Bangkok 2017
Up Chiang Mai 2017
 

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Bangkok 2017:
The week I arrived, the Thai people exuberantly celebrated their Water Festival and New Year. People of all ages splash water on anyone who ventures into firing range... including many of the clueless foreign visitors, though any indication you don't want to get wet is usually respected. I watched the "warfare" below from my second floor vantage in the Furama Hotel Executive Club room.


Bangkok 2017:
Ferry stop on the west bank of the river near one of the river view hotels I investigated.


Bangkok 2017: I only packed long sleeve shirts for the months of traveling and the hot weather in this part of the world screams for light weight short sleeves. So, I found this "throw away" for about $7... plus another one for about $11 on sale in one of the many sidewalk promotions. This picture will also serve as a reference photo of the author at 83 years old.

End of column.

15-24 April 2017 + 9-13 May

 

 

Greetings from Bangkok

The minute a visitor steps off their plane it is clear the country still is in mourning for the old King Rama IX who died last October. A full year of official morning is decreed and the symbols are everywhere. Black and white bunting around one of the hundreds of official portraits of the king are an ever present reminder of the monarch's passing. Many government employees wear small black ribbons on their shirts. One toddler wore a t-shirt bearing the slogan: "I was born in the reign of Rama IX."

The day I left, 13 April is the Thai New Year day and also the beginning of the Water Festival, Songkran. I managed to avoid getting doused this year, but watched as many passing on the sidewalks below the Furama Silom Hotel clubroom windows either welcomed the cooling splashes or ducked to avoid the main blobs being hurled at them. It is all done in good fun and most people respect the wishes of foreign tourists who signal their desire to remain "un-cooled."

Twenty five hours of travel time our plane arrived in Bangkok an hour late... which means I missed the last midnight city rail link train to my first night hotel, the Nasa Vegas. With six hours to kill before the first train next morning, I just napped on the padded waiting benches. In desperate need of a shower and at least a few hours of real sleep, I dashed over to my pre-booked, $33.66 prepaid Nasa Vegas Hotel room for the final six hours left on the reservation before the noon checkout time.

Now briefly rested, I figured the trip over to the $71.15 Furama Silom Hotel booked with Furama First Reservation service should be no big deal... and it would not have been without the 23 pound backpack and still being near exhaustion. The BTS trains got me most of the way, but still there were long stretches of walking required. I had a hard time with that, stumbling several times and feeling an irresistible urge to pause every hundred yards to rest. On three occasions, other concerned pedestrians noted my unsteady condition and offered assistance... how humiliating. True, most people would consider any guy 83 years old to be an elderly old man, but my mind still refuses to enthusiastically embrace that notion just yet.

During the week I have paused in Bangkok this time I naturally had my Thai dentist check out the choppers and those reoccurring disease processes we have been watching. All is well with the gingivitis and a root infection recently treated. So, I'm good to go for another few thousand miles.

As this is my 25th visit to Bangkok and the medical appointments are over, I considered where else I might go before heading on up to China. My last visit to Chiang Mai fourteen years ago is now a dim memory, but a pleasant one. So I decided to take another look this trip. The $50 flight is cheap and takes just over an hour.

Until I pause again to reflect and report,

Peace,

Fred L Bellomy
 

PS: After two weeks up in Chiang Mai I returned for a week to take advantage of the better Bangkok airline connections on the way to Istanbul. FB

 


 

End

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bangkok 2017: Commemoratives like this one are to be seen everywhere as Thais participate in 12 months of mourning for their deceased king who died in October of 2016, shortly after my last trip to the kingdom.

 


Bangkok 2017: Commemoratives like this one are to be seen everywhere as Thais participate in 12 months of mourning for their beloved deceased king who died in October of 2016, shortly after my last trip to the kingdom. Bhumibol Adulyadej, conferred with the title King Bhumibol the Great in 1987, was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri dynasty as Rama IX. Wikipedia

 

 


Bangkok 2017: The week I arrived, the Thai people exuberantly celebrated their Water Festival and New Year. People of all ages splash water on anyone who ventures into firing range... including many of the clueless foreign visitors, though any indication you don't want to get wet is usually respected. I watched the "warfare" below from my second floor vantage in the Furama Hotel Executive Club room.

 

 

 

End of column.

 

 

 

 

 

Reference photo: author
September 2016
 

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