There was another reason for my coming to Thailand.  Not very far from Bangkok lies the infamous Burma Railway....
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Taken on my 1st Thailand Trip in November, 2005
This Time a Digital Welcome to Thailand & it's Capital City Krong Thep or Bangkok with DrBen, and Caroline !
Caroline and I in a small & kozy upstairs restaurant in the Old City Center of Bangkok. The food was great,  the spectacle of all the passing tourists interesting.... Caroline, my charming company !
Making 15.000 photos of Beijing , and the same amount in other Chinese Cities makes a man thirsty for a holiday. Only fun photos in Thailand therefor, see the rest of our site it via ..
Ah, yes - i did forget the name of this complex in central Bangkok..... And no, I am not holding another bottle of drink against the incredible heat in Thailand, this is Caroline's stylish flowery umbrella. Umbrella against the sun, mind you - cuz chinese girls do not crave to get "black". So of course I
got stuck with the thing while exploring the
above Temple-Palace annex Garden. But
nevermind, i was on holiday and wasn't
compulsed into take my usual large series
of Photos. I still had a great time dwelling in
the garden and even discovered a colony of
fire-ants ! Luckily i found them before they
bit me. Those Tiny ants are really
aggressive and attack anything that moves.
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How on Earth I came to visit Thailand so unexpectedly I still don't really know. I do remember booking a Ticket and taking a flight to Beijing in China for some business and of course I re-unification with Caroline, but somehow... within not much time at all I found myself in Bangkok Thailand. This page is dedicated to that short trip in November 2005.
The HEAT in this country is just terrific .... By God !! No wonder bath's are a currency in this place (joke). One needs a shower constantly, or a bath.. With this kind of weather taking off your shoes before the buddha also becomes a doubtful show of respect. Anyways - this photo from the Grand Palace shows me sweating it out in the shade of some golden building inside the Grand Palace Complex. There are a lot of golden buildings in Bangkok, and this is the brightest shining one....
The grave-site of my Grand-Uncle is located at Kanchanaburi.  He was one of about 2500 Dutch prisoners of war to perish on the construction of the Burma Railway Line here in Thailand during World War 2.
The When you come to Bangkok as a Tourist, you must visit The Grand Palace. This is me in front of some of it's main shrines, which is the best part as far as I am concerned. It may not look like it but this is a sweltering hot day.... Sunny and Moist, thats Bangkok ! Caroline can take the pictures this Time, but as you can see I didn't give up my huge professional Sony DSC-F818 yet. Uhuhhh. Í always carry it around...
The HEAT is just terrible - especially in the sun near these golden reflective statues.... -Sigh-
Loy Krathong Festival.... No great photos of 100's of floating lights on the Rivers. Luckily we both did get a flower tribute and floated our own Loy Krathong. Caroline and Benni to wash away all bad thoughts and spirits !
Still lost in that Temple Garden ?? They do look a lot alike sometimes, don't they ? Very Tropical, Very Thai ..
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Hurry with the photo, please, Caroline? I'm getting roasted here !!
The Grand Palace could also be called the Golden Palace. It really reminded me of cartoon heroes Suske & Wiske who traveled to Thai soil in my Youth & Imagination. Thailand looks just like in those comic-books!
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Vimanmek Mansion and Park. Tropical Paradise in the middle of busy and dirty Capital Bangkok. Great architecture and tropical Gardens
Now after my arrival we visited one of our prospected partners China Travel & Tourism Press Publishers. Among alll the books and VCD's Caroline found herself a nice book and film about Bangkok in Thailand.
Hehehe - Err, she can be quite convincing so after our business she had us fly out-there for a short holiday !
Now after taking on the challenge to Report on the entire Country of China, I wasn't really up for more endless
photography in Thailand. This is why there aren't very many photos on this Page. I think Caroline took most of our Photos, so here for a short trip to Thailand just for Fun...
