Bangkok, Thailand

 In Honeymoon Planning
Sawadeekrab – Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand.  One of the largest cities in the world, Bangkok is home to nearly 15 million people.  Downtown traffic is outrageous.  We had no idea what bad traffic was until we took a ride on a 16-lane highway during rush hour.  Tuk-Tuks and mopeds are the locals’ choice to get around.  A tuk-tuk is a three wheeler commonly used as taxis.  Not known for safety, the tuk-tuk is an economical way to get around the city.  A typical ride costs 40 baht a mile ($1).
Everything in Bangkok is cheap. A respectable hotel runs about $20 a night.  It is a shopper’s paradise.  You can get anything in the world here- ANYTHING.  Gucci handbags, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Rolex, Tags – all for under $20.  Bootleg CDs and DVDs of Blockbuster quality run $2 a pop.  Amazingly, they had DVDs for sale that hadn’t premiered in the theatres yet.  The market for clothes was unbelievable.  Thai silk is the best there is.  Fine silk shirts run about $5. Here in the states, that same imported shirt goes for $50.  Needless to say, we came home with an entirely new wardrobe. There was an endless supply of alligator, lizard, ostrich and snake skin shoes, belts and jackets.   One morning I went into Liu’s Bootery on Sukhumvit Rd and was measured for custom snakeskin shoes and belt.  The different colored skins of materials are on the rack and you pick which one you like.  I went with green snakeskin.  I’d never seen that before and thought it would be huge for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (It was).  Liu had them delivered to my door that evening.  Total price was only $200.  That would run about a grand in LA or Miami.
Thai massage parlors are everywhere.  Cass and I believe the Thai massage to be a heavenly experience.  A one-hour massage (full body or foot) runs about $6.  At that price, you pretty much get one every day.  Eating out was a wild experience.  The locals eat street food off hawkers’ carts.  Typical tourist cuisine is grilled meat on a stick or coconut curry.  The Thai eat anything that moves.  We saw deep fried insects, beatles, grubs, sea urchin, sandcrabs and sting ray on the carts.  Tempting as that sounds, we opted for the sit down restaurants that sell lobster tail at $5/pound and delicious pork and prawn dishes for under $3.  We were there during the Avian Flu outbreak of 2004.  Due to that, we stayed away from poultry  (the Thai ate plenty of it as it was on sale).
Bangkok has some beautiful parks and temples, and the Chao Phraya River (River of Kings).  There is an extensive series of canals that earned Bangkok the moniker “Venice of the East”.  That’s a stretch, but it does have its charm.  The floating markets allow for your shopping adventures to proceed uninterrupted while you cruise the waterways.  Bangkok has numerous luxurious temples.  The most opulent are Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddah), Wat Arun and the Grand Palace.  The grand palace has a garden of ornamental trees that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.  There is an entire scaled miniature replica of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat on the grounds.
Bangkok is about a 20-hour flight from BWI.  They are 12 hours ahead of Ocean City.  November through February is the best time to go (sunny and 80 every day).  Avoid the rainy monsoon  season (June-October).  You can live like a king for $100 U.S. Dollars a day!   Khawpkhun (thank you) – The Rox

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