Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thai Time

Tim and I headed to Thailand for a long weekend last weekend (well, he had headed there earlier in the week for work and I joined in for the weekend).  First stop, Bangkok, where the remnants of the King's birthday celebration (Wan Chalerm, a major national holiday) remained...  lots of photos, flags (the blue and red Thai flag but also yellow flags, as yellow is the color of royalty), and mini-shrines all honoring the king on his 85th birthday:

We indulged in some nighttime street food action... mmmm.  I failed to clearly capture it in this photo below, but the mango and sticky rice stand we ordered from had a sign that said "No touching or squeezing!":

This shrine (in front of the CentralWorld Mall) was particularly active, with hundred of tiny animal statues left at its feet (elephants, bulls, zebras, horses, among others) and festooned with flowers, incense, offerings of food and drink...

This one, in front of a crazy wholesale clothing mall (Platinum Fashion Mall) was also pretty active:

The Platinum Fashion Mall Mickey D's had something interesting, too... spinach pie?  I do not understand:

And their Dunkin' Donuts had mochi donut rings.  Weird:

After my tour of Bangkok's malls, street food stands and shrines, we headed to Mr. Ben's apartment and got stuck in traffic on his soi, where we saw this funny sign.  Har har:

We then embarked on a road trip (in Mr. Ben's new car) to Ban Phe, a fishing village in Rayong province.  After arriving, our next step was to get exceedingly drunk (oops) and engage in shenanigans that I am surprised didn't get us kicked out of our hotel (the Scooby-Doo-esque Rayong Resort).  Details can be provided in person, but are inappropriate for this family website.  

The next day we went to the beach and wandered around town, checking out the bustling fish market.  The highlights of the market were tons of squid (so many squid!) and this giant pile of horseshoe crabs:

We ate more street food, focusing on the fried foods category, mainly (fried chicken, fried pork, fried donuts, fried crab...).  

This woman below was hand-making these cute little coconut canape thingies filled with what looked like (but is most likely not) Marshmallow Fluff... sadly we didn't get to try them because that lady in the striped shirt had ordered the whole lot and our patience was too short to wait for her to make more (blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol):

There were lots and lots of these motorbikes with sidecars carrying all sorts of things around town... people, blow-up beach toys, dried squid, what have you:

Mr. Ben and the fried pork lady (omg, that stuff was awesome):

Later that night we got to see a beautiful sunset at the resort:

Still hungover the next night:

See those green lights on the horizon?  Squid fishing boats.  I had actually seen them from the airplane when flying in, a sea of green lights on a black background.  Apparently the green light attracts the squid to the surface where they are more easily caught.  We saw some of those squid while hanging out on the Scooby Doo dock, glowing in the dark, flashing their bio luminescence... pretty freaking cool.  I just learned that their glow is for purposes of "counter-illumination camoflage," which means the squid glows to match the light as seen from below (in this case the moonlight?).

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