Well, actually, our modes of transportation yesterday were taxis, trains, subways, tuk tuks, and river boats! Living in American suburbia, I typically travel by car alone. If I get real crazy, I may bike to Starbucks…or catch the light rail from the Mall of America to a Twins game. So the adventure of public transportation here in Bangkok was a treat! It felt a bit like the Amazing Race at times, as we hopped from one vessel to another…reading maps, asking strangers, figuring out connections from point A to point B.
We visited Chitralada Palace, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace (grand does not even come close to describing it!) We made a quick request to our tuk tuk driver to stop along the street, so that we could buy fresh pineapple from a seller in the market. There was a purchase of charcoal grilled chicken skewers for lunch from a vendor with a cart. We taxied down the Chao Phraya River, with other commuters and tourists, along the Bangkok skyline. The kindness and respect shown by anyone we encountered was impressive, from the joining of their hands as if to pray, bowing to greet us or express thanks for a purchase, to the friendly assistance given to any request we made.
This morning ended our very short stay in Bangkok, as we viewed the normal routines of the neighborhood one last time…observing the school children hop the bus for their ride to school…watching as the monk stops by for his morning offerings. Like clockwork, he arrives gate by gate, each morning, gathering gifts of food or flowers, as the woman of the house responds by kneeling in prayer.
Such a whirlwind tour of a very fascinating city…off we go to Chiang Mai.