Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Krabi
















Well, from what I saw it was beautiful. Kevin and Katie had a play date out to Hong island and took lots of pics so I will upload them when I get a chance.

It was difficult for me to feel so weird and sick and not be able to communicate with anyone that could help. I visited the nurse at the hotel twice and she just loaded me up with medicine that didn't even make sense. After the second morning of feeling horrible we made the decision to get an earlier flight back - so here we are in Hong Kong waiting to board our big bird to take us back to the states.

Last night in Bangkok
















Sunday night was our last night in Bangkok before heading to Krabi for what was suppose to be the rest of the week. On Sunday the big group went with Nat and James and headed to the Floating Market. Since I had done this last time and wasn't thrilled by the idea of going again since it was more of a tourist trap than something neat to see, Kevin and I opted out of this. We ended up just hanging around the area close to the hotel. We got pedicures, yes Kevin got one too. I also had mine done by a man-lady -- very exciting stuff. We ate lunch at this little place in Silom Village and did a little shopping. I ordered shrimp noodles with gravy thinking the gravy wasn't going to be a main component --oh but it was. It was hard to eat b/c we had watched that Dirty Jobs show on Discovery about the eel mucus (anyone?) and the gravy kinda looked like that. Soooooo...lunch was ok.
We really wanted to hang out with everyone since it was their last night, but we also wanted to go to a Thai boxing match and a Cabaret show. Our thinking was to go to the boxing, grab dinner, head to the cabaret show then meet up with everyone at Sky Bar later. We got the the boxing match a little late and only saw the last three matches. Katie and I really didn't think we would have wanted to see more than that, but it was really cool and I wish we could have seen more. Definitely a must if you go visit.
Next we headed to dinner. We found a place that had couches to sit on which was perfect for Sean and his leg. The food was good, but at the end I got a sudden sick feeling which stuck with me and is the reason why we are leaving early--but back to that night. So after dinner we went to the cabaret show where it was all lady boys that performed. Oh it was very interesting. Lots of makeup and little outfits. They all were lip-singing, which was funny because it was English....so it was fairly obvious that it was lip-singing. Overall a fun show, as long as you aren't trying to keep yourself from fainting/throwing up or wondering why your left arm has gone numb. Soooo we didn't make it to see the rest of the group. Kevin and I headed back to the Hotel and hoped that I would feel better in the morning. Pics to come later....

Street Dogs




There must be something said for the sassy street dogs of Thailand. I have seen not one but TWO of them dressed up lounging on the streets. I have pics of these two that I witnessed and as soon as I can get them on to my computer I will post them. Katie also saw some fancy street dogs too....oh Bangkok...what would Bob wear here?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Thai Wedding



















video





We left our hotel at 2:30 to get to the hotel in time for the traditional Thai and Chinese ceremonies that we were invited to attend. Nat started the festivities in a traditional Thai dress - which was beautiful! All the girls loved it and hope she wears it to the Dallas reception. Every thing was done in Thai but Nat's Aunt, her sister Beth and a few others were so nice and would come translate what was happening for all of us. Basically the first thing that was done was a engagement ceremony. There was some tapioca soup passed around to the audience which i think it suppose to bring good luck and fortune to the new couple. After this, the tea ceremony began. Everyone from Nats family was called up (couple at a time) and drank a cup tea with Nat and James in the front of the room. They gave the new couple money and Nat and James gave them a thank you gift. Nat's family was pretty large, so this went on for a little while. After this was completed Nat was taken away to go change into her Chinese wedding dress. This is where the interactive part came in - everyone that had a gold necklace was asked to open the necklace and hold it out to guard the door to the room where Nat was hiding. Basically you all line up in a row with the necklace open to block James from getting to her. The necklace serves as a rope. He has to go through each of the chains and pay each of us to get though. The last set of people (which were her sisters) are suppose to be the toughest and ask for the most money. Once James has paid us all he can open the door and get his bride. This part was really fun and they brough extra chains so we could all participate. After this the tea ceremony contiinued with James family. All of this ended around 4:30 so we had about two hours before the reception started so we all headed down to the lobby and had some drinks and chatted.





At 6:30 the reception started and it was so amazing! There were so many people and so much food!! Upon entering the ball room you stop and take a picture with the bride and groom, sign the guest book and head on in. Once you get inside you realize that there is a live feed on Nat and James (which Nat didn't even know!) So we could watch her the entire time! Inside there was beautiful flowers, amazing food and lots of drinks. Nat and James greeted people for about an hour and a half (I am not sure how they were able to smile that much) then a slideshow was played. After this they introduced the bride and groom (did a lot of talking in Thai), cut the cake and the wedding stuff was done. Sorry I am getting short here but my hour is almost up so I have to be quick!





