"...the [Chao Phraya] river bisects the city and feeds the many canals that cut through neighborhoods like so many veins and arteries...after getting on a long tail boat...[w]e sped down the river taking in views of the city. It's a truly splendorous way to travel.
"Our first stop was Wat Arun. An ornate Buddhist temple stippled by statues of cows and Gods from the Hindu pantheon, Wat Arun dares one to tumble down its pyramidal step formations. Near the end of our explorations of the vertiginous structure, I glimpsed a Buddhist monk working as a clerk behind the counter of the Wat Arun gift shop. This image inhabited me with a bemused sense of sweaty irony. I find it fatuously unsettling how easily Buddhism has taken to the highly commercial culture of modernity.
"The long tail boat than took us into a labyrinthine latticework of canals innervating Thai neighborhoods that alternate seemingly at random between wooden shantytowns and opulent villas...we stopped at a large orchid farm populated by gorgeous airborne flowers. I looked up at the opal sky, overcome by delicate blossoms with the mouths of insects..."