Golden Buddha in Bangkok (105 KB)
Fresco of the Ramayana at the Grand Palace in Bangkok (163 KB)

Tues. Nov. 18 Royal Hotel, Bangkok, RM. 259
- pack in AM [in Bombay]
- fly to Bangkok
- arrive @1 AM; in bed at 3 AM

Wed. Nov. 19
- sleep till 9:30
- visit Nat'l Museum 1-3, then walk around
- abed @ 9:00

Thurs. Nov. 20
- sleep 'til 11:00 (awake 3:30 A - 6)
- Carol intestinally ill
- me to Wat Pho & Meewan Shrine
- read "Been Where/Done What" to Carol

Fri., Nov. 21
- Grand Palace/Wat Phra Kaew (no Carol)
- Jim Thompson's house (abbreviated visit)

Sat. Nov. 22
- Vinamak Teak House
- Zoo
- Boat ride [on canal at sunset]
- Carol in hotel all day, ill

Sun. Nov. 23
- to weekend market
- talk to Barbie [by phone]; pack

Jan. 3 3:00 PM Hillsboro 45 degrees, light rain

We figured that India would be Out There and that Thailand would be more familiar and/or comfortable. It was: cleaner, better maintained, better organized, and more prosperous. We were practically ignored by people on the street, long since accustomed to seeing Westerners. Walking around to the sights we wanted to see was easy; only the market & Jim Thomson's house required taxi rides. After India, Thailand seemed anticlimactic. We (or at least I) saw the standard sights, did the standard tourist things. I didn't get nearly enough Thai food -- or interaction with locals. By this time, just being someplace exotic felt a little empty - I wanted more. We were there at all only because it seemed the most interesting of the options we had between India and Honolulu; we'd have just as soon gone straight through, but that seemed too far. Thailand paled by comparison to India or southern Africa. The only personal draw was that Dad was there in 1967 for four months, ensuring that American GIs went to Approved place and didn't get into too much trouble. I went to Wat Pho to see the reclining Buddha, of which Dad took slides during his stay. It was exciting to be where he'd been 30 years before, which at the time (I was 8 years old) seemed like an unattainably exotic place. The wall of Ramayana frescoes at the Grand Palace was the other highlight of Bangkok.

The weather was quite hot, even to me: around 90 degrees and humid. But the presence of fans everywhere and having been in summery places for six months made it easier to take. Everything worked in Bangkok, the people were friendly to us, and excepting Carol's illness we had no problems. It ran counter to our expectations that we were ill in Cairo and Carol was ill in Bangkok, but neither of us were ill in southern Africa or India (except a cold apiece).