Thailand: Bangkok

The Polsons In Southeast Asia

Bangkok

Thailand

March 24, 2013

Dear Friends and Reluctant Travelers,

Earlier this year, my cousins Betty and Jim Polson visited Southeast Asia for the first time.

They flew from Portland, Oregon to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to visit friends and stay with the family in their home.  Then they came to Bangkok and made a side trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  They returned to Bangkok and flew to Chiang Mai in the north.

I arranged everything for Thailand and Cambodia through a travel agent I know very well.  All the local hotels, domestic flights and excursions were booked in advance.

 Frankly, I was a bit concerned.  Despite all the detailed arrangements, I was not sure if Jim and Betty could adapt to such a different environment.   As it turns out, my anxiety was completely misplaced.

 

Floods

Bangkok 

October 10, 2011

Monday Afternoon 

Grey Skies

Fog, Low Visibility 

Pouring Rain 

Dear Friends, 

I am OK.   

I live on the ninth floor of a modern apartment building.  So far, the streets in my neighborhood are passable.  From my balcony I can see the canal.  Despite the rain, the flood waters descending from the north, and the high tides in the Gulf of Siam, the canal is at a normal level and the commuter boats are operating.  

Bangkok: March Visitors

Bangkok
Thailand

26 March 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

March has been my own mad month - of visits and visitors: Ngoc Vi and Thao My; Moon and Kevin; Mai and Mark; Luisa and Dolly; DeeDee and Richard.

Ngoc Vi came to Thailand on a four-day tour with her daughter Thao My. They live near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

I met Ngoc Vi seven years ago near the cathedral in HCMC (Saigon). After a brief chat, she invited me to her sister's wedding the next day.

Ngoc Vi is a specialist in agricultural productivity. She has worked as a consultant to Vietnamese farmers. This year she left her job and is enrolled as a full-time student. She expects to earn a Master's degree in Business Administration.

Thao My is an energetic, talkative, irrepressible four-year-old girl. Her goal was to ride an elephant here in Thailand. She did just that, all alone, according to her mother, at an elephant park south of Bangkok.

Bangkok: "Loi Kratong"

Bangkok

24 November 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

My friend Noy and I celebrated Loi Krathong on Sunday.  Along with thousands of other celebrants we floated our krathong on the Chao Phraya River.

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the Western calendar this holiday usually falls in November.

"Loi" means "to float" and a "krathong" is traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread.  Regardless of the composition, a krathong will be decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. A low value coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits.

Bangkok: "The Red Shirts"

Part I - "On the March"

Bangkok, Thailand
Noon
Wednesday 17 March

Dear Friends,

To beat the mid-day crush of office workers on the streets, I left my apartment at about 11:00 and walked towards my local barber.

I needed to cross Sukhumvit Road, the main thoroughfare in my neighborhood. But along with all the traffic, I was stuck. The office girls were still working, but the Red Shirts were on parade.

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