Monday, October 25, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok was certainly one of our least favorite stops on the trip. The city was described to be very dirty. Well, that is because people refer to it in comparison to their other cities, in comparison to New York it is extremely clean. Here, the hospitality that you see in most other parts of Thailand evaporated, with the barters being more aggressive and not quite as friendly. Also, the cheaper prices seen through out Thailand rised here to what I would compare to the US as standard prices in smaller towns/cities. I had taken my hiatus from poker for a few weeks and my mind was nice and fresh. The coolest part was definitely the Sirocco Rooftop bar in Bangkok that is rated at the top of every list in the world for rooftop bars. We were also not looking to see any more Wats(Temples) as we'd already seen so many. Here are some pics from around the city.

researching the city before we go to find the train station, I'm drinking a real coffee, sugary whip creamy thing in front is Laurie's, it looks like I'm drinking from hers.

Elephant Salt Shakers doing their thing

Laurie on our hotel balcony

Laurie pretending to be tough while waiting for the train

The park near the huge market in Bangkok

The same park

Scary tatted up guy at the Bangkok Market

A shot of how packed the market gets on a Saturday

Their ads are much more entertaining than American ones, you could look at them all day if you wanted to and still be amused

Laurie in the park on the way back from the market, I believe I'm carrying everything that we bought

Same bridge, different shot

Random couple romantically canoeing down the stream

I never felt too safe exchanging money from a random van on the side of the road, entertaining nonetheless

Random cop dude that helped us locate Sirocco Rooftop Bar, ranked here as the #1 rooftop bar in the world, we also made it to #3 on the list

Shots from the rooftop of Sirocco bar, $15 a drink, no cover though, fun to go and see one time, offers almost a 360 degree of the whole city of Bangkok which was really neat

Myself and the city beneath me

A shot of the upper bar at Sirocco

Myself and huge random statue at the Bangkok airport, we're getting ready to depart for Cambodia which will be on the next blog

Last shot for the blog, had to pretend I was in, note where my hand is pointed, this lady was too tired perhaps and had her boyfriend pushing her around in a cart everywhere

Good luck until next time - P12

Monday, October 4, 2010

Awesome Trip - Part 2 Chiang Mai continued

Hey everyone, sorry for the huge gap in between posts, I have been extremely busy catching up with friends and just living my life. After Chiang Mai, Laurie and I headed to Bangkok, Thailand so I'll post the rest of the pictures from Chiang Mai and then try to upload the other trips in the coming weeks as soon as I get to them. I've been playing a lot of poker lately with mediocre results, I am putting more time in to studying though so I have plenty of confidence I'll be back to old form soon. I had been in a rut the first month of travel, and now while back at home. I took the last month off on the trip to just enjoy the travels, so in all my last 3 months of poker have been the worst results wise each month for any month in the last 2 years or so, this can also be attributed to the games being harder these days. They've still been winning months and I'm glad I can say I've still yet to have a losing month in Limit Hold Em since beginning in December of 2007 which makes it 34 straight winning months. Without further ado, I present to you Chiang Mai.

We decided to site see as Chiang Mai was a great location for this. We had already seen a bunch of Wats (temples) so it was not high on our list at this point. We decided to check out the gold though in Wat Phan On located in the Old City of Chiang Mai. The old city is in the heart of Chiang Mai encapsulated by what appeared to be old moats. It is a neat little historical area.

Wat Phon On, note the great photo taking to get it symmetrical

I decided to then bug Laurie in to letting me see Chiang Mai University since I wanted to compare it to American college. It was mostly the same except for all the motor bikes zigging in and out everywhere.

Me on my first day as a student at CMU

Here I am at their outdoor workout facility which is just a neat combination of mainly things already found in the outdoors. I thought it'd be fun to try out, this one is comparable to dips for the triceps, they had about 5 more workouts there

Afterwards, I decided to get in some hands so I went to the internet massage where they didn't massage me on the internet. Actually I didn't even go in, just enjoy all the random signs they have that are confusing.

From there we decided to get an American meal since we had only had primarily Thai cuisine for over a month at this point. And, doesnt' get much more American than McDonald's which were everywhere, but not seen as frequent as KFC's. Out of respect I bowed doing the wai, which is a form of respect shown. Typically Americans misuse it by doing it in spots where they are of a higher social standing or it is unecessary. However, Ronald is a worldwide icon and deserved the respect.

After such a grueling day, Laurie and I decided to have some drinks. We ate at a little restaurant near by that costs us a total of $4 USD. Next door was the owners brother who operated a mobile cart that transformed in to a bar when he got there. He also had an ipod with incredible tunes on it, mostly American.

On our last day I decided to take Laurie to the elephant conservation center since she seemed to really like the elephants and wanted to see the cause first hand as she had learned so much from our countless nights watching Animal Planet.

Not only did she get to see the big boys, but she also got to see some baby elephants as well. The place would try to buy elephants that were abused and help them in life. Many people use them as a form of income by raising them to walk the streets and make money from tourist donations. In fact, even at the mobile bar one walked down the street.

What is a trip to see the elephants without riding one?

The view from atop him, couldn't get any better and also didn't have anyone on the ground to take some of us.

I'll post within the coming days on the next stop on the trip, Bangkok, Thailand