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A real holiday it was for me. A new country, new experiences, new time and fun shared with Caroline. That was the main goal.
I therefor made a point not to read any history, travelguide etc. On purpose - I had not even read the Lonely Planet Guide on Bangkok.
Be assured, this is the complete opposite from my travels in China.  Still - we did visit the Grand Palace which was quite nearby our Hotel in the Old Central City. As you can see we also visited the nearby Temple with Gardens and a lying buddha.  Of course I was interested in the ants...
Beijing to Bangkok was Caroline's first trip outside China !
I think Caroline enjoyed the sightseeing a lot, and ehm .. if it wasn't that, certainly she had the best of times shopping for tiny dresses and other girlie stuff in the shops and stalls of Thailand.
For myself I didn't find so much to shop, so I mainly accompanied Caroline and enjoyed her happiness, the sceneries of Bangkok city-life and the entire damp atmosphere.
Next up was the Vimanmek Mansion which is located in a parklike area in North-Bangkok. This Park , we both agree, was the nicest , cleanest and most beautiful attraction we visited in the City. Fun musea are the Royal Elephant Museum which cannot but spark dreams of early jungle exploration and the chasing of large game in a jungle, and a small museum dedicated to the photography of the former Thai King. The nearby Marble Throne Hall we did not visit, but we surely enjoyed the clean and tropical Royal Gardens. The Vimanmek Mansion, the largest teakwood building in the world was also a treat.
True, the Vimanmek Mansion is an odd european-art experience when coming from China where everything in a Palace is thoroughly Chinese. This Thai Palace was not all that Thai at all!! But, it did gave me a great flashback to earlier "colonial" times. Times one only knows from the movies like "Indiana Jones" and old books.
Vimanmek is essentially a large and luxurious Colonial Mansion. It's architecture, designed in all teakwood, is grand but elegant. It is very very spacious, and stocked with various euopean-style art-treasures. A glamourous building no doubt in old times, the Vimanmek Mansion still holds it's grandeur, and reflects the values of bygone days. It is a living memory of colonial trading times.  Now in use as a museum the luxury quarters of the royal family can be visited on a tour, taking in all main halls and floors of the building. It was an interesting and enjoyable afternoon. We only just came back in time for the Loy Krathong Festival !
Unfortunatly we díd not get any photos from the Loy Krathong Festival because there were not enough lights on the Rivers !
Hehehe - Nope, there were enough people there, but there is also a lot of water in Bangkok. We made do with a terrific diner together and the floating of our very own Loy Krathong. Caroline was much prettier than I am in this photo, but I left her photos out of this page and kept them for myself.
Although we were in Thailand only for a short stay, we didn't see Bangkok only. I am very happy to know that Caroline accompanied me to the War Cemetery at Kanchanaburi, to hold a very special ceremony for a family member & a youth hero to my father. We payed our respects to Grand-Uncle Piet Onno Nijhoff, who was lost in 1943 in a japanese-run camp on the Burma Railway. Then - we spent time on the railway station on the infamous bridge on the river kwai. It is great place nowadays ! We had fish in the restaurant on the River and enjoyed the bright sunny afternoon and tropical river scenery.
Strange to visit a family member who went before me in exploration and discovery of Asia. The visit to Kanchanaburi was a special one for me and the family. Caroline not left out, of course. She was with me all the way...
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Apart from the prevailing tropical heat Thailand is quite a fun country for holidays. There are plenty of Temples, Gardens and the like to sightsee. But if you aren't so interested in all of that, Thailand offers great food, friendly people, low prices, and a variety of entertainment. From active to provocative. We didn't reach there this short visit, but there is plenty to see and enjoy along the coast at Pattaya and further away at Phuket. Then there is a multitude of small coastal islands with beautiful white beaches. This country is full of backpackers and adventureres. Go on to Cambodia, Burma or Vietnam from here on a round tour of inner-south-asia. It's a popular thing.
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