Thailand is a fantastic place and so very different from Tokyo which I visited last year.
It has friendly people, a rich culture and beautiful country. Bangkok is very crowded with about 10,000,000 people. My hotel is very near a market area with what must be more than a hundred stalls and little shops. Of course they do not expect you to speak any Thai so they speak a very simple form of English and we can usually communicate ok. Many signs are in both English and Thai. In Japan, almost no one could speak any English and there were very few English signs.
Easter came and went and I did not even notice. The population is about 99.94 percent Buddhist with about 0.05 percent Muslim. No Easter decorations here. I hope you had a wonderful Easter.
It is hot. Thailand has only three seasons that they call hot, rainy and cold. Hot it is right now. Every day the mid-day temperature has been over 100 F. I stay in a cool air-conditioned place. The next time I come to this beautiful land, I will come in the cold season (around 70-80 F), which is in November, December and January.
With all the warmth and water I expected to find mosquitoes. I am not saying that there aren't any; but I have yet to see one or be bitten.
I spent the first several days visiting Buddha temples in Bangkok. There are more than 4000 and I visited the most famous three, which are incredibly beautiful. As often the case pictures can never to such things justice. I spent one morning touring the Grand Place, which is a complex of temples and government ceremonial buildings covering a large area. I hired a private guide who spoke enough English so I could understand most of what he said. After the tour he told me that he was the guide to the then Ambassador Bush who had just been appointed to be the ambassador to China during the Nixon administration.
I did walk on my soar foot more than I should have. Today, I spent most of the day with my feet up. I plan to do the same tomorrow. On Friday I am flying to Phuket in the south if Thailand. Friends have told me that it is a very beautiful and a little cooler place. I spend four nights there and fly back to Bangkok. Later next week I fly on the Bali.
One night in Bangkok I went to what is called the Calypso Cabaret show which was a night club with a gaudy, colorful and fun musical show where all the performers were what in Thailand are called girl-boys; who we call drag queens or female impersonators. Most were stunningly beautiful.
The next night I had ringside seats at a Thai boxing match; what we call kickboxing. It was quite an experience.
Yesterday a tu-tu driver, a local open air taxi tricycle driven by a Vespa engine, took me to a garment place that makes tailored menís cloths for a low price. I purchased a tailor fitted shirt for 1200 Baht, which is about 28 US dollars.
Today I went back to get my shirt and it fit better than any shirt I have ever had. I have found that it is hard to find good fitting cloths in my size and proportions. So today I spent more money on six more shirts and two pairs of slacks. All except two I will ship to myself in the USA.
Food is very good and cheap. My average meal has cost me just 5 to 8 US dollars. I get a good American breakfast thrown in with my hotel bill, which is only about 21 US dollars a day. It is not a first class hotel; but it is air conditioned and comfortable. The first three nights I did stay at a first class hotel for about 50 US dollars a day.