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After a successful journey in and around Macau, Craig and I headed to that land of all lands, Thailand. Our PIC (that’s “partner in crime,” folks) Jean was kind enough to meet us at the airport after a late flight. The lot of us stayed in Bangkok that night and made the drive to the beach town of Pattaya the next morning. Two hours southeast of Bangkok, Pattaya is a popular tourist destination among Thais and foreigners alike. With scenic views like this, it’s not hard to see why.

Jean and her fellow PIC,  took us to a shrine for the “father” of the Thai Navy overlooking the beach. Our Thai hosts talked us through the process of making an offering of candles, incense, and flowers before following in kind.

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After a few hours of milling around the hotel and beach, we did some beachfront dining at Pupen Restaurant, where the casual seaside ambiance was surpassed only by the cuisine. Piles of prawns, steaming squid soups, and bits of crab covered the table at the height of the meal.

Returning to Bangkok the next morning, Craig and I took the opportunity to visit a few of Bangkok’s major attractions, including: Wat Pho (a Buddhist temple with reclining Buddha), the Grand Palace, JJ market, the backpacker mecca of Khao San Road, as well as taking boat trip down the Chao Praya river via Bangkok’s scenic marine mass transit system. Jean met up with us for lunch and dinner nearly every day, introducing us to new foods and new friends along the way. Nights in Bangkok ended with a trip to the night (food) market and/or a convenience store (there’s literally one on every block) to try new kinds of junk food or stock up on a few of the liter-sized Thai beers (Leo and Tiger are probably the best Thai beers, in my opinion).

Overall, Thailand was amazing and made so much more so by the generosity of Jean and her friends. We were disappointed to leave Bangkok, but glad to get a chance to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.

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