We spent the day in Bangkok, a magical city that has more than paid the penance for the sins of grime and grinding poverty in Viet Nam. Not that those things are sins, actually. They are just so sad to witness, so very sorry to see.
Bangkok is every bit as surprising as Japan, with warm people and a healthy respect for their Buddhist, Hindu, and even Catholic cultures. Lots to tell about this golden city, but I am so tired right now, I can hardly stand to type.
There is something very odd about visiting a major city for a mere six hours, but it has left Ken and me wanting much more. We are already planning to return to Thailand, this land of sun and golden glitter and incense and heat.
And what heat. It was very, very hot as we traversed the Grand Palace area (closed for some royal death). We still managed to have fun and find a number of lesser-known, but every bit as amazing, shrines.
Then we shopped in a most modern shopping complex until it was time to be whisked away, far away from the sweat and the scent and the sounds of the city, back to our cruise ship in the air-conditioned comfort of our very own Magical Mystery Tour bus. Listening to Suzanne Vega on the iPod as the city whizzes by below. Surreal.