Thailand
Bang Phongphang

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2 travelers at this place

  • Day45

    Day 45 - Thailand/Bangkok Arrival!

    October 24, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Well we made it to the fourth and final country of our trip. We woke up early, ate breakfast, and got a ride to the airport. We landed in Bangkok around 1:00pm but after going through immigration, baggage check (they made us check our bags for the first time this trip), and customs, then eating lunch, taking the airport rail to the city, and catching a cab, we didn't get to the homestay until close to 4:00.

    This place is amazing. We are staying at a Thai homestay about 10 minutes outside of the city (we move to the city Thursday). The house is a wooden Thai style house next to a canal that has been passed down for 4 generations. The property is huge, with the main house for the family, a museum of old antiques, 4 guest cabins with private bathrooms, an outdoor breakfast area, sitting areas, and more! The family also has a coffee plantation in southern Thailand so we will be enjoying fresh coffee and coffee flower tea tomorrow.

    After we settled in, we walked around the property, and then wandered the neighborhood. After awhile, we found a street full of little restaurants and street food. We sat down at an outdoor restaurant (basically a food stand surrounded by a couple of plastic tables). No one spoke English so we couldn't order but they made us two amazing plates of food - ground chicken with garlic, basil, and chili peppers over rice. All of that with two water bottles for $3. Yum!

    Then we went back to the homestay just in time for a quick thunderstorm. We sat outside, under shelter, and watched the storm while playing chess and drinking Chang beers. Now we are in bed under our mosquito netting and getting ready to read!
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  • Day46

    Day 46 - Bangkok

    October 25, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Bangkok is chaotic right now. Yesterday began the 5 day cremation ceremony for the Late King Bhumidol who died in October 2016. The ceremony has a budget of approx. $120 million and is the biggest royal event since Will and Kate's wedding, with an estimated 250,000 people traveling to Bangkok to witness the event. For the entire 5 days, everyone is wearing all black to mourn the Late King. The actual cremation began at 7:00am this morning and, last night, we saw thousands of people lined up for miles to get a good spot this morning. Several neighborhoods in Bangkok, including the touristy Khao San Road, are blocked off. We had to show our identification and go through security to get in. The bars in these restricted zones are forbidden to sell alcohol during the ceremony, although we found 3 different ones that were serving it illegally in coffee mugs.

    Anyways, yesterday we woke up at our homestay and had a delicious homemade Thai breakfast served by our host - fish rice soup, fresh fruit, and some type of coconut sticky rice for dessert. Then we roasted our own coffee beans from our host's coffee plantation and made coffee and coffee flower tea - yum! After breakfast and coffee, our host gave us a tour of his amazing house, including all of the antiques that have been collected by his family for generations - bayonets from WWI and WWII, handmade silver from the 1940s (cigarette case, lighter case, purse, jewelry), old cameras and telephones that are still working, instruments, record players, and so much more.

    Then we set off for a long day of exploration. Our first stop was a beautiful temple near the homestay. Then we grabbed a yummy spicy chicken lunch and took a taxi into the city. Since the royal palace and many of the attractions are closed off for the cremation ceremony, we didn't really know where to go. The only place I could think of was Khao San Road so we asked our driver to take us there. We couldn't get all the way to the road since the area is currently restricted, but he dropped us off close. We visited another couple of temples and then went through security to get to Khao San Road.

    We spent the next several hours just wandering around, shopping for a few gifts, and figuring out which places we could have a cold beer. After awhile, we were hungry again and set off for dinner. On the walk to dinner, we passed the thousands of people lining up down the street for the ceremony. Dinner was amazing - we had a mussels appetizer, Tim had seafood curry, and I had spicy shrimp. Then we tried to find a taxi back home. That was difficult. The traffic was insane and the taxis were busy, refusing to do a legal metered trip outside of the city. We finally found a guy to agree to a fixed fee of 400 baht ($12 and triple what it cost us to get into the city). We made it!
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Bang Phongphang

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