Really loving this place
03.06.2008 32 °C
We arrived in Bangkok on sunday around lunchtime and cruised easily into the city (about 30mins) from the airport - not by tuk tuk in the picture but by taxi. So far so good. checked into our hotel - only 800 baht ($40) and even has a rooftop swimming pool! (Thanks Melissa!!!) Decent room with whats most important to chris - air con.
We are staying on soi Rambuuttri which is just around the road from the main backpackers hub - Khao San Rd. Went out for a wander and while Chris went back after half an hour or so I stayed and went shopping. I went back a couple of times but only for more money! the shopping is great! I bought 3 dresses for around $8 each!!! Heaps of clothes, massages, manicre/pedicure shops, food stalls etc.
Went for a late afternoon swim and sunbath before heading out to one of the many mnay places selling cheap and delicious thai food. Much much cheaper here. People are also friendlier and not so quick to rip you off.
Next day we met up with a tour guide I had booked through trip adviser. She would be taking us around the sites to let us know what we were looking at so it all had some significance. It was probably one of the best pre-planning decisions I could have made because she was fantastic!!
We went to the grand palace where the 6th and 7th Kings previously lived (they currently are ruled under the 9th King). amazing place, huge and everything is very detailed and all hand painted. Even the wallpaper! We will visit Thailands two ancient capitals in the next couple of weeks - Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.
Ayutthaya is a mass of ruins as a result of war against the Burmese. Apparently during war precious buddha statues and treasures were covered with plaster to conceal their value. We saw two of these - one being the Emerald buddha held at Wat Phra Kaeo and the other the Golden Buddha which is 5.5 tonnes solid gold!
Jan told us a lot of Buddhism and the different Buddhas. There is one for each day of the week differentiated by positions.
The reclining Buddha is the Tuesday Buddha.
This position symbolises entering nirvana (the afterworld).
We also crossed the river Chao Phraya to get to Thomburi. There we saw Wat Arum - which is the temple of the dawn. It was the point of the river that indicated to people that they had reached old siam.
After saying goodbye to the lovely Jan we went for our late afternoon swim and decided it was high time to try out a traditional thai massage. They pulled, paked, prodded, twisted with all parts of their bodies (elbows, feet etc) for an hour. My back and neck clicked around 6 times! It took me around 20 mins to get used to it but after that really enjoyed it. Chris was a bit dazed after - he had a strong guy who didn't hold back. Much cheaper than a chiropractor at $7 an hour!!
Today we wnt to a mansion that King Rama 5th lived in for a few years! Showed us his treasures including too muck ivory for my liking and even hollowed out elephant legs used for who knows what?!?! Then we cruised to a mega shopping centre and bought a cell phone. figured we would need one to find jobs sooner or later even though I would like to pretend we are on holiday for a year!
Spending one more day in Bangkok then off to Kanchanaburi for a couple of nights!