The Thais that Bind:
Our 20th Anniversary Trip to Bangkok.
Not everyone would choose to celebrate their 20th anniversary by venturing
10,000 miles to a place they’d never been. Still fewer would want to
celebrate such an occasion by throwing fresh produce at wild primates.
With that in mind, it is so fortunate (for both of us) that we found each other
and decided to spend our lives together…because that’s exactly the kind of
people we both are!
This trip was a long time in the planning, and unlike most of our
adventures we did not bring Allie with us. Many thanks to Grammy Susan
for coming to stay with her for the week.
About a year ago, we began considering what to do for a big anniversary
trip. Being the travel-obsessed folks that we are, we knew we wanted to
celebrate with an interesting trip and to visit somewhere that we hadn’t
been before. Given that this would be during the school year and we’d be
arranging “coverage” for the teenage daughter at home, we knew it
wouldn't be a long trip—probably a week at the most. We wanted to go
someplace relatively warm, although we certainly weren't looking for a
beach vacation. Eventually, we narrowed it to two options: Buenos Aires
Although it seemed a long way to go with only one week or so—including
travel days—we chose Bangkok. If not now, then when? It was the right
time of year. We typically have to travel in the summer due to school
schedules, and we weren't sure this was a destination we wanted to visit
in July. We weren't terribly concerned about jet lag. We've traveled enough
that we've learned to adjust. So, we booked our air and set off on a long
process of planning so as to make the best use of our short time.
We read the Fodor's Top 25 book on Bangkok, and bought and studied the
Nancy Chandler map (plus a laminated map for navigating). Mostly, we
searched and researched our usual Internet resources, especially Fodor's
Travel Talk Asia forum.
Bangkok is everything you think it is…and the complete opposite,
simultaneously. It is noisy and crowded, yet serene and spiritual. It is old
and traditional, and very sleek and modern. It is incredibly poor and
impossibly wealthy. Expensive, and dirt cheap. Well-managed chaos. Easy
to navigate, and even easier to get lost.
And it’s absolutely teeming with people. Tons of them, everywhere. And
almost all of them are very nice, pleasant and accommodating. We loved it,
and would go back in a heartbeat. But the next time, Chris thinks he might
want to wear a shirt that says, in Thai, “No, I don’t want a@&%* tuk-tuk!”
(Just kidding. Sort of.)
We’d heard that early November is a transitional period for Bangkok
weather, and that certainly seemed to be the case during our stay. The first
couple of days were warm and muggy, with intermittent showers in the
afternoon. After that, we never saw a drop of rain. By the time we left, it was
very pleasant. In fact, as we sat by the pool on the last afternoon, we noted
how comfortable it had become—the humidity was down and there was a
nice breeze. We didn't even feel the need to go in the water.
Next: Getting there and getting acclimated
See all of our Bangkok photos