My backpack has found me in Bangkok! It was a joyous reunion. I was very relieved when it arrived. I was able to go for my first Thailand run yesterday morning. I only went out for about a half an hour at 5:30 a.m. Running around the city is actually a great way to see things. I ran past the Teacher's Federation of Thailand, an army place, a big police headquarters and down a boulavard that was fairly quiet from traffic. I took along some baht in case I needed to take a tuk-tuk back to the hotel. It's VERY easy to get lost in this city! Bangkok is hands down the most difficult city I have ever had to navigate throughout all of my travels. It's definitely worth the baht to take tuk-tuks and cabs.
Our plan to go north and into Laos is no longer. We found out that we had to book our train ticket 3 days in advance, and we don't have the time to wait since we leave for Phuket on the 3rd. Instead we booked a one day tour yesterday to the floating market, rose garden and an elephant/crocodile place It was an interesting day. We got bumped around to 4 different tour vans and groups throughout the day. It is interesting how all the tour people work together. Oh yes, we ate a really yummy thai buffet for lunch: panang chicken and black pepper chicken were my favorites! We also visited a gem factory. That was crazy! The people in Thailand are highly aggressive with sales. I did end up buying a couple gems (mom...I thought of you while I was there. I think you will be happy!).
Today we are leaving for a 3 day tour to Tiger Temple, the River Kwai, bamboo rafting, a waterfall, and a stay on a floating hotel. We will get back to Bangkok for one more day and then we'll leave for Phuket.
I'm off to eat our delicious hotel breakfast. Until next time!