The wedding was so much fun and I will have to recap again in person! Hopefull you can get a feel for what it was like with the video and pics posted!





Around Bangkok











The past few days we have been touring the city by ourselves for the most part. When we returned from Cambodia we had to make a couple trips to the suit place for Kevin - so we became extremely fond of the sky train. Kevin loves the train and will try to find any excuse to use it! So let me back up - on Thursday afternoon we returned to Bangkok. There was so much traffic heading from the airport to the hotel that it took us a very long time to finally get in. Once we arrived at the hotel we checked in and then headed out for one final suit fitting for Kevin. The suit actually fit him perfectly, but we didn't want to carry it around so we left it there to pick up on Friday. Kevin and I walked around and found a little Thai restaurant and a really yummy meal! We had soup, entrees and drinks all for $26! And it was really good. After this we took a tuk tuk to Katie and Sean's hotel to catch up with them. They are staying at Le Bua and on the 58th floor - its so crazy high! On Friday morning we woke up and headed back to the suite store. We had to be ready by 2pm for Nat's wedding so we didn't do much else this day ( I will make a separate post for her wedding next). On Saturday Kevin and I woke up at 7am and were ready to get moving. After breakfast we took the public boat down to the Grand Palace and completed our tourist duties. We saw the Emerald Buddha, tall Buddha, reclining Buddha and the Palace. Once we were done we headed back to the hotel so that Kevin could change into shorts and then headed out again to the weekend market. I really enjoyed the market, but Kevin wasn't loving it as much. He is already tired of shopping and we really haven't done any! I might have to get himand Sean to hang out and have Katie as my shopping partner. We returned home from the floating market around 5pm and got ready for dinner with the whole group and Nat's family. They took us to an amazing Thai food place that was on the river over-looking a new fancy bridge. Once we were stuffed we headed to the night market for a little more shopping (Kevin lasted for about 5 min with this) so we headed to a bar where everyone met up once they were done. Now its Sunday and our plans are to find a place to massages and doing a little more poking around the city. Tonight we are going out as a group to one of the Thai boxing matches and then to dinner! The big group heads back to the states tomorrow and our mini group heads to Krabi for the week....I can't wait for the beach!!

Sunday Morning




Whew! It's been a while - we have been pretty busy here in Bangkok. We have had a relaxing morning so far and are just coming in from breakfast - which is amazing here! The buffet is down by the river and they have anything you can imagine including 16 different juices, pastries, meats, omelet station and a wonderful cheese tray (one of my favs!). We are really enjoying this hotel even though we may not fit in quite well with the rest of the guests (who all seem to be older). We even have a butler here - we haven't really had a reason to call for him, but its pretty crazy! Here are some pics from the hotel.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Temples, Temples, Temples






































We started bright and early today - Mr. Neak knew the perfect timing to hit the four temples we wanted to see when they were least busy. We started out with a 30 min ride out to Bantery Srei. The ride was really cool because we got to see a lot of the different villages along the way. We were basically some of the first tourists there in the morning and it was so nice to be able to walk around and see everything quickly - and of course take some really cool pics. The temple itself is known for the red sandstone that was used to build it as well as the intricate carvings. On our drive back there were bus loads of tourists traveling up there - which is hard to believe because the temple itself isn't that large. It would have been miserable being there with a ton of people.

The next temple we went to was Angkor Wat - the most famous. It's HUGE. After touring here we took a break and ate at a little restaurant outside the temple. I found my favorite dish on the menu - flat noodles - and they were AMAZING. Once we were all filled up we headed to the next two temples. One of my favorites that we saw was the Bayon temple inside Angkor Thom. This temple is most famous for the 52 smiling heads. One of the cool things about this temple was the carvings on the walls of everyday life.
The last temple that we went to was Ta Phrom. This one was also really cool and it is located in the jungle. This was also the temple where Tomb Raider was filmed.
We really enjoyed seeing all the temples yesterday and today so now we are going to take a break and relax. It's 4:30 here, so we will head out for dinner somewhere later tonight. Tomorrow our plans are to stay around the hotel (a massage may be in the works) and head back to Bangkok around lunchtime.

Sunset Elephant Tour




One of the things that I really wanted to do was to take an Elephant ride up to Phnom Bakheng to watch the sunset. We both heard that once you are on top of the hill its usually to cloudy to see the sunset, but we wanted to check it out regardless. Mr. Neak took us to where we needed to be and we got on our elephants and rode on up the hill. It was great even though our little elephant was the runt of the group - we got passed up by another one! He was really cute and wiggled his ears when Mr. Neak gave him some branches (it also helped him speed up). Once we got on top of the hill we took some pics and actually witnessed a pretty sweet sunset! Oh one of my favorite things was the subtle tip pocket that the little elephant controller boy had - check it out.

