Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thailand- Phuket to Bangkok

            For this week’s blog post I will be returning to Thailand and continue to offer you more pictures and insight into a lovely South East Asian Country.

Phueket to Bangkok

            Since Phuket city is located on the southern tip of the Island and the Airport is in the north I decided to take advantage of the fact that I had to get a taxi to explore a few more spots before I flew on to Bangkok.  Phuket city has a forested outlook that offers an excellent view of the city, and while on most other days I would have walked to the top, I didn't think the people sitting next to me on the plane would enjoy me smelling like stale rancid mare’s milk.  The view was certainly worth the trip as I got to be up close and personal with tropical trees and monkeys.  The trees were great and the monkeys thankfully stayed away otherwise I would have ended up doing something rather rash.

Blinged out Spirit house

Tropical Tree- I thought all of the vines wrapped around it made it look cool

Monkeys- I know the picture stinks but I wasn't getting any closer

The view

            On the way back down from the overlook I stopped at a Buddhist temple sticking out of the trees, and it did not disappoint.  The amount of gold, jewels and bling was stunning, and it was quite the sight to see, for being a smaller temple.  It even had hints of what one could call Mayan or Aztec architecture, with dragons running down the sides of the staircase.


Mayan/ Aztec

            As you can see from the Dragon this temple is quite colorful and it continued with the statues found all around the main temple area at the top of the stairs.  Frankly many of the statues gave off a distinctly Indian (sub-continent Indian) vibe.  FYI- I’ve never been to India before so I could be completely wrong.


            Now you might be thinking wow they put a lot of gold paint, and or gilded material on those statues.  Well as it turns out, it’s really not all that much, here is the rest of the temple.

Yes, the stairs are as steep as they look.

They didn't scrimp on the detail work either.

Inside the temple- sorry the picture stinks

            Now it is time for my flight on Bangkok airways, and for only 90 dollars US, it was quite comfortable.  I was expecting to be crushed in the seat, but it was more leg room than most American carriers provide and I am bigger than your average Thai.  No meal, but after a nice lunch at an Airport restaurant, (Burger and fries, shut up don’t judge me you hippies, do you know how hard it is to get a good burger without mayo, and fries in Mongolia) I didn't really need one.  During the flight itself I had a nice time talking to an Australian mine safety inspector, who was quite harsh on the Chilean mines.  He was tasked with getting mine deaths below twenty a month.  Given their track record in the news it was probably warranted.

            The Bangkok Airport is huge, well maintained, and has lots of shopping, which seems to be a thing in Asian airports.  Sadly the Airport is quite far from my hotel, and I didn't call ahead for the hotel to pick me up.  Now I had two main options take the train into the city, and then take a taxi because it doesn't run to the area my hotel is in, or just take a taxi.  I went with just getting a taxi from the airport, and it was surprisingly well organized even if you had to wait for a bit.  Everyone lines up while several airport staffers call up taxis to take each person or group to their destination.  While it might take a bit longer, the frustration level, is much lower, and you don’t have to do any shoving or worry about being hit by a taxi.  As I was waiting in line I ran into a couple of teachers on their vacation.  I’ll give you three guesses as to what country they are from…………..

            Yup, you guessed it Germany, thus proving that yes Germans are everywhere.  A rather nice taxi ride across town and I arrived at the Royal Princess Hotel, Bangkok.  My room was not great, but it was a big step up from the mess of a room I had in Phuket.  My non-smoking room smelled like smoke, but there was no mold or other unidentified organisms growing in the bathroom.  The bed was nice and comfortable and the room was quite large easily twice the size of the room in Phuket.  I did have Wi-Fi this time but only for an hour each day unless I wanted to pay extra.  Now on the upside the hotel did have a pool, and a small workout room, but no hot tub something I was really looking forward to.  The workout room was nice except when some parents let their little devils… sorry I mean darlings in there unsupervised.  I almost dropped a weight on them by accident.  I end up going to hotel management after they started messing around on a treadmill and all I could see happening was one of them being flung off into the mirror right behind it.  I figured protecting a couple of kiddies was good karma or something.

            So now for the most important part of the hotel, the restaurant.  While the food was perhaps a little pricy for Bangkok, when compared to street food, (which is quite good in Thailand).  I was simply too lazy to search it out, and quite happy with the prices at the hotel around 15 USD for an appetizer, main course, desert and drink.  The food was a mix of Thai, Asian, and western food (with a Thai flare), so while it wasn't 100% authentic Thai food I wasn't complaining.  After being in Mongolia for a couple of months at this point I was looking for some western food.  Ah hamburgers, Salmon, and many other goodies.  The breakfast buffet was good to offering cereal, omelets, and pancakes, among other things.