Travels and more travels

April 20, 2017

We couldn’t resist the $1250 per person groupon tour to Thailand and China when Jeff’s sister Lynda and her husband Barry said they’d go with us. It was a ton of fun and even more fun because of such good company. Here are a few favorites from Thailand.

The tour was through Affordable Asia. At the bargain price, we expected to be roughing it here and there. But it was nothing of the sort. Both in Thailand and China we stayed in 4-5 star hotels and resorts. Each facility had amazing “breakfast” buffets that had every kind of food you would expect on an Asian dinner buffet and more traditional American breakfast offerings too. Can you see the little octopuses? (octopye?)

 

After a week in Thailand, I am now an expert on Thai food.

I’m sure you’ve always wondered but I’m here to tell you that silkworms have the consistency of cheese puffs and when flavored with garlic salt, aren’t half bad. Pad Thai is served with lots of bean sprouts, a sprinkling of peanuts and a dose of sugar over that.

Apparently there are no electrical codes in Thailand. This nest is in the heart of Bangkok and wasn’t the worst we saw.

 Yup, they are praying to a 10 foot tall, 5 1/2 ton solid gold Buddha. The idols in front are offerings.

Squid on a stick from a night market.

Buddhist monks beg for their food. All young men are encouraged to spend at least a short time as a monk, begging for their food and abstaining from touching women. That’s a homeless fellow sleeping next to them.

 

Thai banana pancakes are a yeast dough stretched very thin and baked on a hot griddle. They slice a banana into an egg and beat them together for a minute before spreading on the cooking pancake. They drizzle it with sweetened condensed milk and when set, fold over into a pocket. The drizzle that again with more sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup. Simple and YUMMY.

 

 

I do not eat rats unless they are hot off the barby. Thank goodness we didn’t find any that qualified. Those are raw-looking quail in the foreground. It was a roadside stand.  Lots of pictures but nobody bought anything.

 

 OH RATS! roasted rats

 Jeff takes off his shoes before a swim in the WARM South China Sea.

grasshoppers, crickets and silk worms We only ate the silkworms. The other insects were too leggy. 

 

 Images of the king (late king in this case) are EVERYWHERE. It’s illegal to say anything negative about the king in Thailand.

 Most of our tour group. Part of the fun is the neat and interesting people we got to travel with.

 

 

 A small portion of one of the breakfast buffets. They don’t have specific food they associate with breakfast, so serve a generous array of meats, soups, stews, vegetables, fruits, breads and rice.

 This golden structure is in the Grand palace complex. The figures are monkeys and demons. The both keep out bad luck and evil spirits, but the monkeys change into demons when threatened. You can tell the difference by the fact that demons wear shoes.

 A gorgeous pool at the first hotel. It was the smallest of any we stayed at.

 

 A beautifully carved wooden cabinet for sale at the floating market. It’s made of Teak.

  The floating market. That’s where I bought my cute hat I’m wearing in the elephant pictures.

 coconut groves from the canal on the way to the floating market.

 These delectable sweet little coconut pancakes are served in a folded banana leaf. They’re about the size of a silver dollar. Scrumptious!

 On the way to the floating market. We saw plenty of shacks but beautiful flowers too.

 Part of the Emperor’s summer palace. Very hot day but it was cool in the tower.

 Every had a kiss from an elephant? It’s warm, rubbery and slightly moist. It pops!

 Lunch at the floating restaurant overlooking the bridge over the River Kwai built by WW2  prisoners of war.

 

riding an elephant is prickly business. 

We were still wearing our bathing suits after a swim and raft ride at the River Kwai. When the driver hopped off and motioned me into his place, I gleefully took his spot. The elephant’s hair is prickly like a hairbrush. His ears are warm and smooth as they flapped against my bare legs. (He probably thought that the human’s hair was prickly on my legs, too!)

 Barry and Lynda (Baxter)  This is on the boat ride to the floating market.

My two favorite parts of the trip to Thailand were riding elephants and the River Market. I enjoyed swimming/rafting on the River Kwai, but it wasn’t that different from any other cool, clean natural swimming on a very hot day.

 

 

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