Thailand (2): Entry 1

10 June 2003: Bangkok, Thailand

Subject: Thailand (2)

Back in Thailand

This will be a short entry as I seem to have found an especially slow and unreliable computer today...

I flew back from Hanoi to Bangkok about a week ago and since then have been down to Krabi, in the S.W. of the country. It's on the opposite side of the bay from well-known Phuket. I spent a few very pleasant days there soaking up some sun and looking at the very nice coastal scenery - in fact I reckon that it was probably nicer than the more hyped karst in Ha Long bay. Here's a view from a boat trip out to Ko Pi Pi island:

This is a beach at a place called Railey, near Krabi. It had probably the softest sand I've found anywhere and very warm water, and ridiculous overhanging limestone cliffs, complete with outdoor stalactites, at one end. Definitely somewhere to consider as a holiday destination!

Here in Bangkok I went round the National Museum, where there are some nice golden royal funeral chariots and other antiquities (they have some lovely mother-of-perl inlay work). But most interesting was the Thai History gallery. The Thais are very fond of their monarchy and the gallery was essentially a chronology of Kings and the Good Things that each was responsible for. So there wasn't much space for self-criticism. The highlights for me were a pair of globes - terrestrial and celestial - and a model steam train sent as presents by Queen Victoria in the 1850s! Fifty years later the next king went on two long trips to Europe, the second for over a year, and got as far as Luxor, Moscow, Newcastle and even right up to the North Cape of Norway!

Today I met up with Daranee, an ex-Manchester postgrad who is now teaching in her home town in N.E. Thailand. Those of you who know her will be pleased to hear that she seems to be perfectly healthy with not a hint of a smashed-up knee.

So tomorrow I'm getting up horribly early to catch an 0820 flight to Hong Kong, and then on Thursday to Seoul. Watch this space.