Monday, December 23, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand

Hi, Ruthe and I left Washington, DC on October 28 for a trip that included 3 nights in Bangkok, Thailand, 3 nights in Rangoon, Burma and 7 nights on a river cruise boat on the Irrawaddy river in Burma.

The images below were taken in Bangkok.  There will be another group from Bangkok in a day or 2.

This is the view out of our hotel window.  We were on the 18th floor.  During rush hour the expressway on the right and the streets below were clogged with traffic.  On the left is a neighborhood pagoda.  Most of our trip would consist of visits to Pagodas, villages and markets.  Thus an excellent view was presented of local life.

Our first activity in Bangkok was a walk through a flower market.  Flowers are very important in Asia and they are bought for home decoration and for offerings in the pagodas.  The creation above was hand made from flowers and plant materials.

These women are making and selling decorations made from flowers.

Street food is available in all markets and just about anywhere there is open space in Asia (above and below).

Next we visited the Temple of the Jade Buddha which is part of the Grand Palace (still used for official occasions).  The palace grounds are large and surrounded by a wall.

It is very common for people to be praying as tourists and other visitors mill around the area.

Here is the jade Buddha.

This soldier guarded a gate to an area off limits to the general public.

That night we had dinner on a rice barge.  The food was very good.

Many of the temples along the river were lit. 

This one is called a Stupa and the lights changed colors as we sailed by.

We could see the Golden Palace from the barge.

Across the street from our hotel was a night market.  The merchandise was much like that found in flea markets in the US.

Our guide took us to the home and shop of a family that produced sugar from palm flowers.  After squeezing the juice out of the flowers it is cooked down to thicken it.

After cooking down it is stirred to continuing the thickening.

A shrine is maintained in the home with the ashes of ancestors.

These are typical sleeping accomodations.  A mosquito net hangs above the bed.

Thanks for looking.

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