Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last Stop----Bangkok

The AirAsia flight from Hanoi landed at the old international airport, Don Mueang, around 11 AM. As I cleared immigration and customs, I remembered that I could take the train into Hua Lamphong Rail Station and then on to the subway to my Dynasty Hotel near the Nana Sky Train. After a 5 minute walk to the airport train station, I learned that the train no longer ran every half hour, but rather it would be about three hours before one would come. I then pulled out my mini iPad and checked the Thailand Lonely Planet guide and it listed about 4 buses that would take me into town for about 13 Baht rather than 400 baht for a taxi. As soon as I got to the bus stop, an air conditioned number 29 that would take me to Victory Monument and the Sky Train to my Nana stop pulled up. it was pretty slow going in the heavy Bangkok traffic, but I had a front seat in an air conditioned bus. Instead of riding it in the heavy traffic, I jumped off so I could catch the Sky Train at the Mo Chit Stop. This would cost me 42 Baht to ride to the Nana stop, but it was so much faster as it glided on the tracks above the huge traffic jam to the Nana stop in just 10 minutes in air conditioned comfort. All cities should have such great public transit systems.

It continues to rain in front of my hotel as evening approaches.

The rain seems to have followed me from Hanoi as I headed out for lunch to my favorite food court on Soi 6

 

After the rains dropped off, I began to take a bunch of pictures of some of the many food carts and vendors that fill the sidewalks and streets of Bangkok. On Mondays the streets are clear of these vendors so the sanitation crews can wash down the sidewalks and streets. Thais really value cleanliness personally, in their foods, and their homes and businesses.

 

Shown below are a sampling of the street vendors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to finding good street food is to buy from vendors who have lots of local customers and to select the most recently cooked item.

As I get ready to return to Seattle, I continue to be amazed by the apparent wealth I see in the many enclosed malls that can be found at almost every Sky Train Stop. This one is at the Asoke Sky Train Stop and is called Terminal 21.

There are six levels of high end shops to select from with one floor devoted to high end restaurants with an emphasis on Japanese cuisine.

More rain at the Sky Train station.

Finally a farewell song from one of the oldest restaurants/ bars in Bangkok: Check Inn 99 is where Mamasan Noi continues to host visitors for the past 28 years. Some of her visitors included Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. She is now 72 and appears daily to welcome both old and new guests like they are family.

For me, SE Asia continues to be a most welcoming place to visit with friendly folks, delicious food---I blew my food budget in Vietnam because of the French influence--- and beautiful scenery.

2 comments:

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  2. Rick,
    Thanks for both the beautiful pics and videos. The people you met seem very friendly and helpful. Thanks also for the travel tips. You are a great traveler. Regards, Jim

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