We have really been enjoying Bangkok. The people are friendly, the temperature is more tolerable and the public transport is much better, with a rail system that while not quite as good as the one in Singapore, means we can get around by ourselves and don’t need to rely on taxis etc. We have been mostly walking around various markets and going to places like Lumphini Park so far, and ducking into any of the multitudes of huge shopping malls when we want some aircon. One oddity to us is the Crows in all the parks – we don’t have them in NZ but here they are as common as Pigeons.
A couple of nights ago we caught the train over to Taksin Bridge to watch the New Years fireworks, we heard they were good and were not disappointed. The display was about 15 minutes long with constant barrages of huge fireworks from two locations, one right by us and one further along the river. Even though we arrived over an hour before the display it was still people packed in shoulder to shoulder across the whole bridge.
Today we wandered through Chinatown – it seems every big city anywhere in the world has a Chinatown – and then went to the Snake Farm at the Red Cross institute. This is a real working snake farm where they breed snakes to harvest their venom to make anti-venom, but also has exhibits and a daily show where the handlers bring out lots of different snakes from harmless ones to big King Cobras etc. None of them are de-fanged, all of them are extremely lethal and handlers let them out and then catch them again while you watch. The Cobras are really aggressive, some of the others are more docile. At the end we got to hold a big Burmese Python.
Tomorrow we are going to go to a couple of the biggest temples, we have been saving them to the last day as we have been seeing a lot of temples on this trip and we wanted a break from them. We have another half day on Friday before we fly out in the afternoon but have not made any plans yet.