Sunday, May 1, 2016

Catching up with time zones

I am back from 10 days on the road. It was quite the experience, through six airports and four countries. This was my first visit to Thailand, and a first visit to Cambodia. Over the next few days I'll have photos from the journey.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Sunset on the Chao Phraya River, 26 April 2016
After the long flights from New York to Hong Kong to Bangkok, I arrived at a wonderful hotel along the Chao Phraya River. Author Tony Perrottet captures his observations on the river very well in his timely article this week in the New York Times (see Bangkok's River of Kings). The photo above shows my view of the river from the hotel.

I arrived in Bangkok a little after Midnight last Friday, and managed a few hours sleep before waking up early to get breakfast and spot in line to enter the Grand Palace when it opened at 8:30am the next day. There were large crowds from the tour buses, but as a solo traveler wearing the right clothing (no shorts allowed), I managed to squeeze to the front and was one of the first to enter the Grand Palace on Saturday morning. In my travels I have seen a wide range of historical sites, but I have to say the Grand Palace was quite beautiful. Gold & jeweled buildings, paintings, gardens and courtyards.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Grand Palace, Bangkok, 22 Apr 2016
Photo by Patrick Jones. Temple of the Emerald Buddha. 22 Apr 2016
Photo by Patrick Jones. Grand Palace paintings.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Grand Palace paintings.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting in gold at Grand Palace. 22 Apr 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Paintings at Grand Palace.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Guardians at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
On this day, I only had the morning through lunch to explore the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and the National Museum before I needed to go back to Bangkok's airport for another flight. I was lucky to be able to see the National Museum on a free day, there happened to be a special occasion and there is usually a fee. I will have photos of Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Museum in a subsequent post.

I took advantage of an extra day to hop from Bangkok to nearby Siem Reap, Cambodia in order to see the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat. I arrived Saturday evening, a mix up on my original flights on Thai Smile Airways turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me to experience the sunrise at Angkor and have a full day wandering around the ruins before I had to return to the airport on Saturday evening for the flight back to Bangkok. I'll cover Angkor in its own post. This was truly an amazing place.
Photo by Patrick Jones. BKK international airport entrance. 22 Apr 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Taken at Siem Reap airport, Cambodia, 23 Apr 2016
In my last observation for this post, after clearing security at Siem Reap airport, my eyes fixed on a small sign in front of the gates. The sign had text in English and Khmer, titled From Dream to Memory through Time. I have tried to see where this passage comes from and so far haven't found it, but I thought the words were fitting for my family history blog:

The World of Human Beings Imagination

Time of memory - contemporary times

After experiencing the inheritance from the past, we move into the here and now. Our time is spoken of as we imagine it, based on our individual experience and the perceptions that our journey has left with us. From birth to adulthood - man is born, grows up, acts, remembers, and passes on.

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