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Bangkok, Thailand

Day 4

We awoke at a crazy hour (i.e. before the sun was up) to travel to the Flight of the Gibbon. After a 1.5 hour drive through the palm tree-laden countryside, we arrived at a forest in the middle of nowhere. We were then harnessed up in preparation for flying along ziplines through the trees (like a gibbon apparently). We didn't actually see any gibbons. Or any animals at all really. However, the experience was fantastic. There were about 18 ziplines (the longest being 300 m), two abseils and two suspension bridges. The platforms we waited on between ziplines swayed high up in trees, and there was no barrier between us and the edge, only a flimsy rope. After the first couple of terrifying rides, we learned to trust the equipment and actually enjoy ourselves. The instructors tried to make it scarier by bouncing the ziplines while we were on it and or by swinging us, but this just resulted in more fun. Afterwards the tour took us on a very, very quick drive around an open range zoo, which housed all the typical animals you would see in an Australian zoo, with the addition of flamingoes. We both fell asleep on the two hour bus drive back to Bangkok.

Once in the city again we meandered around the streets, which led us past Erawin Shrine. It was situated on a busy corner but that didn't stop seemingly hundreds of people praying or dancing to traditional Thai music. We elected not to pay to set the birds free, although I'm sure many tourists were sucked in. After this we braced our first motorcycle taxi, which scared the life out of me but Danny loved it. Thankfully our two trips only lasted roughly a minute each - we were too lazy to walk to the end of the street. 

Later that afternoon we made our way to Baiyoke Sky Tower, the highest building in Bangkok, which had a revolving platform on the 88th floor. We arrived as the sun was starting to set, so we could see Bangkok during the day and at night. I say "see" Bangkok, but due to the haze it was hard to make out anything that wasn't nearby. The city appeared to be massive though, stretching off for miles in every direction. Easily the biggest city I have visited. We could see a golf course on the roof of a nearby building, which seemed dangerous but apparently anything goes in Thailand. It was here that we succumbed to a tourist trap and had a photo of ourselves etched onto keyrings - as far as tacky souvenirs go, this wasn't too bad. 

Dinner was at an outdoor BBQ restaurant overlooking the river. Danny and I had never dined at a restaurant like this before: a small BBQ with hot coals was placed in a hole in our table, and a domed metal dish was positioned over the top. The dome had curved edges, allowing us to pour water around the outside (like a moat). The idea was to BBQ small pieces of meat on the domed part while cooking veggies and noodles in the water, then eat them all together with rice and condiments. It was excellent. It was also a great location, watching the cruise boats glide past, feeling like time had slowed down in this fast-paced, non-stop city.

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