Monday, January 08, 2007

A Royal Welcome to Bangkok

It is almost 1am and we just arrived at our hotel in Bangkok. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. We have been hearing quite a bit of news on Bangkok lately and decided to continue our trip keeping in mind that we would be cautious and acknowledging the fact that security would probably be tighter. But we had no idea what kind of welcome we were in for...

As our taxi pulled up onto the street of our hotel, I saw guards in bullet-proof vests with lit batons who motioned us into the driveway. We were then stopped by another group of security guards, where a couple of them showed flashlights into our faces in the car and smiled and waved at us as as they looked at all the details in the car. Other guards walked around with mirrors looking under the car, while another one questioned our taxi driver. I asked Bertrand, "Are these normal security guards? Why do they all look so official and dignified?" He said, "Yeah...I think so..." And as the car slowly pulled in there were guards every 5 feet. Again I said, "I don't know...that is a lot of guards to hire and those are some very official outfits." We stepped out of the car and a group of guards turned to look at us as did everyone else in the lobby of the hotel. After checking in, we headed towards the elevator where we had several hotel staff running ahead of us showing us the way and walking us to the elevator, as a couple of very dignified people sat in a private area turned to look at us.

Turns out...the Prince of Thailand is having dinner here tonight. Here were are...two clueless Americans walking in with our torn jeans and sneakers probably walking past the King of Thailand. What an awesome world we live in.

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