Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Funny Faces

It's been a slow month for the report. I've been playing with some of the funny camera features on Mrs. Phred's IPAD.

We fly out to Bangkok Sunday morning. I found a long term rental place to stash the Toyota for $3 a day. It's very insecure in a bad neighborhood, but, Hey, what's insurance for anyway?

After Bangkok we travel North to Chiang Mai and do some travel in the back country with cousin Bennett and our driver, Ken.

Then on to Saigon. I never saw any of Saigon except the Ton Son Nhut airbase. After that we travel up the Mekong river through Cambodia and then back to Hanoi and home.

I hope to get enough WIFI to publish a few blogs on nthe trip.

We'll be back late on the 30th of December in time to catch a New Year's Eve party...

Dreading the long plane rides to Asia, but looking forward to seeing some new faces and places.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Back to Bangkok

The  Sirocco is an open air skybar and restaurant on the 63rd floor of the Tower hotel. Perhaps a drink after we arrive at 2AM?

Just north is the Oriental hotel. Breakfast on the terrace has been suggested by Mrs. Phred's cousin who lives in Chaing Mai.. About a 1/2 mile further north along the river is the River City shopping complex. Proceeding north another mile is Chinatown and north of that is Ratanakosin Island.

Wat Traimit (The Temple of the Golden Buddha ) is the first sight on the island. This is a 5 ton solid gold
 Buddha that was covered with plaster for six centuries and recently rediscovered..

Ratanakosin Island (The Old City) is on  the Chao Phraya River just north of Chinatown. Founded by King Rama I in 1782 at the start of the Chakri Dynasty, it was originally carved out of a bend in the river to strengthen the defensive position of the new Siamese capital. Sights include the Grand Palace. In the palace complex is the  Wat Phra Kaew. (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). The canal circling the west bowing river bend to the east makes this an island of sorts.

The Grand Palace was an astounding and unexpected sight from the window of my C-124 at 600 feet. I think that our pilot flew past on the way out just to give us a peek...the sight sticks...

 Wat Pho (40 meter long  Lying Buddha) is immediately south of the palace complex.

Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) is on the river bank opposite the grand palace. The bridge is to the south of the palace if we walk. I climbed this when I was young.

The Snake farm is about two miles east of the hotel. Chartering a long-tail boat to see Wat Arun, the canals and the floating market might be fun for part of a day.

I haven't yet located The four faced Buddha at the Erawan Shrine. This is actually Lord Brahma who is one of the Trinity of Hindu Gods.The other two are Lord Vishnu, the sustainer and Lord Siva the destroyer. Brahma is said to be born from a lotus leaf sprouting from the navel of Vishnu.

Two days there and we're gone....The Chote Chitr has been recommended to us by Bennett as the best place to eat in Bangkok...I remember eating Pepper Steak and visiting massage parlors from on the last trip...maybe Mrs. Phred can get a massage...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thailand Trip

The first part of our vacation will be in Thailand. We move on to Cambodia and Vietnam on December 15th. We will be on the Mekong River in deepest Cambodia for Christmas Eve, our 45th anniversary.

ใช้เงินเท่าไหร่How much money?

สนามบินกรุงเทพฯ BKK Airport

โรงแรมสเตททาวเวอร์ State Tower Hotel (Hangover II filmed here)

December 5,6,7 ...1050 Silom Road, Bangkok 

 โรงแรมรอยัลปริ๊น Royal Princess Hotel December 8,9... 112 Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai

Travel in northern Thailand...December 10,11, 12...Golden Triangle?

Mountain View Guesthouse Dec 12,13,14 Chang Pheuk Gate, Chiang Mai

We have our vaccinations, electrical adapters, alarm clock, insect repellent, Thai currency and Old Spice Classic deodorant for cousin Bennett ready to go. It's time to do some late stage planning on places to see while we're there and accumulate some basic taxi driver phases.

The blog is about the best program I have for pictures and strange alphabets, so I'll probably do my plans right here.