August 31 / September 1st - Getting There
I flew to Bangkok from Vancouver, Canada using Thai Airlines by one of the longest routes possible. First a 2 1/2 flight to Los Angeles, waited there 3 hours for a flight to Tokyo (11 hours), another 1 1/2 hours there and finally onto Bangkok (7 hours). The flight was reasonably priced ($1450 Canadian) but I am sure that other airlines must have more direct routes. Unsurprisingly I was rather tired when I arrived. I finally cleared customs at 1:00 a.m. and got a taxi to the hotel for which I was charged 440 Baht which is probably over the odds but at that time I was not arguing. I had prebooked the hotel (the Vieng Thai on Thanon Rambutri) through Intrepid, the tour company with which I would be travelling for the first two weeks. However I had a couple of days in Bangkok before the start of the tour.
The hotel is in the Khao San Road part of town, so after a quick trip down the road to pretend that I was Leonardo Di Caprio in The Beach (which incidentally is a bad movie) I visited the Grand Palace which has a hefty 200 Baht entrance fee but is quite stunning
Cakri-Mahaprasad Hall and Dusit Hall, Grand Palace Bangkok
Phra Sri Ratani Chedi and Temple and Emerald Buddha, Bangkok
I had a wander round town ending up at the Golden Mount from which you get a good view of Bangkok
I got one of the Express Boats down the Chao Phraya River to the Oriental Hotel.
Wat Arun from the Express Boat
Visited the modern shopping centres at Siam Square which have very nice air conditioning and then went to the Jim Thompson House museum (of which I have no pictures worth publishing). I had a quick tour of Chinatown and then returned to the hotel where I met up with the group that I would be touring with for the upcoming days
The first day of the tour proper. We went on a boat trip around the Bangkok Noi canal
Houses on Bangkok Noi Canal
This was followed by a tour around Wat Po
Wat Pho contains a rather large reclining Buddha
and some smaller ones
That night we got an overnight train toChiang Mai.
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