We have a list of desired destinations and fun activities for our week in Bangkok and got started on completing these right away.
We wanted to take a long boat ride in one of the canals and we were able to achieve that goal in the morning.
We are staying in the Old City which is the historical and spiritual heart of Bangkok. Bordered by the Chao Phraya River to the west and navigable canals in the other directions the Old City was somewhat protected from foreign invaders.
Today we had some life maintenance to do so we rode a long boat taxi east to find Brian an eye exam and to get a new set of prescription eye/sunglasses. These are to replace those lost in the Grand Canyon Water Park quarry lake in Chang Mai (as well as the regular ones lost somewhere in Costa Rica).
Not long after docking we encountered the first Chinese-themed celebration of the coming Lunar New Year on February 1st.
There are events going on around this city of 10M people throughout the next month but activities really kicked off here today (Friday). We expect to spend at least a day or two in Chinatown before we leave Bangkok next week so, fingers crossed, expect a dragon dance in a future post.
Today, we were treated to a lion dance (舞獅) which is performed to generate good fortune. Typically the 2 person dancers that make up a lion have to reach an elevated perch to snatch a bundle of lettuce tied with a red envelope containing money. The dancers then spit out the “green” and keep the “red”.
Another of our stops later this week will be to see the Giant Swing which is another elevated perch challenge but we’ll save that story for another day.
After Brian ordered his glasses we visited the Sea Life Aquarium in the basement of the mall. This aquarium was larger than the Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland California and it had a theater and a glass-bottom boat attraction too. This was a specific kid pick, they really wanted inside and no Wats for today’s adventure.
After the aquarium we hired a tuk tuk to take us back to the Old City. We wish we had a photo of the 5 of us crammed into this motorcycle-driven bench. It must have looked hilarious because a number of other drivers and passengers stared amusingly at our over-sized family in an under-sized vehicle as we zoomed through Bangkok traffic.