It is funny how I love to travel but always dread it right before I go! I try and think of ways to get out of it. Yet I am always so happy when I return? I guess it is because we are stepping out of our comfort zone. We are going somewhere odd and far away. The language is different and the food is different and the long, long flights just to get to Bangkok. We spent 21 hours in the air and one 3 hour layover in South Korea airport. Then right before we leave the corona virus breaks out in China and one of my doctors here suggest I might rethink going to Thailand. We left on January 23, 2020 the day they labeled it a possible epidemic. We came home February 9, 2020. This was more than one month before anything happened in the United States. I let me Doctor know that I have never worried about returning home. Yet this trip, I was worried about returning home. We were in five different Asian airports and we all wore our masks in these airports.
Myanmar border control checking all people crossing the border for high temperatures for Coronovirus.
Corono virus was a real bummer on this trip. It had just started right before we left and went into full fledged fear as we traveled. The Chinese love to travel to Thailand and within one week of us getting to Thailand all Chinese travel stopped. Our tourists locations were absent of people. Our tour guides were shocked how quickly they quit traveling. Yet many stores in Thailand refused to open because of fear. The bars we went into sprayed your hands with disinfectant. At the borders they took peoples temperature by infrared and by thermometer. Fear, fear, fear and bad air quality in Thailand made more fear fear fear. There was a lack of masks available so we were glad we brought our own. The masks just made us feel a little safer. I will always travel with these mask in the future.
Johny’s gems- a fabulous jewelry store since 1960
My father was in the military and went to Vietnam in 1965. So did my friends father. Both of our fathers passed away when we were 17 years old so any memory we have of our dads is important to us. Yes my dad brought back some jewelry for me from Vietnam when I was a little girl. I am not sure where he bought it but my friends father bought her and her sister and mom many gems from this store. She assumed he used all his extra combat pay to buy them all these lovely jewels. She asked me to go there for her. I went and it was one of the highlights of our trip. It is little shop in an residential area. Probably has not been remodeled or painted in 40 years. Still the current owner is Johny’s son and he is 60 years old. He grew up right above the shop.
He immediately offers my husband a beer and then I go about shopping as he tells the history of the store. All across the top of the store are pictures of service men who shopped there 50 years ago. Of course I scanned all the photos looking for my dad and my friend’s dad but they probably were not very big spenders to get there picture up on the wall. There were three American presidents and all the astronauts have been there too. Even Princess Diana shopped there. Also three popes have had jewelry from here. Most recently Pope Francis order 50 cuff link sets for his security detail. He choose as I did the black star sapphire. This is only found in Thailand and is a dark brown to black stone with a gold star that moves inside it. It is is a bit masculine but the ring I got looks very nice. I also purchased a couple of necklaces and Mark even got a lovely wood statue. It really was fun watching As Mark bargained to get the price down. At one point Johny told Mark that” you offered me more money the last quote and you are going the wrong way my friend.” Mark said well what if I bought you a beer. Johny says” I just bought you a beer so you will have to come up on price. ”
This is the coolest artistic temple I have ever seen.
We did this twice now. Once in Japan and once in Bangkok. In Bangkok airport you go down to the third floor in the basement and go to this little store. We reserved ahead time and picked it up when we landed and returned it when we came hone back through the Bangkok airport. In Japan we picked it up at the Tokyo airport and returned it by mail from the Osaka airport. Both trips we had constant WiFi. It is a very small device that fits in your purse or even a big pocket. You can attach 5 phones to it but be careful of how much data everyone uses. Why we liked it was because when we were out for the day we could always have internet and be able to text each other or receive texts and what’s app. You could also check emails and Facebook and other social media platforms. Once when I was separated from Mark as he always carried the mobile WiFi, I just went up to the store I was in and asked them to get me on WiFi. Then I texted mark where I was located and that I would wait for him. I think we paid about $90 us dollars for 18 days. Well worth the money for people who are addicted to their phones and the internet. They say it is safer than using public WiFi too.
The floating market
The famous train market
Every 30 minutes a slow moving train comes across these tracks. All people and goods have to be moved back off the track. It is called the most dangerous market in the world.
Iconsiam shopping mall
Iconsiam is a great mall. No need to go above the first floor because most of it is American brands or high end brands like Gucci. Stay on the first floor for just a beautiful setting and lots of great Thai food and even burgers, pizza and everything that you can imagine. Just walk the first floor and grab some food. Go to the bathroom as they are the loveliest bathrooms I have ever been in. Also the store Nehyru is a great Thai made little cosmetic and travel bags.
Go outside at night for the light show it is magnificence. Then take a free little boat ride across the river and back for fun.
I am not a big fan of Thai food but I did like pad Thai and loved mango smoothies. I got real tired of rice with every meal, including breakfast and many times I only ate rice because I just could not eat all the fried fish with a million bones. Now if you are a gluten free kind of person you will love Thailand as I never saw any bread whatsoever. No bread at all. No cakes no cookies, no pies. No gluten.
They don’t have Uber in Thailand but they have Grab. Works identically to Uber. No cash accept for tolls. The driver will collect all the receipts and you have to pay them to him.Make sure and download it before you go. We used them probably 25 times in 18 days. Total cost was $83. We never waited more than 4 minutes for a ride. Never.