This morning, we checked out of one of the world’s finest hotels (if I and numerous rankings are any judge): The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Aside from seeing glimpses of my mom’s former life and showing my dad around, the highlight of our time in Bangkok has to be staying at the Oriental. Before we picked my parents up from the airport several days ago, Joylani and I swung by the prestigious hotel to drop our bags and check-in if possible. We walked up the manicured driveway with our backpacks (still with the reddish tinge they acquired in dusty Ban Lung), past the security booth and past the valets. Just before we made it through the doors, which were being manned by costumed men, a man in a suit with a phone cord coming out of his ear, asked us if he could help us. We said we were here to check in. He asked if we had a reservation. When we replied in the affirmative, bell boys quickly appeared and took our packs. Besides trying to convince the gentleman that we would be guests at their fine establishment, it was awkward giving up our bags. I mean for nearly the past 8 months, we’ve rarely taken our eyes of our bags, much less voluntarily given them to someone. We were in a state of shock for the first few minutes after we arrived: bell boys to carry our stuff, fresh flowers and juice upon check-in. Once in our room on the 15th floor, I flung open the curtains and we both laughed in disbelief at the unbelievable view. The call button for the butler (next to the bed) and plate of fruit were nice add-ons to a stellar room, with an amazing bed and bathroom. Life was different.
Besides enjoy the hotel, we spent most of our time in Bangkok sightseeing. Jetlagged, my parents slept most of their first evening in Bangkok. Day two was spent sightseeing with one of my mom’s old friends. Day Three was a marathon day, which included plenty of transport in my mom’s beloved river taxis and my dad’s first ride in a tuk-tuk. Yesterday, was a relaxing day spent at the hotel. Although we just stayed at the hotel yesterday, I think everyone’s had a good time here in Bangkok. For Joylani and I, it was awesome to see my parents and relaxing to stay at such a nice place. My mom has been pretty jubilant since they arrived and its interesting to hear all her stories and comments on the Bangkok of today and yesteryear. I think my dad is having a good time too- he gets to be a follower on a vacation for once, instead of the planner and director. Smoking his cigars and enjoying my mom’s excitement, while seeing a new place seem okay to him. Its been an awesome few days here and I’m looking forward to the rest of our time with my parents, but its almost sad that a third of the trip is over.
my mom visiting her old haunts
my dad enjoying new Thai experiences, like tuk-tuks
Joylani enjoying the luxuries of The Oriental
and I’m up top enjoying some mangoes and sticky rice