It is always a shame when your vacation time comes to an end, this time was especially so. We are back in Shanghai, tanner, healthier, and more relaxed but going through sun, sand, surf, clear air, amazing sunsets, and friendly people withdrawals, not to mention currency shock. After 9 days, 3 cities, over 2,000 photos, and many mini adventures I hope to find the time to share these along with insights into Thailand from both an American and Chinese perspective (care of my wife’s observations).
We were in Chiang Mai, a northern city close to the border with Myanmar (Burma) and not too far from Laos, for 3 days enjoying the jungle tours, seeing the old temples, or wat in Thai language, and enjoying the relaxed and laid back atmosphere of the north. Next we spent 4 days on Phuket Island, the largest island in Thailand, located on the southwestern side of the country, and sandwiched between the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Phuket on the north and the Phang-nga Bay on the east. Due to the location this is a prime tourist spot with all the charm and trappings of such.
We rounded up our adventure with a full day and night in Bangkok, the capital, and took in what we could in just less than 20 hours, minus 6 hours for sleep of course. The capital offers a much different view of Thailand as the city is a major Asia Pacific hub for finance, commerce, and trade and this is reflected in its views, attitudes, and atmosphere. We did the tourists thing, seeing the Royal Palace and shopping in one of Thailand’s larger shopping malls, can’t remember which one right now, and was able to get all the VAT (variable allowance tax) back from the mall shopping we did. We did hit the Patong Bar scene and after an hour and a half were pretty much board and did get out of being ripped off, well only ripped off slightly, before returning to our hotel only to be kept up most of the night by unruly Koreans screaming at each other most of the night and morning.
Back in Shanghai we were shocked by the cool, damp, and smoggy conditions, hence the withdrawals, but we did get a day and a half to decompress, unpack, and watch something besides Star Movies or BBC. I will be getting the photos converted and uploaded over the week as well as highlights of the trip. Thailand was a great place to visit and one I am wanting to visit again, and if the US dollar can improve, as well as the Chinese RMB, will definitely go back to again and soon.