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Thursday, April 13, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 18b Queen Sirikit and the Songkran Water Festival

My Sheraton Grande Sukhamvit view of the pool:

Breakfast here is fabulous:

I toyed with catching the Sky Train to eventually get to my next hotel, the Marriott Marquis Queen's Park (MMQP).  However, I was talked into a taxi, which cost around $2.50 to get there.

A major factor was that when my flight arrived at 5PM yesterday, it was 94 F.  The temperature today will rise to 97 F, if not higher.  Try walking around at that temperature in the midst of mega thousands over sidewalks with holes and gaps.  That in itself is an adventure.

If the cab had no widows I would have been drenched.  There are water tossers at various spots where cars must stop.

MMPQ the largest in Thailand with 1360 rooms.  The Waikiki Beach Marriott has just around 1300 rooms, while the Hilton Hawaiian Village now is up to 2860 rooms.  I overlook Queen Sirikit Park:

As scorching as it was, the least I could do was visit the park.  As expected, I was greeted by my Blue Bar Pigeon:

Clearly, this is a modernistic statue of a female.

Turns out that this location is a hotbed of Songkran:

I had to side-step obvious water battles:

However, I escaped without being inundated.

Queen Sirikit is now 84.  Here she is with King Bhumibol on the day they were married.

He passed away last year at the age of 88.  Thus, these Songkran activities are this year understated in bereavement.

This Thai New Year Water Festival has a major downside.  People drive home at some distance, and last year from April 11 to 17 there were 442 traffic deaths and 3,447 accidents.

Who goes to Bangkok to watch TV, but it's so hot outside and there are five free movie channels, more than a half a dozen sports stations (mostly soccer, but also racing, cricket, etc.--but two major league baseball games on the Fox channel, which is not offered in the Sheraton, but are at the Marriott Marquis), more foreign offerings (three, for example from Qatar) than anywhere else in the world.  The Ko Olina LGPA was on for six hours today until it rained.  But golf is popular because Ariya Jutanugarn (only 21left) last year was player of the year.  Older sister Moriya is also doing well.

The M Club is better than anything Starwood has to offer, although the Towers Lounge at the Sheraton Saigon is also worthy.  I would say 200 can fit into the room here.  The service is almost suffocating (which is good) and the cuisine and drinks are superior:

I enjoyed the beef soup so much that I had a second course:

My M Club view nearing sunset:

On the way out I saw this startling sunset image  of a speeding spacecraft:

Tomorrow, more of the same, maybe I'll go to a movie, then on Saturday I brave Bangkok's giant outdoor shopping complex with 8,000 stalls open on weekends only, Chatuchak Market.   Speaking of teeming humanity, this beats Mumbai.  I hope it rains.  But if I go, will I do those five things?


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