Bangkok, Thailand: As our time in Asia comes to a close, we decided to spend our last week in Bangkok. Our exhausting first day touched on the contrasts this city is known for: vibrant street life, religion & reform. We met up with Melissa’s NY-based friend Taleah who happens to be in Thailand at the same time. We hopped a water taxi down the Saen Saeb Canal with the locals, getting off where we saw some street tailors & interesting food stalls. Instead of immediately finding Wat Ratchanatdaram and Wat Pho as we’d hoped, we stumbled upon a demonstration site with an Olympic-sized television broadcasting political rhetoric and hundreds of protesters’ camp sites. We made our way through and were on to visit the reclining Buddha, a 130-foot gold marvel who appears blissfully unfazed by Bangkok’s sweltering heat. Afterward, we engaged in a lively cross-language argument with a long tail operator who couldn’t believe that No, we didn’t want an hour-long tour and instead hopped back on a water taxi to wind our way back to where we started. We’re exhausted, but captivated with being back in a city after so long. More to come as we experience the multitude of layers this city is known for.