Thailand. I'm not sure where to start?
So we spent three nights in Bangkok and I have to say that the city did not jive with me very well. The smog, the crowds, the pushing, etc. were in sharp contrast to the laid back warmth and ease of Bali and I think it was a bit of a shock. I did enjoy so much, though, taking the water taxi up the Chao Phraya,
visiting the Grand Palace
and Wat Pho which housed the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
Brian likes doing these little interview videos with me from time to time, here is one on our first day in Bangkok eating lunch along the Chao Phraya.
So, then we were off to catch our train to Chiang Mai.......
Going down the Chiang Mai line
If the train falls off the tracks
Do you want your money back?"
In our case, no! This was indeed train number 9 bound for Chiang Mai from Bangkok. As it was pulling into our station to pick us up it crashed and tipped over. We got on another train a few hours later, and were grateful that we didn't tip :) Brian was singing me the song above as we were waiting in the train station. I guess yet another disaster averted!
On the 12 hour train ride I spent hours working on one of the plays I have been writing and I'm delighted to say I nearly have a first draft finished. I also listened to the Buddhist talk in this series which I gave Brian for a wedding present. The different ways that Buddhism is practiced in various countries is pretty fascinating. I find it interesting how there are so many golden statues of the Buddha here and that Thais bow down and pray to the Buddha, give offerings, etc.
Today in Chiang Mai we visited two beautiful temples and actually had the opportunity to listen to young monks chant.
We also were able to sit and talk with a young monk for a while at a "monk chat" where monks answer any questions foreigners have and also get a chance to practice their English.
On the agenda for the rest of the week in Chiang Mai is a cooking class, meditation class, lots of yoga, cheap massages, meeting with a spiritual healer, a boat tour, renting bikes, watching sunsets on rooftop bars, touring more temples and lots and lots of delicious cheap food. What a charmed life we live!