Bangkok... better late than never

I've been very delinquint in getting posts up from my Asia trip last month. It feels like it wasn't that long ago, but it's amazing how fast time flies.  It wasn't my favourite trip ever, but there were parts of it that I really enjoyed. The trip was primarily a work trip - we have a very key client in Thailand, and we were attending a trade show a couple of hours south of Bangkok in Pattaya. 

The first part of the trip was in Bangkok proper - a couple of meetings. One with the Canadian Trade Commissioner, and the other with our client, GISTDA. After about a 25 hour flight (with a shortish layover in Seoul, South Korea) I was pretty wiped by the time I got to Bangkok. I had to wait around at the airport for my co-worker James, who was also coming in on a different flight. He arrived about 12 an hour after me, and after that we were in a taxi into downtown. 

We were staying in an area of Bangkok known as Sukhumvit. I was staying at the Westin for a few days. It was a beautiful hotel, in a very cool part of the city. There was a huge mall across the road, lots of bars and restaurants around, and generally just a cool part of town.

The view from my hotel room in Bangkok.

The view from my hotel room in Bangkok.

We had a couple of days of meetings that went quite well. It was good to meet some customers finally. One night James found us this great restaurant called "The Nest", on the 35th floor of a hotel a few blocks from where we were staying. We went up and had a couple of drinks and enjoyed the view across the city. 

On the way back to the hotel after dinner that night, we came across my favourite bar in the area - the creativity was outstanding. Gotta love the lax laws that let such a contraption exist.

The converted vans that were acting as bars were hillarious.

The converted vans that were acting as bars were hillarious.

Our meetings on Thursday wrapped up a bit earlier than we were expecting, so James and I had a few hours to kill. So we hopped in a cab and headed into the old section of Bangkok, down near the river. We got introduced to the ridiculous traffic that we were warned about. They weren't kidding. I have never experienced anything like it, and will never complain about traffic again. To travel no more than 5 or 6 km took us an hour and a half. It was ridiculous.

We really only had time to see one thing, so we went to Wat Po, the home of the Reclining Buddha. While the Buddha was very cool, the whole complex was completely amazing, and a bit unreal. There are dozens of small temples scattered throughout the grounds, along with tons of very cool sculptures and some cats. It's a beautiful place, and the couple of hours that we had to check it out did not do it justice. 

The main attraction is the Reclining Buddha, a massive Buddha, totally covered in gold leaf. The thing was very cool to see.

After leaving Wat Po, we walked down to the river and caught a bit of the sunset over Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn. Wat

Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn

We made our way back to the hotel through the streets of Bangkok checking out the various markets and the real life of people in Bangkok. It's a very cool city, and I definitely didn't get to see enough of it. I would go back to spend a few more days checking out the sights.