That Time I Went to Thailand: Bangkok

I have been meaning to write about our honeymoon to Thailand for, well, since we came back from our honeymoon. In September. of 2010. Clearly I’ve been slacking on this, and as it got further and further away from our return it just felt weird to write about it or post pictures. But we went to Thailand and had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures. And what’s the point of vacation pictures if you can’t make people look through them? There is no point, that’s the answer. So enjoy our trip to Thailand.

If you saw The Hangover 2 you should recognize this hotel.

We got in around midnight and took a cab straight to our hotel where we had to mime birds flying and then wait half an hour while they changed our down bedding.

Waiting for us in the room was a small cake wishing us a Happy Honeymoon, which we devoured before falling into bed, exhausted from our full day of travel.

Thailand is hot. And humid. From the moment we stepped out of the airport until we landed in Honolulu we were dripping in sweat (what a way to start a marriage). This is the view from our room’s balcony and when I stepped out that first morning my camera fogged up from the change in temperature. Added to the already smoggy city, the picture turned out really fuzzy.

All of our hotels in Thailand had a complimentary breakfast, but the Lebua Hotel in Bangkok was the best. They had every option from sushi and dim sum to standard American breakfast fare. I loved the honey comb they had set up.

I have never seen a dirtier river or more smoke-producing boats. We caught a water taxi from our hotel to the Grand Palace our first full day in Bangkok. I loved the breeze in our face but I had the smoke that was created from such a short trip.

We arrived shortly before the walking tour began and after a few minutes of blindly wandering around we decided to wait so that we could hear about the construction of the palace. Walking around and admiring things by ourselves would have been fine, but it’s always nice to learn a little about what you’re looking at.

Palace protectors

Small palace protector

Their job is to hold up the structure.

The Grand Palace is still very much in use as a place of worship and while we were there we saw people leaving their offerings of food and flowers, as well as a couple of larger groups setting out entire picnics for their departed.

Did I mention it was crazy hot in Bangkok? And the Grand Palace required a certain dress code? Wes had to wear pants and closed-toed shoes, hence the sweat. Though the heavy polo shirt was his idea.

After the Grand Palace we walked a few blocks down the street to get our picture in front of the world’s largest reclining Buddha. Here he is just chillin’ while we get our photo snapped.

After the Grand Palace we crossed the river to check out another Palace (Thailand is lousy with Palaces), Wat Rakhang.

Engineer Wes insisted we take this picture. It actually looks more stable than a lot of scaffolding we’ve seen in the states (yes, being married to an engineer means you notice things like correctly built scaffolding).

After the two palaces we were pretty beat so we grabbed lunch and headed back to the hotel to relax by the pool and find dinner.

View from our balcony that’s not fuzzy with humidity.

The next day we scheduled a cooking class, something that our friends who had previously visited Thailand said we should do. We met our instructor and the rest of the class outside of an open-air market to pick up the ingredients for our day of cooking. Wes kindly held both of our baskets so that I could take pictures.We went to the Silom Thai Cooking School and I cannot recommend it enough. Our instructor’s English was great and the food was delicious, despite how sketchy the following pictures make this whole things seem. Though, walking to the apartment we were wondering just what the hell we’d signed up for as we just kept getting further and further into a pretty run-down neighborhood. We also passed a few cooking schools that were being run out of garages. When we arrived at the apartments, though, we were pleasantly surprised. The school is the entire third floor of an apartment complex, with gas ranges set up on the balcony.

Yes, there is a cat sleeping on the table near the seafood. No big deal.

Also no big deal? Shirtless butchers.

At the apartment we were split into groups to prepare the groceries we’d just purchased.

Our first attempt: Tom Young Soup. Delicious.

We cooked all of these meals and they were incredibly easy. I actually convinced myself that when we got back to Hawaii (where a lot of the ingredients are easier to procure than on the mainland), I would definitely make them. I think no one should be surprised when I say that hasn’t happened yet. I have, however, purchased the ingredients for it to happen, like, three times but something always comes up.

Gratuitous pig head shot from the market. We did not eat this.

Being our last night in Bangkok we decided to check out the hotel bar on the top of the hotel. Unfortunately they had a ridiculous dress code that they followed to the t.

Seriously?

This was appropriate clothing, but my cotton skirt and flip-flops were not okay (no flip-flops). Hiking shoes are okay? The carharts and hiking shoes Wes was wearing were okay, but my flip-flops were inappropriate?

View from the bar

Turns out the view from our balcony was better. And the drinks were ridiculously outrageous. $15 for a Bud Light-outrageous. I was incredibly hot and uncomfortable so we didn’t end up staying. Instead we found a cheap restaurant (Thailand is also lousy with cheap food. I loved it.) where we didn’t have to be dressed “up” to enjoy.

Thus ended our time in Bangkok, and not soon enough. The city is huge and sprawling and hot and humid and mostly we were just ready to get to someplace more relaxing. It was our honeymoon after all.

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