Prior to going to Rangoon, I took an overnight cruise down Thailand’s Chao Phraya River, otherwise known as the River of the Kings.
The boat, called Mekhala, is an old rice barge that has been converted into an elegant sailing vessel with six cabins. You get on the boat in the old capital of Ayuthaya and sail down river to Bangkok, overnight. There is a crew of four, including the lively captain, who is also the tour guide and the cook. Along the way, you visit a couple of villages and a morning market. The trip is something like a voyage through time.
You pass by villages and homes on the water where people live as they have for generations…but slowly, modern Thailand starts to appear…and when you round the bend and cross the border into greater Bangkok, the temples, palaces, and glittering skyscrapers brings you right into modern times.
Meals are elegant and ample, served on deck with proper linens and beautiful Thai celadon. Cabins are cleverly designed, air-conditioned and comfortable…if you are 5’ 10 or shorter!
An inveterate traveler, I have spent a great deal of time searching for new arts and artisans, mostly in Asia. I am drawn to Asia thanks to my 25-year tenure living in Japan. During that period I traveled extensively and often in Southeast Asia. Upon returning to the US, I formed Arts of Asia in order to share the qualities I admire in Asia with my friends and customers in the US. To support this mission, I continue to spend 4 months a year abroad. The search is never ending!