Bangkok, Thailand

Post by Lauren

This post would have been more interesting had I not picked up a little friend* in Cambodia who dwelled in my tummy during our last stop, Bangkok. I finally made it out of our hotel at 5pm one day and 2pm the next, so a few of our plans in this great city didn’t come to fruition.

Luckily, we’d had a little unexpected time earlier in the week when our connection to Cambodia ran into a snafu. We showed up at the airport at 6am for our 8am flight. We were told by Bangkok Airways, “Oh, the plane is already full. You catch next flight…2pm” After much back and forth, explaining how we had a full day in Cambodia already planned a tour paid for and showed receipt of confirmed seats, we still didn’t have any luck**.

They gave us a free hotel room, but we decided to use the time instead to get an early view of Bangkok. We hopped in a taxi to the Royal Palace. While we still did miss part of our itinerary in Cambodia, this time to see a bit of Bangkok was a blessing in disguise because of how awful I felt later when we returned. Not sure it could have happened then.

Here are a few of the sites at the Royal Palace:

 

 

As mentioned above, our return trip to Bangkok was limited in sightseeing. However, we did manage to catch a drink at SkyBar, Gabe experienced some Bangkok nightlife after I turned in, and we hit the huge Saturday market, Jatujak. And, we got to see how the Thai ring in the New Year with lots of color and liveliness. A bonus was seeing the fireworks from all sides of the plane as we took off at 12 midnight on New Years Eve.

 

We’ll just have to come back to Bangkok to get to see all the things we missed!

This leads us to….

Travel tips for Bangkok/Cambodia:

*We suspect my food illness was actually from our 5-star hotel, not actually local food in Cambodia so don’t let this turn you off.

**Bangkok Air entitles itself the “Asia’s Boutique Airline”. Don’t believe it. This is the worst run airline operation we have ever seen. After having one of our legs “full” at check-in and the other return flight 4 hours late (no weather issues), we were not fans of this “boutique”. On the other hand, Thai Air was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom

Post by Lauren

As we mentioned in the previous post, we were shocked how many ruins there were in the Angkor region….about a thousand! That was such a surprise for us as we were thinking it would just be the one…Angkor Wat.

However, Angkor Thom ( Angkor = “city” and Thom = “big” ) had so many amazing sites within its four walls. Not to mention, its four walls were adorned with detail, 2 miles each. Crazy! There were also a lot of sites just outside the deep moat surrounding the walled city.

To top it off, the most magnificent, Angkor Wat, was constructed during the height of the Khmer empire and is said to be the world’s largest single religious monument.

One of the other takeaways we had was how the temples “changed hands” throughout history. They changed back and forth from Hindu to Buddhist depending on the king at that time.

Here is a chronological recap of our three day journey:

Preah Khan, just outside Angkor Thom

 

Neak Pean - where all the healing took place

Ta Phrohm - where Lara Croft Tomb Raider was filmed

 

Banteay Srei - incredible detail work by the artisans

 

Pre Rup

 

Angkor Wat