We arrived in Bangkok on Saturday morning, but unfortunately we brought with us the nasty flu! A lot of the passengers on the flight were in the same situation because there were lots of coughs and sneezes. This was no surprise as Australia had been wet and cold this winter. Anyway, hopefully we are on the mend and will shake this nasty flu off in a couple of days.
In Bangkok I booked into the Rembrandt Hotel off Sukumvit Rd. Bangkok is my city, I know the layout of the city well, but of course lots of new buildings and new transport systems have changed in the past 30 years. I hardly recognised the landmarks of Bangkok I used to once know. The change is not all for the better, but to be able to cater for 7.5 million people living in Bangkok something had to be done.
The Bangkok skyline of course is not what I used to know, even though I have been back many times in the past 30 years, but everytime I get back to Bangkok the city seems to be reaching higher into the sky. The above photo is the view from my hotel. Bangkok is moving into the rainy season so it's cooler and less humid which I'm happy about.
This is the Sunday traffic. The traffic was hardly moving in some busy streets. Nothing has changed since 30 years ago when I lived here. What is new here are the bright pink taxis. They used to be dirty yellow and now they are mostly pink.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that classical Thai music instruments are still being used. We came across a classical band playing in the local mall. A young singer was singing a traditional song. It was a song of my parents' era. It was great experience to see them today.
You know I always look out for beauty. Thailand is well known for the beautiful orchids. The orchid is Thailand's national flower. They use them very wisely for decorations or offering at temples etc. The purple orchids on the left were decorations at the airport. The white orchids I found in my hotel.
In the hotel fruit and flowers are cleverly used for decoration. In the above photos I found in the dining room the fruit are delicately crafted and arranged in an artistic way. It is a Thai tradition to use what is available to decorate with. In the lower photo above there is cumin; a Thai herb used in Thai curry paste. It gives a beautiful and rich yellow colour.
Colour and natural dye! Yes, I was planning to dye while I'm here with whatever I can find that is suitable to dye with. I brought with me some silk pieces. On the first day after I had green tea I saved the teabag and spread the content of the tea on the silk wrapping it tightly with a rubber band. When I went for breakfast I found a cumnin root so I brought it back with me for dyeing. I cut the cumin root thinly and laid it on the silk. I brought a few rusty soda caps to use as mordant. I put both bundles in plastic bags and into the ice bucket . I then filled the bucket with hot water. I put the lid on the bucket and left it sitting. I changed water a few times in the last two days. I can already see that the colour has changed on the silk!
My family live out in the suburbs of Bangkok. We saw my family on the first day. It was great to spend sometime with them. My nephews are all grown and have children of their own as well. Last night we felt almost normal so we ventured out to enjoy a couple of drinks. Sadly to say we woke up this morning with the same stuffy flu feeling again!
A pina colada in my hand down in the hotel lounge. I really like the Rembrandt hotel. I particulary like the lobby area. Most city hotels are very tight with their lobby space, but this one is very spacious with a high celing. We enjoy sitting there.
Okay guys, will try and post a few more times while we are here. I hope I can blog with a bit more energy next time. Hope all is well with everyone. Do enjoy whatever you are doing.
Until next time