04 Jan 2011 ::
Well it’s officially Christmas here – it’s 1 am, and I awoke after sleeping from 6 pm onward… so headed down for a late snack, and a drunken guy from Norway wished me “Bon Noel “–or something of that sort –a bit hard to tell in his state. Had the most fab plate of pad thai – the real thing too… all for $2.
had such a wonderful day… I felt quite in love with all things Thai… especially the ferry up the river. After the rather crazy traffic it was a blessed relief to have such peace and quiet. The royal palace — which we had been set to visit when we were here — is really quite spectacular — just amazingly beautiful architecture. The king actually lives there. He is very revered — he has been on the throne for 50 years, and still immensely popular.
I love the sweet susurrus of the Thai language… it’s very easy on the ears. Their Buddhist belief means that they have a very gentle way of being. And the food… ahh, such a delight. I had such a sampling yesterday. After the palace visit, we cruised a market en route to the river, and had delicious chicken noodles. Yum. Then we took a wonderful public ferry, that stopped all the way up the river for almost an hour – all for 14 baht each!! We got off, and I was treated to Thai tea — a heavenly concoction complete with added condensed milk — nectar of the gods. Still firmly rooted in my base chakra I fear!! Then we piled into a private boat — much smaller — about 20 of us, powered by this massive great diesel outboard… and we roared upriver like a jet-ski on steroids — followed by a plume of exhaust.
Our destination was a lovely island in the middle of the river — with no cars, and a beautiful winding market with all sorts of locally made pottery, etc., and of course — more food to sample… it was actually outside the city — so I was treated to lovely views of traditional Thai dwellings along the river. I snacked on beautiful deep-fried flowers, washed down with artery clogging Thai ice cream. I guess I will have to get used to rice and veg all too soon — so may as well put on a few pounds now. There was a whole store selling live frogs, eels and other fishy things. Apparently they are not for eating — if one takes one’s purchase and releases into the river — it’s good karma.
On the way back, another stop for hand-made sweets — Paul suggested fried coconut and sticky rice, another glimpse of culinary heaven. Our return trip was absolutely magical. As we got closer to the city, it got dark, and we glided through a fairy tale of the riverbank all lit up. You would have loved it!