Floating Village in Cambodia











The first place we ventured to was a floating village. Both Kevin and I were skeptical of this as we weren't sure if it was going to be a tourist trap. We drove with Mr. Neak as he explained the surroundings (we understood approximately 50% of what he was saying). Once we arrived to the area we hopped on a private boat and floated on down the river. All of the houses are mobile (imagine a trailer park on water) and rise with the change in water levels throughout the year. Its pretty crazy seeing a pool hall, basketball court, schools, hospitals and even pig pens floating on water. We really loved this and were so glad that Mr. Neak took us here.

Cambodia with Mr. Neak

We landed in Siem Reap around noon on Tuesday and Mr. Neak met us at the airport. Mr. Neak was our tour guide for Tuesday and Wedesday and he was a real sizzler. Never has one man loved pictures so much. He took us to a floating village, a sunset tour, and four temples - and we have about 500 pics (well not that many). His English was a little difficult to understand but he made up for it with his enthusiasm and his knack for finding perfect picture spots. Oh and taking pics without any other tourist in them - he was very serious about not having other people in the background. We really felt like we were taking engagement pics again. Good for me, but by the end of the second day we were templed out and pictured out.

JUMBO







I really love this little guy and wish I could bring him home to sizzle with Bob. I think they would be best buddies! So cute!

Pigs in a blanket


Nat took us to a little bakery and we decided that Nikki would appreciate these little guys. We didn't try them, but they look delicious!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time machine

We left DFW at 7:40pm Saturday night and arrived in Bangkok at 10pm (central time) on Sunday. The flights were non-eventful, which in my book is a good thing. Our flight from SFO to BKK was 14 hours long! When we got on I had to plan my sleeping schedule perfectly and luckily I succeeded. Two movie, two meals, a long 8 hour nap and bam we were there...well kind of. We landed in Hong Kong and just had one more 3 hour flight. We finally arrived in Bangkok around 11am local time. Immigration and customs were a breeze --luckily our luggage came out pretty quickly. It was so nice to have familiar faces greeting us when we arrived! Now we were ready!

Nat and Katie met us inside and walked us out to the garage where James and Sean had the VW van waiting. Its huge, and drivers are crazy but Mr James is extremely talented when it comes to manuvering the big ol van. We headed back to Nat's parents house to take showers and plan the day. Nats house is beautiful - and spo peaceful compared to the bustling city of Bangkok. Plus there is an amazing little chihuahua that lives in it too! Little Jumbo is so cute that I want to steal him.

Ok - I guess I am rambling and everyone might know there was a major event that took place, so I will try and speed this up. After we freshened up we headed into the city. We ate lunch at a little Thai food place in mall called Lily pad (or something) which was really yummy. Then did some shopping and Kevin even got a suite made (well we started the process). At 6:30 we headed across town to catch a dinner boat cruise. We were pretty exhausted, but ready for another Thai meal. We had to go down a set of very steep steps when getting on the boat - and that is where it happened. Kevin, Nat and I were already seated at our table and wondering where Katie, Sean and James were. We sat at our table for about 5 min before a lady came over and told Nat in Thai that one of our friends had fallen. We ran outside to see Sean being taken away in a wheelchair. We finally caught up with them while they waited for an ambulance --his foot was completed twisted the wrong way. It also kind of felt like we were in a movie because we were on the corner of the street with a bunch of locals, everyone was screaming in thai and trying to look and see what was going on...it was pretty crazy. It was very hard to sit there watching him in so much pain. The ambulance came (James rode with Sean) and we grabbed a taxi to follow. At the hospital we waited to hear the news - was his ankle just out of socket or was it broken? The worst news prbably - it was not only out of socket and twisted sideways, but there was a fracture and he was going to need surgery. So it is Tusday morning now, 8:06am and Sean has probably just started his surgery. The surgery is an hour long and then he will be in recovery for 2 hours. Our thoughts are with him and we hope for a speedy recovery.

So that was our first day - pretty crazy. Kevin and I leave for Cambodia at 11:30 and will be in touch later!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Packing for Thailand

So it is 12:15 and I have been attempting to pack all morning long but I keep getting sidetracked by Lifetime. Yes, that’s right. I should just turn the TV off....

Kevin is productive so I guess I should get on the ball. We are leaving for the airport around 5pm. Here we come terminal D :) Maybe one last round of Mexican food and some margaritas before we take off!

Next post will be in Thailand!