A Travelogue

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bangkok Traffic

Traffic in Bangkok is unlike bumper to bumper traffic in Calgary, but fairly similar to rush hour traffic in Manila.

We left 2 ours prior to our lunch meeting at the Rotary Club of Bangkok, chartered by James Wheeler Davidson from our District in 1930. However, once we ht the downtown lunch hour traffic, we were crawling. We moved by inches. Literally. And since we happened to be travelling directly underneath an elevated road, if also quite effectively blocked the GPS signal Bob was trying to receive. And the GPS lady was confused when we did get the signal so she gave us wrong distances. In the end, however, we arrived at our destination slightly late but it didn't really matter. Once we signed in on their sheet which is specifically for out of country visiting Rotarians, it was rushed to the MC who was just introducing other visitors. He brought the mike over to me so I got a chance to tell everyone that Hans and I were from JWD's district, which news was met with enthusiastic applause.

Our second stop of the day was at Sami's nephew's leather furniture showroom. His factory designs and builds living room furniture and custom orders are welcome. We're told that even with shipping, costs are very competitive. Naturally, I was very interested. Unfortunately it was nephew's day off but we did see something we liked and took photos and measurements. Who knows maybe our next sofa will come from Bangkok.

Having just stepped away from the lunch table, no one really wanted to have dinner yet so instead we visited Muang Boran, the Ancient City. It's an excellent reflection of Thailand's multi-faceted ancient culture presented in scale model replicas. The site is built in the shape of Thailand and major cultural icons are located on the site where they actually appear in the country. It was amazing. We should have come here last year and saved ourselves the travel and expense of visiting a fraction of these sites in the real locales. It's a perfect place to bring first time visitors to thailand. You drive y0u own car through the site or, you can rent a 2, 4 or 6 passenger golf cart. They also have open air buses that take larger groups and include a guide but as the guide speaks in Thai... we opted to stay in Bob's car.

We had only a scant 1 1/2 hours till closing so we did a whirlwind tour and only visited a few of the places in depth. One advantage to being such a late in the day visitor to this site is that there were no crowds. In act, we may have been the only visitors remaining on the site. Perfect! But the gates do close at 6:00 mainly because by 6:30 it's pitch black outside.


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