13 June 2007

Travel: Bangkok, Part 1

For my first trip from Singapore, I had planned to go to Saigon. Vietnam has fascinated me for several years, but I wasn't able to get a good flight. So, I decided to head up to Bangkok for the weekend. Now, mind you, going to Bangkok from Singapore is like going from Dallas to Atlanta. I left the office at 3, was on a 4:45 flight, and was in my taxi in Bangkok by 6:15 Thailand time (one hour earlier). But, then we hit Bangkok traffic. Singapore has moderately heavy traffic, but ownership of cars is based on a quota system, so congestion is controlled. Not so Bangkok. We hit the city traffic about halfway from the airport, and we slowed way down. Thai drivers, however, tend to be pretty resourceful, using as much pavement as possible. For instance, the last half of the cab ride into the city was made entirely on the shoulder, which had been transformed into another lane of traffic by my cab and the hundreds that followed it. We did come to a standstill once we exited the highway, but about a half hour later, I was in my hotel. I stayed in the Millenium Hilton on the Chao Praya River, which had a great view of the river and a level of comfort that I needed on my first trip to Thailand. So, after getting settled in the room, it was time to go explore...

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