We left Colombo in the evening and arrived in Bangkok at night. Paul has extended family in Bangkok so they graciously offered to let us stay with them for a week or so in Thailand. See if you can follow this, reader: Paul’s sister’s husband’s brother married Nok’s sister. So Paul and Nok’s sisters married brothers. Whew!!! Nok and her Mom and Dad were our awesome hosts during our stay.
Nok picked us up from the airport and asked if we wanted to get some food. We immediately said yes. She brought us to her favorite place to get food – the night market near her house. We got Singha beer, Tom Yum soup, mushrooms and pork w/ thai basil, and a seafood salad. After dinner we stopped at the 711 and got some water. At the 711 I realized that Thailand 711s don’t mess around. They sell AWESOME to-go food.
The next day Paul and I went into the city. We were staying about 30 minutes away on the metro from the center of Bangkok. It was too far to walk to the metro station so we went to the bus stop. But we went to the wrong bus stop.
We decided to take a cab to the metro stop. We got in the car and told the cab driver where we wanted to go. He kept repeating the destination and laughing at us. He passed the metro station and instead took us to his “friend’s bus” too quick for us to say stop. When we got out of the cab a guy with a bus came up to us yelling out sights he was going to drive us to. It was annoying that we had to pay for a cab driver to try to con us. We left the yelling con men and walked 10 minutes to the station. I guess this cab driver gets money if he takes foreigners to the bus guy? It wasn’t a big deal, it was just annoying because it wasted our time.
The Bangkok metro, the BTS “sky train,” is really impressive. The train is super clean, shiny and new. Inside each car, the stops light up with LED lights and a TV plays commercials. Definitely the cleanest metro I’ve ever been on.
We walked around town and ended up at the Siam Paragon. It’s this insanely huge shopping mall. We had to get sim cards for our phones. After getting sim cards we were hungry and walked around to grab some food. The options were overwhelming. Shopping malls are on another level in Thailand! They have every store, every type of food, every thing you could want to buy. Also the window displays just look way better than ones in America, IMHO. We ended up getting bubble tea and Japanese food, two of our favorites.
Unfortunately before we arrived Nok’s family member passed away. Nok and her family practice buddhism and we went to the funeral ceremony. Although it was due to a sad occurrence, we were honored to be welcomed to this family event.
The funeral rituals and ceremony lasted from 10 am to 5 pm. It was at the Buddhist temple near Nok’s house. Prayers were led by monks and family participated in the prayers. There was also lunch. It was nice to meet more of Nok’s family. The end of the ceremony included a prayer service. At the end of the prayer service guests were invited to pick up paper roses, ascended the stairs to the temple’s crematorium space and place the paper flowers in the space. This space is where the body is cremated. The cremation began and the ceremony ended.
The next day we headed to Ratchaburi province where Nok’s family owns a Pineapple farm. We had no idea what to expect but we figured lots of pineapples were in our future.