Monday, January 22, 2007

Thailand - Bangkok and River Kwai

What an experience; we just got home. We enjoyed it greatly. We spent 9 days in the Imperial Tara Hotel in Sukhumvit, so the street vendors recognized us and we made friends with one. Bangkok is a great city. Someone there told me it's not "third world" like (he named a country). But, I thought, Thailand *is* third world. Then he clarified that he meant only rich and poor; no one between. Yes, Bangkok does not meet that criterion; it has a thriving middle class. We visited few of the big sites in Bangkok - just the Grand Palace and the big malls in the area of Siam Station. But we got around and got to know more people in the Rivers of Life Church. The River Kwai is the site in Kanchanaburi (west of Bangkok) of the World War II bridge construction by the Japanese with forced labor of prisoners of war, immortalized in the 1957 movie "Bridge over the River Kwai" with the memorable Colonel Bogey March. We spent a day visiting the area's WW II cemetery, the Jeath Museum (rhymes with death to me) and the bridge, bombed out of service in 1943, but restored.

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