristin got me while she went to another meeting. Boy, she sure had a lot of meetings to go to on this trip!

After the meeting, Kristin and her friends Michael and Elaine walked a few blocks to look at a place called the "Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand." Kristin says it is a place where journalists meet to eat and talk to important people. I was not impressed with the journalist club, but I did like one of the buildings we walked past on the way back to the hotel. It was McDonald's!

Do you see the interesting lines and squiggles on the sign? Kristin says that's McDonald's spelled in Thai, the local language. Who knew?

We didn't have time to eat at McDonald's :( but I did get my picture by the Ronald McDonald outside of the store (with my new friend Michael).

Do you see how Ronald is standing with his hands together? I noticed throughout the entire trip that people would put their hands together and take a bow when Kristin would walk into the hotel or buy something at a store. Kristin says this this is a sign of respect. She says it is also one way people say "thanks." I had no idea!

Whew! I sure got to see lots of interesting things during my short stay in Bangkok. No wonder why I am tired.

That's all for now. Again I want to thank Kristin, Michael, and Elaine for taking me on another great adventure.

Until my next trip...bye!