We have done a few short trips around the city in the past few days, the first day we went to the Wat Po temple, home of the reclined Buddha. Which involved taking the sky-train and a river taxi to get there and a bus, subway, and sky-train to return. This place is pretty much impossible to describe. I was talking to one of my advisors and I liked how he put it, "It is kind of a place you hope no one asks you how it was because there is no way you could explain what it was like". I totally agree, it was awesome in the true sense of the word. So instead of trying to describe it you can look at it here. And see a picture of me infront of the Buddha below.
Yesterday, after getting an American food fix at Burger King, we headed to the Dusit Zoo. After paying the hefty $3 admission (everything in Bangkok is really cheap), we immediately saw two elephants right up close and personal. They were standing in a small pen waiting until their next show. People could pay to feed them and I got to touch them. It was so cool to be so up close but I can’t lie, it was a little frightening. We then saw an amazing elephant show and the elephants did so many things (like crawl and shoot a basketball) that I would never guess they could do. They were so smart! We saw lots of other types of animals like reptiles, birds, zebras, giraffes and chimps. The chimps were really cool too, people would throw them water bottles and they would open them, and drink the water through a straw. They were so human like. I noticed that so many things like this that happened at zoo would never be allowed to happen in the US. In general, there are a lot less laws and regulations here. Here is a picture of one of the elephants (no zoom).
Today was a little less eventful. We spent hours at MBK trying to help one of my fellow students get her cell phone fixed and finding something to eat (I had fried spring rolls and a crepe with bananas, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate ice cream). We then went to China town, which was extremely busy and filled with large trucks and motor cycles going on streets that were way to small for them. I tried fresh squeezed key lime juice which was really good. We took a tuk-tuk back, a 3-wheeled vehicle, which are slightly dangerous but definitely part of getting a true Bangkok experience. They are actually pretty fun.
Tomorrow is when some of the work I came here to do starts. We are meeting at noon to go over to Chulalongkorn Univeristy and do some orientation type stuff until 4. The next day we leave for a river resort a few hours from Bangkok, where we will do team building activities as a whole group and meet our Thai partners. This is where we will be until Sunday night.
So be sure to check out all of the links I included if you want to get a better feel of what everything is like since it can be so hard to describe. I will post again when I have time after I get back from the resort! Until then, Sawatdii Pii Mai (Happy New Year) from Bangkok!