Sarah and I have spent the last couple of days in Bangkok soaking up the Songkran holiday. The entire city basically shuts down for Songkran and everyone comes out to to eat, drink, and get each other wet. People line the streets day and night with squirt guns, buckets, and even the occasional fire hose. The worst (or best?) is when they have a giant tub full of ice and water. It’s quite a shock to get a bucket of ice water dumped over your head on a 40 degree day! Our waterproof panniers have come in handy when walking the streets, but I had to risk the camera to get some shots of the fun.

In addition to the constant party in the streets, there is also a large festival going on at a park outside the Grand Palace with food, music, and dancing. We got to try a couple of new dishes and spent a fun night listening to the music and watching the dancing. We both really love Thai music. It is so happy.

We also had our first brush with fame here. We had dinner with the VW Vagabonds! Amanda and Rich have just completed cycling through Southeast Asia and are back in Bangkok planning the rest of their trip. We met for dinner and had a lot of fun swapping advice and discussing our plans for the future.

One afternoon we visited the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo. Wat Phra Kaeo is the holiest site in Thailand and houses the Emerald Buddha which is known for its healing powers. The grounds of the palace and wat are extremely ornate and beautiful. Everything is either gold or sparkling in some way.

We are now waiting for the foreign embassies to open back up on the 17th so we can get the visas we need for Laos, Vietnam, and maybe China. We keep going back and forth on whether or not we are actually going to China. While in Thailand, we met a woman named Mamaji who was a teacher of meditation and claimed to have a supernatural intuition. She was a frequent visitor to Thailand and told us that before the tsunami hit in 2004, she had visions of water and danger at her favorite resort. After we talked to her for a bit, she told us she had a bad feeling about us going to China. She said she felt we were in danger (especially me) and she had a feeling that we were going to be split up in order to make it easier to get to us. Neither Sarah nor I are the type of people who would usually believe in something like that, but hearing her say these things has really unnerved us. Ever since then, we have been trying to make a decision one way or the other on China. We keep going back and forth, building up our confidence a little, and then we are somehow reminded of her warning and we freak out again. Right now we have two options we are considering.

  1. Head north through Cambodia and Laos into China and from there head northeast through the Guanxi, Guizhou, and Sichuan provinces and maybe venture as far as Tibet on the train.
  2. Spend more time in Thailand (visiting the north and northeast) and also travel through Vietnam on our bicycles. We would make a loop through Southeast Asia back to Bangkok, and from there fly to India.

We have been using this time in Bangkok to try to make a final decision one way or the other, but we are still undecided at this point.

2 Responses to “Songkran”

  1. erin Says:

    Go for option 2. Wouldn’t you rather not find out if those predictions come true?


  2. John Erck Says:

    Did that lady have a crystal ball with her? If she did, she might be legit.

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