Temple hopping and city shopping
Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
40Trip End Dec 16, 2010
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On Tuesday we got up in the morning for our free breakfast, which was toast, eggs and frankfurter - by far the best free breakfast we've had on our trip! We then headed out to the Grand Palace, THE temple to see in Bangkok. Fortunately the first person to speak to us was a little old lady, clearly doing her shopping so I wasn't too suspicious. She was well chuffed to have correctly guessed where we were going - "I know because you wear long clothes to sleeves and trousers" (you have to cover to the elbows and feet to visit the temples).
After that, several people tried to tell us the palace was closed, for various reasons, but we ploughed on through this and the cries of "Tuk Tuk!" "Taxi!" to arrive safely in one piece
After we headed to the Wat with the famous reclining Buddha, which is around 46m long - again really impressive!! That left us mostly templed out so we headed for a shopping mall the other side of town, managing to pick up a taxi driver who only spoke a little English but had great fun trying to teach us Thai. I got a new phone to replace my old handset - just an old Nokia model but rather than being second hand as we'd expected for the price it's brand new - so we're connected to the world again.
In the evening we managed to get a good meal in an Indian and then there was a huge thunderstorm - thunder and lighting here is so much louder and brighter than at home!
The following day we headed to the Vimanek mansion, the largest teak mansion in Thailand apparently, built by Rama 5. We also went into a palace with an unpronouncable name there which housed examples of Thai art and craft commissioned by the Queen, most of which just left us speechless
Our next and final stop was Jim Thompson's house, the American who brought fame to Thai textiles and mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia. He built his house in traditional Thai style so it was quite an interesting stop. It also had one of the best English-speaking tour guides we've had so far!
We then revisited the Condoms&Cabbages restaurant that Keiron went to with Rach and her family 5 years ago (5 years!!) and had a look at Patpong market in the evening.
Having visited the train station and spoken to tour operators, we've decided to fly to Chaing Mai instead of getting the train/bus. There has been flooding between here and Chaing Mai (in the north) which means the trains aren't able to run direct so we'd have to get a bus in the middle, adding to an already long 12-hour journey, and as a result the buses are packed. Flying out on Saturday and back Tuesday of the following week. That gave us some more time in and around Bangkok, so the next stop is Kanchanaburi for a few days out of the city.