The death of Thailand’s King

imageimageWent to a Muay Thai Live show tonight. It was really good. It went through the history of Muay Thai and different forms and things. Then they had two fights after.

What I thought was the beginning of the show had all the Muay Thai fighters come to the side of the arena. Then an announcer comes on. On this sad day will everyone please stand and join us for a moment of silence. I thought they were starting the history of Muay Thai honoring someone.

Instead they go on to say in honor of the King of Thailand who passed away today. They had a picture of him and played maybe their national anthem or another song.

I knew he was sick as I saw it on the news. King Bhumibol was the world’s longest-ranging monarch as he was King since he was 18 years old.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/thailand-s-king-bhumibol-jazz-player-rain-maker-icon-stability-n665561

The Overnight Train

imageimageimageimageimageimageAt around 7:20 pm, I head to the train platform. I’m glad I went when I did as the train was already sitting there and people had boarded even though it didn’t leave until 7:35 pm.

I find my car 11 and then head to my seat. I find someone sitting in it and they have spread their stuff out all over the top and bottom bunk. He tells me I should just take the other half. So I sit there once everyone has boarded and we leave the station.

A little while later they come around and check tickets. Then a guy comes around to change your seat into a bed. They put a mattress on the seat and put a sheet on it, give you a pillow and pillow case and then you get a blanket in a bag.

The employee tries to figure out what is going on with the seat situation. The guy tries to explain but the employee doesn’t speak much English. I show my ticket for my seat. The guy is still trying to claim the other bottom bunk even though he paid for the one above me. It costs slightly more for the bottom then the top.

It turns out people who were getting on the train later had bought the other side top and bottom. This guy still process to lay down on the other side until the other people get on the train. Then he moves to his correct bunk.

They offered dinner and breakfast on the train. If you wanted breakfast you have to order it at night.

Overall I enjoyed the overnight train. I did sleep some. It was very cold on the train. It also rained overnight so the bathroom area got wet as I guess the roof leaks.

I knew that sometimes the train runs late due to other traffic on the tracks. The 500 mile trip was supposed to arrive in about 13 hours at around 8:40 am but it was about 10 am when we arrived.

I got off the train and tried to find a place to exchange money for smaller bills as I had 20 baht and 1000 baht bills. Luckily the ticket window was able to exchange 1000 baht for a smaller amount. Then I went in search of a taxi to take to my guest house. I found a red truck taxi. These are shared so the driver went in search of other passengers but never found any so I had a direct ride and the whole thing to myself.

I was planning on dropping my bags off and going out to explore but as soon as I said I was there to check in they took me to a room and said they would check me in later after I rested. I thought that was very nice of them.

I took a shower and laid down to relax.

A day in Bangkok

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageI didn’t sleep well and was awake early probably due to still being on Hawaiian time. I did some research on what to do as I didn’t really have plans for my day in Bangkok. I knew I needed to go buy a train ticket for the overnight train but otherwise wasn’t sure what I was doing.

I headed to the MTR to go to Hua Lamphong which is the Bangkok Railway Station. I went and bought my ticket for the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I planned to use a credit card to pay for the ticket but the machine was broken. I had the cash on me 881 baht or about $25 USD. This is for a train ride that lasts about 13 hours and is set up as a sleeper car.

After I had my train ticket I took my bag to the left luggage location as I was going to go explore Bangkok. First I took a taxi to the Grand Palace. It was still early about 9:30 am but it was very crowded already. The Palace is very beautiful, lots of gold, gorgeous tiles and many Buddha statues.

It was also very hot this day so I kept trying to hide in buildings. From here I walked to the National Museum. As I was trying to find something to do that was inside as it was very sunny and hot. The Museum ended up being in a variety of buildings. Some indoors, some outdoors, some with just fans, and a few with air conditioning. The Royal chariots were massive and gorgeous. There were several areas that were closed and under construction.

By this point I was starving and ready for lunch. As I was leaving the museum I noticed the sky looked very dark and areas had an orange color. A storm was on it’s way.

I started walking towards Wat Pho which was my next destination figuring I would find food along the way. I go into a place and ordered crispy pork and rice. It starts pouring and thunderstorming.

Of course it did as I neglected to bring an umbrella or rain gear with me today. I finish my food and head out into the rain. Of course it decided to rain heavier so I stop and stand under an awning of a store that’s under construction. Eventually someone from inside let several of us inside as it’s raining sideways and very heavily and rain gear isn’t much help.

It slows down some so I head out but then gets heavier again. I step inside what I think is a market. It ends up being a small port for ferry and other boats. I decided to take a boat over to Wat Po. I could have walked but the one stop on the boat kept me out of the rain.

It’s still raining but not as much so I buy an umbrella and head to Wat Pho. It has a reclining Buddha. It was pretty empty I’m guessing because of the rain. The weather also cooled off a lot which was good.

After this I get a tuk tuk to China Town. I have a few hours yet before my train leaves. So I wander around through the market and area. I find another temple that’s grounds are still open but is closed for the day. I then walk to the train station. I grab some food and snacks and drinks. I also get my bag that I left at the station sit and wait for my train to arrive.

The way to Bangkok

After I left the capsule hotel at the airport I headed upstairs to check in for my flight. I saw where I was supposed to go but didn’t see a counter.

You had to go through a door that basically appeared like you were going outside. I checked in and then went back to the main area where people check in for flights.

I then head for security to discover that it doesn’t open until 7:30. So I go in search of breakfast and end up at McDonald’s as it’s basically like only place that is open.

Around 7:30 I head to security and then customs. I then seek out food and drink to take with me on my 6 and a half hour flight because Air Asia provides no food or drink. Not even water for free. They also don’t have any sort of in flight entertainment basically you get a seat on the plane. I had paid something to check my bag as well.

The flight was alright and not full so I moved to an open row and had the whole thing to myself.

We arrived in Bangkok and headed to customs. It took awhile to get through customs as the lines were pretty long. I grabbed my bag and headed to get a bus which would take me to the BTS station for the sky train. From the sky train I headed to my hostel. Checked in dropped my bags off and headed out for food and to do some exploring.

9 hours Narita capsule hotel

So last night I slept at the Tokyo Narita airport. In a capsule hotel so everyone has a capsule which is kind of like a bunk bed but the whole thing is enclosed but at the bottom it closes was roll down shade.

It’s basically a twin bed with a tube around it you can sit up but can’t stand up.

There was a place to plug things in to charge and also this had a noise cancelling machine built in so you don’t hear the others around you.

When you check in you are given a key and a bag within a towel and a long night gown. You go inside into a locker room. You put your shoes and bags in the locker and then put slippers on.

This connects to the bathroom and showers. There is a door to the capsule room. Men have one set of lockers, showers, bathrooms, etc and women enter on a different side to their area.

I slept alright. Although it could have been a bit cooler for my liking. It was nice to just get up and not need to get on transportation to go to the airport for my morning flight.

I wish Hong Kong airport had the same as my flight is at 6 am and the hotels by the airport are very expensive to only be there for a short time.

I’ve done bunk beds and other type things as I’d rather be able to travel longer instead of spending lots of money on a place to stay.imageimageimageimageimage