Departure from Bangkok

To my huge surprise, I really like Bangkok. Why why?

It’s vibrant and real. Lots of levels, from tides of Asian tourists in modern fancy hotels to very poor streets.

That mall, centalwOrld. I actually wanted to shop there. And we did. uniqlo. And an optometrist shop fixed my venerable Serengeti sunglasses for nothing.

Our long-day tour guide, “Om”, was a Buddhist monk for a year, a while back. He looked exactly like a monk should look. In fact, exactly like Buddha. Including smile. And Buddha’s we saw — in all sizes, positions, glorious temples and Grand Palace.

I had a great meal at a building-top restaurant, “Chyna”. Ori was ill, so I owe her a night out in Bangkok. I walked home, through the streets by the station. Pretty grim, but felt safe.

We checked out, smoothly. Tuk-tuk to the station, found our platform. On schedule – we don’t want to miss the train – a long scenic ride to Chiang Mai. I’m looking forward to it. I love trains.

Traveling heavy. We didn’t do laundry in the hotel. In Chaing Mai it will be much cheaper.

On our way to Chiang Mai. Picking up passengers as we leave Bangkok.

On the train, second class, there is complimentary service of buns (filled with bean paste) and drinks.

Our speed is better than most Amtrak trains.

Bird-watching from the train. Herons, ducks, osprey and other raptors.

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