Day Two in Bangkok started out with the most adorable engagement session ever – which you should totally go check out and then hurry back to this post! I am so grateful that Emily and her friend Pookie were able to introduce me to her friends Praew and Ton because they were such a delight to photograph. It was so fun for me to get into “Photographer” mode with Emily and in a completely new element. It always stretches me out of my comfort zone and helps me to be more creative. Plus these two were just so sweet together! After their session, I met up with a great group of girls that are teaching English with the ILP group. I was introduced to these girls through my dear friend and incredible creative producer, Rebecca. We had fun shooting and chatting with these girls (even if we did get in trouble for being in swimsuits in public…).
While I was playing photographer that morning, the kids stayed home with Adam and Mitch and enjoyed their pool. When Emily and I got home, we loaded everyone up into a Uber (so many bodies, so little room….) and we headed to a small pier at Wat Klong Toey with the tiniest, rink-a-dink shuttle boat that jutted us across the river. We were headed to Bang Krachao, or “The Green Lung.” This boat ride cost us less than $1 per person. With all 8 of us in our boat, we sunk so low I thought for sure we’d have water leaking into the boat! I remember laughing because they had offered us bikes to rent on that side of the river, as if we could fit 8 people and 8 bikes comfortably in that boat. Even without bikes, we didn’t sink, but the kids riding up front did get sprayed with delicious river water 🙂
We were dropped off at a Bike Rental place on the other side of the river, and paid about $3 per bike rental for the whole day. I got a bike with a basket in front for Rhenner to sit with me. The Green Lung – government protected land surrounded by the Chao Phraya river – turned out to be this epic jungle of countryside that was TOTALLY and pleasantly unexpected, yet so charming and delightful. It was like we had stepped into a completely different world, and that Bangkok was miles and miles away. The fact that we were biking around the island just added to the already relaxed and genuine ambiance. I immediately fell in love. I mean, the city and temples of the day before had been incredibly beautiful, but this? Now this was just downright amazing and totally up our alley!
We biked to a large market, called the Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market, and stopped for lunch. We meandered through the stalls, bought our kids some knock-off Lego’s as their “souvenirs,” and of course I got a little lost buying bananas. We sat on mats on the floor and ate at a low table that filled with spicy shrimp papaya salad, some kind of noodle amazing-ness, french fries (because my kids wouldn’t eat otherwise), fried chicken, and other delicious dishes that Emily & Mitch recommended. Rhenner was officially OUT so the rest of the kids, Emily, and I walked around and enjoyed a tiny, ghetto swingset and a giant purple dinosaur to climb on (so random, yet also so Thailand I soon found out!).
After lunch, we hopped back on our bikes. By this point, Rhenner was completely wiped out. He was nodding off in the front basket of my bike. I tried telling him to lean his head down on the front handle bar, but he wouldn’t listen. It was pretty hilarious, but I also felt bad for him. He was whimpering, “Mom, my head hurts!” as he was half asleep. Adam kept making fun of me because I was a little wobbly on the bike with a heavy child in the front seat, but I did not wipe out (not this time, anyway….I saved that for Krabi 😉 ). There is only one road that wraps around the island, and half the time it is only one lane, so you’re biking right up next to cars. There were a lot of side trails that you could take along very narrow boardwalks. These boardwalks wove you in and out of the jungle more than the main road did, which would have been awesome, but I didn’t totally trust myself on those skinny platforms….because there were no railings on them and some parts had a drop-off into a canal. I didn’t want to risk it when I was already feeling wobbly!
Our next stop was the Siamese Fighting Fish Gallery. I can’t recommend this place enough! It is way more than just a fish gallery! It is an iconic oasis that looks like it stepped right out of a movie or a magazine. This location is like, quintessential Thailand to me. Like exactly what I would have imagined Thailand to look like had I never seen other pictures of it!
We finished up at the Fish Gallery and then made our way back to the bike rental shop and the boat ferry that took us back across the river. We took another crammed (and yet hilarious) Uber ride back to their apartment complex. Here is a perfect map of the island that I found from Where Sidewalks End, and a great article to accompany it:
Lastly, I am SOOOOOOO excited to share this video with you!!! This trip was only my second time playing around with video and I am so so happy I took video footage during this trip. It was a totally different experience for me, and a totally different way of viewing the world around me, trying to figure out how to capture it in video clips. There is something really special about photos, and being able to print them into something tangible, but there is also something incredible about seeing moving, real-life footage. I am SO happy I did both. I also want to thank Holden Films for editing this footage for me!!! He is amazing!!! (Brides you totally want him for your wedding day!!!)
See Bangkok Day One here.