Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Thailand Part 1: Bangkok
We are back safe and sound from our adventures in Thailand and we had an awesome time.
Our trip started off in the capitol of Bangkok where we arrived in the final day of the Thai New Years celebration. While this probably involves some religious and more formal aspects, the element that we noticed most was that the entire city turned into a gigantic water fight. We first noticed this in the cab from the airport while at a stop light. There were these two 7-9 year old kids on the corner with buckets of water and huge smiles on their faces. Whenever someone would drive by on a scooter, or an open taxi called a, Tuk-Tuk, the kids would douse them with the buckets.
We saw this repeated over the course of the entire drive. Many people had adjusted to this by riding around in their bathing suits.
Additionally, there was a lot of foot traffic on the main roads and a large percentage of the pedestrians were armed with all shapes and sizes of waterguns and buckets. Everyone was involved from 5 year old kids holding guns that were bigger than they were to seniors, sitting on folding chairs, spraying passersby.
We eventually armed ourselves and returned fire but probably should have brought a firehose.
We also attended to nights of Muay Thai Fights at the major venue in Bangkok, Lumpini Stadium. The first night was adult men fighting and the quality of the fights was the highest we had seen after attending similar events in the US and Australia.
The second night was bouts between teenagers from 14 on up. The fights were as good as the night before and although it was odd to see kids fighting without any special protective gear this made no difference to the competitors. There were a number of knockouts both nights.
We also took some time to visit some of the major historical sites in the city, going to the Grand Palace and the temples in the surrounding complex as well as an older style temple in Wat Arun.
The craftsmanship and architecture of these sites was amazing and unlike anything we had seen before. They had an extremely high level of detail in the ornamentation of the buildings with many intricate patterns repeated over a large scale.