Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Merel’s birthday is here! Thanks to the Takken family she had green light to buy herself a present. Her choice was gold.

The desire for gold made the day in the city quite interesting. We had to adventure local stores that we would normally enter, we went to gold shops. It seems to buy gold in Thailand is a good idea for it’s quality and it’s lower price than in Europe… see, you always learn something. Thailand culture appreciates gold as it has several positive meanings for them. Buying gold is pretty popular in this country as we would get to know afterwards.

Chinatown was the selected neighborhood. The locals told us that this s the place to find this divine material. Unfortunately no pictures are allowed in these stores. The scene was so different than what we expected… Any western would imagine a gold/jewelery shop kind of exclusive and surely with not so many clients. In Bangkok these establishments are full of people. There were so much people that it seemed as a bar in a late night disco, you had to wait and struggle around to get to the bar and get heard. While you checked golden earings you could see several wads of cash placed on the counter to pay. This was serious business! Another thing to note is that every single person who was there in the shop wasn’t only to look, but to buy. The atmospheric sound was a mixture of Chinese people talking, Thai loud voices and the sound of bills being counted by the bill machine counters. Now that is an experience!

In the evening my present would begin. A luxurious boat would disembark to serve high thai cuisine and exclusive drinks. The boat would navigate slowly through the Chao Phraya. The boat was promised to be an historical marvel, and so was it.

Merel and me were transported in a 100 year old rice barge, incredible boat. The boat had a romantic lighting system, Thai dances and classical Thai music played in the background with real antic intruments. Mystical and beautiful… Both found this experience unforgettable, happy birthday Merel!