Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween in Bangkok

We were happy to arrive at a peaceful haven of a hotel on Friday night after traveling by longtail boat, golf cart, van, moving walkway, plane and rush-hour taxi from Krabi to Bangkok.

Phranakorn Nornlen is an adorable "boutique" hotel near the northern part of the Chao Phraya River, not far from the Rama VIII suspension bridge in the neighborhood of Thewet. Our friend Maggie recommended it to us and we would do the same for anyone traveling here who likes sustainability, tradition, and the absense of hotel-chainliness. They serve us brown rice, papaya, fruit smoothies, salads, and other unusual fare for each breakfast. They also have great fresh, local organic food available during the rest of the day, like red curry fried rice, pad thai, and basil egg noodles. Perhaps the topper, though, along with all the cool paintings all over the walls, is the pull-chain CD player in our room, with a variety of homemade mixed collections featuring lots of Asian tropicana versions of classic rock songs like Let's Spend the Night Together."

We woke up Saturday and took the "orange" public river boat to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, which stores the Emerald Buddha, and, as you can guess, Jackson was thrilled. It is a must-see for visitors to this city.

Then we strolled along through some street markets, which so far appear to be on every single street in Bangkok. We bought four big ceramic Snoopy bowls for $2.50 as well as a Cap'n Crunch t-shirt, knockoff Billabong shots, and much more.

Jackson woke up from a very hot nap in time to see the world's longest Buddha at Wat Pho. We got lost in the market stalls along the famous backpacker area of Khao San Road befor heading back to our hotel before dinner.

Ended up that we were too tired from walking around the city all day to head back out for the anticipated Halloween celebrations that were guaranteed to overtake the streets. But then again, a usual day in Bangkok feels like Halloween to me. In the words of a laughing Jackson, who, while strolling through the tailoring district, in answer to Rachel's question of "what's so funny?," said "laughing at people, Mommy."

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