February 11, 2006


Had a brief, familiar stopover in Singapore and flew again the next day to Bangkok. Excited to have another window seat, I saw absolutely nothing except blue above the clouds and gray below them. The pollution was so thick, there was a purple-gray horizon line hidding everything underneath. As we descended I realized I had just left the cleanest air in the world and was now going to be enveloped in one of the smogiest. The landscape was divided percisely into long, gray rectangles of farmland that went as far as the eye (or the smog would let you) see.

Bangkok reminds me so much of Bali! The intricate, dark wood carving on the wall, the pots of plants lining each river and house, and the streams of motorcyclists.

The city is absolutely gigantic. My 2 new Estonian friends and I walked up to the river, got on a packed boat ride along the river, had a tuk tuk driver that took us to unknown temples where his friends will give him free fuel coupons, bus 47 to National Stadium where the ticket taker made us get off but we actually should have stayed on which took another half hour to figure out, and then bus 15 to finally see the Grand Palace a far walk in the distance. Total: 3.5 hours. Crazy!

The Palace is a colourful maze of temples and and tall spirals that point into the sky and from the huge white wall on the outside, looks like a candy land. It contains the Emerald Buddah who I thought I had missed as we left but he just happens to have a gold coat on in the winter! Gold and mirrors and detailed murals and coloured mosiacs of flowers and patterns and painted tiles... left me bedazzled for the rest of the day. P

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