A family from California moves to Ho Chi Minh City. Hilarity ensues.
We last left our intrepid travelers on a train hurtling (or meandering, actually) toward Bangkok, The Venice of the East.
Check out the view from the train!
Warren’s parents decided to meet up with the Saigon Schnacks in Bangkok before exploring Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples. (We just returned to HCMC from Cambodia; sorting through all of our Angkor pics will be quite a feat…)
Bill and Sandy arrived at crazy-early o’clock. We celebrated immediately with cake for breakfast at Mr. Jones’ Orphanage, which is not an actual orphanage, but instead is a fabulous restaurant/cake shop.
High on sugar, the extended family decided to take an architecture walk from Bill’s guidebook.
The walk was through a fairly crowded neighborhood lined with buildings from the 1960s, not generally known for its jaw-dropping edifices.
Having failed miserably to find old Bangkok, we settled on taking pictures in the lobby of a super schmancy hotel.
After a nice rest, the search for old Bangkok was back on.
The Old Customs House.
Some old-looking non-custom house.
I don’t think that was built last week.
On to Day 2: touring the “biggies” of Bangkok with our favorite Coloradan expat family, the Swansons.
First up was the aptly named Grand Palace, home of the Emerald Buddha Temple.
Both grand and palatial, right?
The crowds were almost as overwhelming as the palace. Hey, we know some of those people! (I was probably being elbowed by a tiny Chinese grandmother while taking this picture. I was ALWAYS being elbowed by a tiny Chinese grandmother at the palace!)
Soldier 1: “Retreat!”
Soldier 2: “Where?”
Soldier 1: “Into the mouth of that spiffily dressed giant.”
Soldier 2: “But he’s in the midst of receiving quite a drumming by that multi-faced eight-armed giant!”
Soldier 1: “I think that’s a chance we’ll have to take.”
I like roofs.
Next stop was Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
A statute of a European from a 19th century Thai perspective.
The grounds are also the birthplace of Thai massage.
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy roofs?
Next: off to lunch on the famous canals so Warren and Milo can pick up some stomach bug that would linger for the following week…
On the tour, we visited a theater/workshop simply called The Artist’s House. Whoever the guy/gal is, I really enjoy his/her Thai puppets.
Not a puppet.
Time to set sail (er, motor).
These high school sweethearts are still having a ball.
Oh yeah. We also had second Christmas with Grammy and Gramps.
Note the skytrain putting along in the background.
Other Bangkok highlights included a look into Thai art, architecture, and flora at the Jim Thompson house, a look into my fear of heights at the Sky Bar, and The Big O jamming with a local musician before the Siam Niramit show which was impressive not only for the amazing dancing and costumes, but for the little touches they added to the performance. Live elephants, for example. As well as the fact that they made it rain on the river running through the stage.
The guy was playing a medley of 1970s arena rock. Seriously. (The Big O did not hit all the transitions.)
Goodbye, Thailand, home of the most insane airport Christmas decorations we’ve seen this season. Goodbye, hip-shaking Santa! Goodbye, snowmen on disco balls! Goodbye, The Bear!
Also not a puppet, although she kind of looks like a muppet.