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Phuket - Bangkok - Hong Kong at last!
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 23:45 Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Physical and Health Education | Tea | Thailand | Walk

We woke up this morning and took a shuttle bus to Phuket International Airport. We got our flight to Bangkok and one hour later we landed. We got off of the Thai Airline airplane and got on to a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

Two and a half hours later, we landed in Hong Kong. Now we are back on track with our original travel plans. The drive into the city from the airport was spectacular. There were high rise apartment buildings like I have never seen before. The bank buildings were lit up in lots of interesting ways. Also there was a really long bridge that was equally amazing.

We got to our hotel, the JW Marriott, and checked out the mall that it is connected to (Pacific Place). We had dinner at a restaurant in the mall, but you have to understand that this is a super-fancy mall. It was a nice restaurant.

We were tired from our long day so we went right to bed after dinner.


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Being happy and lazy in Phuket, Thailand
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, May 8, 2006 - 00:00 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Thailand | Walk

We just spent four glorious days relaxing in Phuket, Thailand. During our time here we have gone swimming, read lots of books, eaten very good food, seen baby elephants, watched movies, and generally had a wonderful, lazy time. The pools at the hotel are over 1,000 feet in length because they are connected with meandering streams that you can swim through.

It’s been great to have a break from cities and traveling for a few days.


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Beautiful Bangkok
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, May 5, 2006 - 00:24 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Thailand | Walk

Our time in Bangkok has been great fun and VERY HUMID.

Tuesday we went to a new HUGE shopping center called Siam Center and Siam Paragon which just opened a couple of months ago. It was enormous and a new concept for Bangkok. It seemed very popular with all kinds of people, especially young adults and teenagers. We had Pad Thai Noodles for dinner, my favorite!

Today we got up and met a guide named Jup Jup who took us through the perfumed flower market. We needed to buy some flowers to leave at the temple that we would be visiting with her later in the morning. Walking through the flower market was really educational because we saw many different kinds of Thai fruits, vegetables, flowers, food and people. The day was very hot and humid so we got some water and we just kept drinking it.

We arrived at the Royal Temple next. It was very large and extremely ornate. The buildings were covered in mosaic mirrors in many bright and beautiful colors. The designs were very intricate.

We went inside the building that houses the “Jade Buddah” made our our flower offering and spent some more time there admiring the beauty of the interior of the building. On the walls, the paintings told the story of the life of The Buddah from his childhood to his enlightenment. I remember learning all about this at school. It was incredible to see it in real life.

On Friday, we got up very early and joined another family for a tour of the Floating Market. The drive to the market was about 2 hours long and we got to see a lot of the countryside which was great because so far all we had seen was the city. To get to the market, we motored through the man made canals in a long-tail boat. The boats are really narrow, my brother and I sat side-by-side with no extra room. The boat drivers are really skilled at making turns and going way too fast!

We arrived at the market, left our long-tail boat behind and began to explore. We had an hour or so to ourselves, so we looked around and watched people shopping and bargaining. The main part of the market is on the water. We sat down to have a bite to eat and I got to watch the farmers with their boats brimming with fruits and vegetables. They were selling from their boats to people on the shore as well as boat to boat. Some of them were cooking on their boats and selling the food. It was colorful and lively. They get up really early in the morning, harvest their crop and head on the canals to the market. By about noon, the market is over for the day so they can go back and tend their fields.

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An Unexpected Visit
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, May 1, 2006 - 00:59 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Israel | Physical and Health Education | Tea | Thailand | Walk

Wow today has been crazy! We arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv, Israel for our El Al flight to India. We went through security and then walked up to the check-in desk, we handed the nice ladies our tickets and passports and waited as she checked them. She gave us a sympathetic look and told us there was problem, we had not known that we needed visas before we got there, we had been under the impression that you picked them up when you landed. So... we had a problem on our hands, where would we go? The first thing we did was call Igal, we told him that we may need to come back, but we weren't sure. Moving along, we realized that since the next three days were and Israeli holiday and that the Indian embassy wouldn't be open and it takes five days for them to issue a visa so we would be stranded for over a week the final decision was to keep moving.

So where would we go? Well the options that were offered were:

Montreal, Canada: wrong direction
Johannesburg, South Africa: wrong direction, (but would still like to go)
Paris, France: been there, done that
Cairo, Egypt: done that too
Bangkok, Thailand: perfect

So Bangkok it was, we called Sheraton and they booked a room at The Royal Orchid Sheraton, canceled our flight to India and we were off. We boarded the plane at eleven thirty and arrived ten hours later (fourteen with the time difference) in Thailand. So here we are, we enjoyed a meal and show last night with traditional Thai dancers that can bend their fingers almost all the way back, and Thai food which is our favorite!

Sad news too, here in Bangkok it takes five working days to issue an Indian visa, so it looks as if we may have to skip India but we still need to do some checking in.


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