we started the day off with a relaxing, yet expensive american style breakfast at the hotel, it is $15 a person, but so convenient and impossible to pass up. since we fill up in the a.m. we are able to eat a very light lunch and then a hearty, sometimes interesting dinner. after a slow morning we left the hotel around 1 pm and headed out on foot to one of the 3 large malls in downtown Bangkok, we found a simple art-deco thai restaurant and had what we thought was vegetarian spring rolls and vegetarian green curry – it is shocking how difficult it is to find vegetarian food in Thailand! heading out for a 3 mile walk to Lumpini park we zig-zagged across 4 lane roads with motorcycles, buses, tuk tusk and taxis zipping in out and of lanes and nearly crashing into us and other pedestrians crossing the street. almost getting caught in a torrential downpour, we took cover in a small bathroom in the park until it was clear, and that was when we saw the snake-like river monsters coming up onto the shore, they were harmless, but a little freaky. it is very easy to figure out the subway/metro system and also very cheap (25 baht is less than $1), so we took it 3 stops to the Central Pier to take the Chao Phraya River Boat Express to Chinatown. After breathing in brown exhaust and jumping onto a moving boat we settled in for a 15 minute ride up the river. Chinatown was as sensory overwhelming as any other chinatown. Street vendors selling purses, plastic toys and pig heads. It was crazy crowded but there were some beautiful side streets and alleys that really make you feel you were in a small town in China. So definitely get off the main commercial roads to enjoy the beautiful side of Chinatown. After this, we decided to be even more adventurous and walk another 3 miles back to the hotel thru narrow one-way streets, alleys, across busy intersections, and under highways, thru small 1-cart street vendors and motorcycle repair shops where Thai men were crouching down fixing bikes. it was a sight to see and we felt ‘cool’ being able to experience a very non-tourist, off the beaten path side of Thailand. finally we got to the hotel and crashed for a few, finishing up the night with a couple of cold drinks, while the bar band covered american pop songs. what a day!