After almost 24 hours of flying, we finally made it to Bangkok. While the travel was long, it really wasn't all that bad. We paid a little extra to upgrade to United Economy Plus and it was well worth it. The second leg was on ANA airlines. While the staff was very nice, the food was disgusting.
After landing, our wonderful guide, Boeing, from Asia World Travel, greeted us at the airport to take us to the Conrad Hilton. I would highly recommend this hotel if you are staying in Bangkok. The rooms are spacious and comfy, the staff is attentive and the breakfast hits the spot.
|Lobby of the Hilton|
After getting a good night sleep, we woke up early for a full day of activities. The Tourism Authority of Thailand helped by sponsoring part of our trip with guides and activities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
We started our adventure in Chinatown at Wat Traimit housing the largest solid gold Buddha. This Buddha inside the temple is 5 1/2 tons and is worth millions of dollars. We were pretty impressed.
When you walk up to the temple, you can't help but see the large painting of the king. While this was one of our first sightings of the king, we came to notice that the huge paintings of the king are everywhere... on the sides of the highway, next to stop lights, at every temple, even standing tribute the king before Thai shows with videos of the king in action. We read about the love for the king, but we realized very quickly that this is not something that you just read in the books. Since arriving, we've heard many wonderful stories about the king. He used his own money to build the Thai people a hospital. He is completely beloved by the people. Even being here just a few days, I have to admit, I'm starting to admire the king as well. Long live the king!
Driving through Chinatown is like sitting in your parked car surrounded by other cars with people on motor bikes whizzing in between... traffic is crazy! Looking out the window you see power lines everywhere. Our next stop, The Grand Palace...