2016-01-08, Thailand Adventure

Taken from an email sent to friends and family to share summary of this day in Thailand.

Thailand Adventure, January 8, 2016

 

Family and Friends,
I
Greetings from Bangkok, Thailand, again!!! I am here a little early today, because we had a very busy morning, then a long break. Our morning tour got us back to our hotel around lunch time, but then nothing was planned that I know of until 5 PM, when most, if not all of us will go to a dinner show.. Not sure what that is all about, but guess I will find out soon…
I
First things first, several people in my tour group found out I was doing sort of a blog thing each day, which gives me a chance to share my adventure with family and friends, via a short summary of what is going on, and then that is backed up with some photos from the day.. I can do that now much easier and faster with the new camera, as it has wifi in it, which makes all the difference in the world when it comes to moving images, etc..
I
I want to start this share by saying  WELCOME to the new people who have joined the Trip Tracker group… They do not know about the location tracker yet, but I will share that with them soon!!!
I
I normally do not do the share thing until the travel day is over for the group, but since we had a big morning, at a really neat place, with lots of things to take photos of, and the fact that we had some down time, the fact that we only get to take photos part of the time tonight, I chose to jump ahead here and share some samples from the fun we had this morning!!!! Then, if there is anything really neat from tonights event, I will consider sending samples of that as well….
I am limited to 50 images per email, I think.. So I picked out a bunch, and reduced the bunch!!! I think there are now 48 to share this time!!!! As usual, when I have more time, I will prepare and share the larger sets….
I
It is now going on 4 PM, I need to get this sent out, and finish getting ready to meet the group for our fun this evening.. Our guide says that we have to be at the bus by 5 PM, but sooner would be better, as busing through traffic is not a fast thing here at rush hour.. So, if all of us arrive early, then we leave early.. Makes sense, right!!!
I
Ok, thanks again for sharing this adventure with me, thanks for the feed back and the questions, etc.. And, welcome to the new people from our group. All of us are carrying computer things of some kind, so we can do the share thing as we go… After dinner last night, I did the share thing, and added two of the new people. At breakfast they said the share worked great, so we are good to go, assuming I input the email addresses in correctly!!! It is 4 PM here, which means it is 3 AM back home, I think, so many of you will find this in your morning mail check!!!! Hope you will enjoy starting your day with images from Bangkok!! We have a great group, and we are seeing really neat stuff!!!!
I
Happy Tracking,
Tom
I
Sample photos shared here. Full set to be shared soon.

2016-01-07, Thailand Memories

 

Taken from an email sent to friends and family to share summary of this day in Thailand.

Friends and Family,
I
Greetings from Bangkok, Thailand!!! WOW!! I made it!!! And, it looks like this is going to be a great adventure, even if there were some challenges getting to this point… Some people fear the very thought of travel, and if all you hear are the bad stories, then your fear may forever keep you from trying such a thing as we are doing here.. But, for the most part all is going very well, for the first day!! On the ride over here, which was some 17 hours of flying for me, from Los Angeles!!, 30 minutes into the flight, the man next to me dumped a cup of hot coffee in his lap!!! Yes, that was a mess!!!! Then, when we got here at midnight, we were missing 5 people, who missed a connection, or something, but they arrived today.. And, about 12 people did not get their luggage last night when we arrived!!!! Yes, that is very stressful for the ones affected.. At dinner tonight, I learned that all the missed flight people are here now, and all the luggage is here now… SO, we are good to go!!! Look likes we have a GREAT group of people, which is the real magic in an adventure like this..
I
Our hotel is very much an upscale place, by my standards, but even this place has challenges and surprises.. Most of us did not not get to bed until after 2:30 this morning, and some like me did not get to sleep until 3:30 or so, then it was back up early to do breakfast and get started on the tours.. The breakfast here, like all the hotels, is a buffet. This one was very good, but we were warned that the remaining buffets on the trip might be lesser in quality, so be prepaed!! Also, the sink in my room does not drain properly.. I called for help, the maid came, checked the issue and left.. Here at 10 PM, the sink still does not drain.. And, at our welcome dinner, I think I finally broke the beer price record for my travels.. I have gotten some beers that got up around 8 or 9 dollars, but tonight at our welcome dinner, which was nothing more than just dinner with the other guests of the hotel, who all shared in an evening buffet… When offered to order beverages, since only water is included, I passed on the order, but then decided I wanted one of my favorites, a dark beer.. Took a bit of doing to get one ordered as the waiter could not understand English.. With my guides help, I ordered a dark beer, whatever that means… When I got it, it was not really dark, but… From the drink menu I remember the highest priced beer there was 200 units of local currency.. That would be near 7 dollars.. That is okay.. When I got the bill for my near dark beer, the total was 306 units, I think. This comes to a little over 10 US dollars.. That is now the new record for a 12 ounce bottle of beer.. The beer was about 260 units, the rest was gratuity and Value Added Tax!!!!! For a total of 306, I think… So, if you ever come to Thailand, calculate your costs and multiply by two, or more… I was seated this evening with three really neat ladies who are world travelers, and they told me that if that seemed high, try NORWAY!! The prices there are just off the charts!! My friends in St Louis told me of their trip to Norway, and said it was one of the most awesome places they had ever been, but they remembered lemonade costing 10 dollars for 12 ounce glass, also they got two burgers and a soda for 90 US dollars!!!! Amazing!!!
I
This morning we all did a general tour of the town, which included a near solid gold buddha.. AMAZING.. The story that goes with it, I will tell later, but for some four hundred years, it was thought to have been destroyed and lost to history, but only a few years ago, it was accidently found hiding in plan view of all… !!!!! Its gold value is just off the charts!!! It weighs in the tons!!!  After the general tour, we came back to the hotel, and after a short break, some of us took the optional canal boat ride.. Not anything super, but was good for me, as a traveler, I like to see things, and on this trip we go to see more stuff!!! And, it included another temple.. Seems there are a lot of those here!!!
I
After the canal tour, it was time to relax a bit, then get ready for dinner!!! We met at 7 PM, local time, and once all were accounted for, we started on the buffet.. As I said before, I had the good fortune to be seated with three fun ladies who have traveled a lot, so they had good things to share, to include another challenge they had in getting here last night!! It would seem that some fellow on the flight got very drunk!!! And, he caused a lot of problems for the people around him.. Surprisingly, the flight crew did almost nothing to control the fellow!!! There is more to the story, but….
   Ok, it is getting late and we have a very early tour in the morning, so I want to attach some images from our first day, get them sent your way, then I am off to bed.. I am still short on my sleeping requirements!!!!
I
I hope you enjoy sharing the memories of this day!!!
 
Happy New Year!!!!
 
TommyB
Sample photos shared here.. Full set to released soon…