Monday, January 25, 2010
Thailand with family
We arrived from Australia 45 minutes before the kids landed in Bangkok. It was so great to see them. While here, we have really learned to love the city. There are street markets everywhere night and day, sometimes they fully construct huge rows of make shift buildings down alleyways for the night market. The prices at street vendors are crazy, a full meal for 2 at 100B ($3). Fantastic food but a couple of times flaming hot. In the markets you bargained for everything. A few Thai merchants greeted us with big smiles when we frequented their shops.
Buddism is part of everyday life here, with ornate temples everywhere, small shrines in most businesses, people laying flowers, food, drinks and incense and putting gold leaf on the feet of budda. We went to the kings palace, seeing magnificent temples, government buildings, the royal museum with a collection of all kinds of royal paraphernalia and the famous Emerald Buddha. Aaron and I saw the amazing Reclining Buddha; he is about 3/4 of a football field long and 3 stories high.
The kids shopped alot here, both at the malls and the markets. Lily was an absolute gem. We dragged her everywhere with us and she was so cheerful. She took her first steps for us the day they left. She started waving bye bye and started understanding some instructions like "sit down". She didn't like the cold water at the hotel when they arrived but absolutely loved it when we were in Kho Phi Phi and even swam in the ocean. The Thai people absolutely loved Lily. When ever they could they would hold her and take a picture with their cell phone. They always wanted to touch her soft, white skin.
After Bangkok, we stayed at a small resort on Kho Phi Phi island in the south of Thailand. The island was devastated by the tsunami and is still rebuilding. It is a small island with very congested street markets everywhere and a beach. There were lots of bars and activity really picked up at night. Aaron made some friends and the kids went dancing a couple of times. We did lots of swimming in the resort pool and in the Indian Ocean. We went on a cruise of the Krabi islands and saw the gorgeous scenery of the huge rocks, caves and cliffs. We snorkeled, seeing coral and beautiful fish and went for a short kayak to a beach from the boat. We all (except Lily) had a Thai massage. They use their whole body; arms, elbows, feet, knees ands hands. I'm sure they would have massaged Lily for free.