Marv's 1998 Trip to
Marv here. This trip to South-East Asia
was a wonderful experience. The map to the left shows
Thailand and the two bordering countries that we visited;
Burma and Laos. Bangkok is at the bottom of the map and
Chaing Mai at the top. I will be posting pictures from
travelling with Fred Piellusch, whose wife, (my sister
Helen) couldn't travel with him because of teaching
responsibilities. Tsk, tsk. Retirement has some benefits.
My journey involved a 9 hour drive to Greenville, SC; a
morning flight on March 4 to Detroit, Mich. followed by a
12 hour flight to Tokyo. From there, it still was a 6
hour flight to Bangkok and we didn't get their until 11
A.M. Thursday, which was 11 P.M. Thursday local time. I
didn't even bother changing the time on my watch. I just
tried to remember which day it was without consulting the
watch, which was wrong half of the time.
Thailand -- Table of Contents
Exploring Bangkok below on Day 1, Day 2; Day 2 - Cont.
3 - Wat Pho Temple in
more look at Bangkok
Last. Some personal and family notes
|Bangkok is a
big, polluted, noisy city. We stayed at the
Holiday Crown Plaza, pictured to the right, and
the view above is from the 23rd floor of that
building. It shows the general direction of our
first walk on Friday morning. This was to be to
the American Embassy, since Fred knew of a couple
working there who could give us travel tips.
|On the way, we walked through a pretty,
flowered park, pictured below and went by an
exercise area (above) hosting some amused Thai
||Across the lake, looking back from where
we came, was a very impressive view of the Bangkok
skyline, pictured below. Here in the park, it was very
quiet and peaceful, a marked contrast to the conditions
of most of our walks. The city is full of cars,
motorcycles and tuk tuks, (pronounced "toook
toook"). These were motor tricycles with a little
seat in back that holds two persons, at least. The fare
was very low in these things and that is appropriate
since one feels a little life threatened in them. I
didn't get a good picture on one, but later in the Chaing
Mai portion of this travelogue, I show some pictures on a
ride we took. The pollution is mainly because there is
still leaded gas being sold for automobiles.
|We found the Embassy, and the
picture Fred took of me was wrought with danger.
Just when he took the picture, I notice four Thai
guards coming up to Fred gesturing fanatically. I
knew then that we weren't supposed to be taking
that picture and I was about to stop him and
profusely apologize. Fred kept fumbling with the
camera giving the impression that he had not
taken it, and we were able to keep the film. Why
were we not allowed? Embassies are like that, all
over the world.
picture to the left is a view of the street where the
Embassy was located taken from a bridge over the street.
Some day, I will learn to hold the camera vertical. Thank
heaven for Photo-shop. Our eventual destination, after a
very long hot (95 degrees F.) walk, was the beautiful
teak house built by Jim Thompson. He was a CIA agent that
lived in Bangkok He started the silk importing industry
and built a fabulous teak house near a river. It is a
trak house, built in six separate pieces, brought
separately to Bangkok and put together. The house
contains many relics, pots and even a Buddha statue which
I couldn't photograph. In 1967, he vanished in the
Cameroon Highlands of West Malasia, on some sort of
Above, an English speaking guide is describing one of the
wooden relics he left in the house.
|Upper right & left:
Two exterior views of house. Upper middle,
pots and wooden print frame. Lower left;
a little house in the garden that had to never be in
shadow of house. Lower right; Fred and
feet. Most houses demanded that visitors take off shoes
before entering. Nice rule, eh Kris?
||After our relaxing drink, we decided to
walk west to the Chao Phraya River, which bisects the
city going north and south. The lady at the Embassy said
that all the primary tourist attractions are located near
the river. Fred's guide book told of a very efficient
river express boat system so we thought once we walked to
the river, we could get back to our hotel easily without
much more walking. It was very hot. In fact, I thought
when I took the picture to the left, I would entitle it
||For a while, we walked
through a neighborhood with shops like the one below that
seemed only to sell Buddha's, some shrink wrapped like
the picture below.
|What we were looking for was the Grand
Palace, one of the most visited tourist
attractions in the whole city. We walked and
walked, and must have misread the map and thought
we were very close to the river. The elaborate
temple to the left looked grand, but there were
not enough tourists around to be the thing we
|The gold Buddha in a great
temple to the left , and all the spires on the
grounds in the picture above looked promising,
but still there were few tourists.
|And what do you think of the Buddhas
lined up in a row which was inside of one of the temples
in that complex. I even saw a picture of something like
that in my book.
Well, Fred and I never really found out where we were
that afternoon. We found a place to eat lunch, decided
that we simply hadn't walked far enough, and plodded on.
We found the Grand Palace surrounded by a huge wall, and
were suddenly pestered by tuk tuk drivers to take us
there but it was so late in the afternoon, we decided to
head home and come back the next day for the Grand
We sucessfully found the river, went back to
the Holiday Inn and collapsed in air conditioned comfort.
If you wish, you may continue with Day Two.