I thought that maybe I should detail just a bit how the trip has been thus far, as we have only posted a couple of quick posts.
We left Dulles at about 18:30 on Sunday the 10th, flying in the esteemed Boeing 777, and arrived 13 hours later at the Dubai International Airport. I haven’t watched that many movies consecutively in my life! I was as giddy as a schoolboy (I guess – does that really even mean anything?) when I looked out the window and saw the Burj Kahlifa, the world’s tallest building. At that point I had already been instructed to stow away all electronics, so unfortunately there is no picture. But believe me when I say how impressive it is. It is literally twice the height of all the buildings surrounding it, and that is saying something. We spent about 5 hours at their beautiful airport (also their old airport – they are just printing money out there) before boarding our flight for Bangkok. We flew an Airbus A-330 and much to the delight of all passengers, the extra-wide aircraft was about 25% full. We moved to the front row of coach where the leg room is most ample, and my how I was gratful. 7 hours later we touched down in Bangkok, roughly 7:00 local time on Tuesday. The plane taxied to what could best be described as a parking space, and passengers loaded into buses for the trip to Arrivals. It was then when I realized that they drive on the left here – a happy reminder of my time on STT. After successfully navigating customs, picking up our luggage (a relief we all know too well), and changing out our $USD for THB (called Baht and converting at roughly $1 to 30 Baht) we were on our way. We took the sky train from the airport to essentially downtown, and grabbed a tuk-tuk from there. A tuk-tuk is basically a golf cart converted into a taxi. I was smitten. Upon arriving at our hostel, we made a bold and often frownd-upon decision: sleep away jet lag. Jet lag can mess with people for several days, and since we don’t have any time constraints, we slept somewhere between 12-16 hours. A genius decision, as we awoke energized and feeling great on Wednesday, and have been on local time since.
The day (Monday) before we arrived, there had been protests and demonstrations in Bangkok over some proposed legislation, and activists had called for a city-wide strike lasting the whole week. After discussing our options just in case this turned into a big deal, we were relieved to read that the demonstrations had died down and there would be no strike. Something to remember about Thailand is that the party currently in power got there via a coup in 2006. This aint Kansas anymore! (Thank God)
We have spent the last couple of days walking around different parts of the city, acclimating ourselves with navigation and seeing some terrific sites. We have begun sampling the local food (nothing crazy – yet) and beer, and have traveled via sky-train, underground train, tuk-tuk, canal boat, and of course the New Balance Express. Erin estimates, using some neat app, that we have walked about 12 miles in the 2 days thus far. Coupled with 90 degree heat and high humidity, we have expelled much sweat. Although I will take it in a heartbeat, knowing what winter drudgeries most of you are about to face.
I suppose that is good for now. You’ll be hearing from us again soon of course, and as always we welcome any comments or questions (moderator willing). I will leave you with a few pictures from our last couple days. Until later!