Just back from around 2500klms down to Bangkok to collect Myriama's mother who has flown over from Tahiti to see us aged 89!
Sped down to BKK stopping just at Lop Buri en route - its true, the place is FULL of monkeys causing mayhem! Its a great site; out of control. One cant help but laugh (heaps)!
In to BKK next morning - I'd planned a medical check-up but a series of balls-ups & my getting lost on the expressways without a map led us to decide to head south for the beaches. Planned to go to Hua Hin, but got lost once more, so took the easy option & headed to Pattaya which actually suited us being closer to the airport for the following day's pick-up.
Its true, Pattaya absolutely rocks & it does make King's X look like Sunday School! A stroll along 'walking street' at the southern end of the beach is unforgettable! Bars, girls & more girls, ladyboys, anything you can imagine.........great setting with bars openning up onto the beach, great restos everywhere, nightlife at its max!
To be sure to get some sleep we stayed at Jomtiem Beach, 1klm south of Pattaya. Swam & had a great meal & plenty of beers whilst lounging in deck-chairs on the beach watching a marvellous sunset.
Drove slowly up to the airport the next day lunching on the docks of a small fishing village along the way. The plane was late so had a great massage whilst waiting.
Today is Visakha Eve - Visakha marks the day of Buddha's birth, death & enlightenment; its the biggest day on the Buddha calendar. Here in CM its something special - thousands of 'pilgrims' accompany thousands of monks as they walk up Doi Suthep to the temple over-looking CM. Matters get underway at 7.59pm (dont ask me why its 7.59!) with walkers arrive at the temple around 2-3 am (yep, HUGE breakfast). I shot over on the bike for a geeek at around 5.30pm - AMAZING!!!!!!!! The road leading up past the Uni to Doi-Suthep is FULL of flowers & other 'offerings'; food & drink stalls line the route up the mountain; areas are set aside for prayers/reflection, places with fans, seating for the tired, transport if necessary, ambulances, areas even to buy new shoes if necessary......I felt compelled to go right to the top.
Headed back down knowing I'd be back later! Brilliantly prepared floats, Thai (girl) dancers in traditional costume, groups transporting buddha figures, elephant figures, music along the way.......carnival time.
Home to a quick bite/to grab the bride - ready to head off just before 8.30pm & BANG, the BIGGEST storm we've seen. Can imagine the fun they are all having.......
Love Thailand; something new every day!