Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lunch at The Deck on the River, A Tour of "The Venice of Asia," and A Relaxing Foot Massage!

This is the view of the Temple of Dawn across the Chao Phraya River from The Deck Restaurant where we decided to have lunch at the suggestion of our Guide Leena.  If you look closely you can see the Temple behind us from the deck seating we had, as well as some of the boats traveling up and down the very busy river.

The skies had become overcast which was actually a blessing, as it had become extremely hot and humid. 

It didn't take us long to figure out what we wanted for lunch since both of us were actually too warm to have anything heavy.  I ordered an appetizer sized Chicken Satay (which was delicious) and Melanie Sweet Stuff ordered Mango Sticky Rice!

The mangoes in Thailand are amazing.  Probably because they are picked when they are actually ripe, and not when they are still green and shipped thousands of miles to their destination.  YUM!

After a refreshing lunch and some nice cool water to pick us up, we met Leena again (she had gone down the street for a noodle bowl which we would have done had she told us about it...guess she was treating us like her "usual" tourists, but I am actually into the street food the locals eat!)  we headed just a little way to get aboard one of the "longboats" we had been watching course up and down the river.

Boarding these turned out to be quite a challenge, as the river is constantly being churned by the traffic of the boats passing.  You actually step from the edge of a dock, onto a tire tied to the dock, onto the edge of the bouncing boat while ducking to get in under the awning atop it!
And although it looks like more from this angle, it is probably only about 2.5 ft...scrunch down...step in..and pray you don't go in the drink! LOL

But as you can see, we made it (we let our guide go in first and hold the cameras, etc!). Smile! We made it!

And off we go with Leena explaining our next adventure!  There are canals cut off the busy river with homes of all types, from the most simple to the most elaborate.  There are also Temples located alongside the canal, as each community has it's own Temple which is basically the center for all activity.

The young woman above was actually having some kind of snack with her young son on this ramshackle dock beside the restaurant where we had lunch.  Though their lives are simple, the Thai people seem to be very happy.

Children are the same everywhere, and these little boys had made styrofoam floats to surf the waves caused by the passing boats in the canal.  We also saw monitor lizards (found out later they are not poisonous thank goodness!) swimming across the canals.
 The Thai people like flowers and frequently have many many pots of colorful flowers and herbs on their decks/porches. 

We pulled up alongside one of the Temples on the canal to buy some loaves of bread to feed the huge amount of catfish living there!  Apparently this person keeps this bread available at all times just for this purpose!  And oh my, what a bunch of fish surrounded our boat when we began to throw pieces overboard!  There were literally hundreds of them scrambling around on both sides of the boat!
I wondered if the locals ate this particular kind of fish...found out later they do! So we were fattening them up for the locals  
When another boat passed close by, we shared some bread with them so they could also feed the fish!  Silly tourists! LOL

Re-entering the busy river, the sun peeked out and struck the Temple of Dawn as we passed lighting it up for a lovely picture!  We soon found ourselves back at the dockside, trying to figure out how to climb out of our boat and up onto the dock!   Yet another tricky maneuver for this old lady!  But, with the shedding of my shoes, stepping onto the slippery tires and scrambling carefully, I made it!  Melanie followed and soon we were headed for a famous Wat Pho Massage parlor for a foot and leg massage...(no more booby massages LOL!).  Apparently Wat Pho is considered the center and most important place to learn Thai massage.  There is a school here teaching these ladies, and the massages are incredible!
Yep, this was definitely a GOOD feet and legs were pretty tired after our 8 hour tour of Bangkok..and the prices are so incredibly reasonable, you can not afford to pass up this luxury!
Following our beautiful and relaxing foot/leg massage, we headed back out into the streets of Bangkok and toward the W.  The traffic is always insane here, and you just have to get used to dodging it as you pick your way across the busy streets.  

 Food carts are everywhere and we dicided to purchase a cooling cup of coconut/peanut ice cream.  It was absolutely delicious, wonderfully cold and such a refreshing treat!  More street food as you can see.  Really people, the street food is definitely part of the experience!
 Cost was approximately 65 cents...what a bargain!


 Well, it was time to head back to the W hotel and leave the streets and river behind, but what a wonderful day of education and experience.  Thanks Charles for providing our Guide and Driver...they were amazing and looked out for our comfort as well as our touring experience!

 Leena helped us negotiate this climb from the longboat onto the dock as the boat bounced along!  Tricky business for sure!
The beautiful Temple of Dawn...

So much to see in beautiful, exciting Bangkok, and we have planned special dinner out tonight with Charles and Jon and then tomorrow a trip outside the City to see some more of Thailand and the amazing Thai people!

Can't wait to share!

GOD BLESS - Peace, Love and Joy!

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