Bangkok - That late Christmas feeling.....

Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
Trip End Feb 07, 2009

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bangkok - That late Christmas feeling.....

Arrived in Bangkok in the middle of the day and headed on over to one of the only pre-booked hotels that Mish had arranged before we left on our travels.  With the name of the hotel being Charlie's and situtated not far from where one can watch a game of ping pong (those of you that have been here will know what I mean) we were apprehensive about the type of place we were going to be staying in. After instructing the taxi driver on the location he seemed some what confused and ended up getting lost.  Seems Charlies isn't all that popular!

Upon our arrival in the hotel it soon became clear.  A room with no windows and burns stains all over the carpet and bedding, we headed back downstairs and made our excuses and left.... not before Mish demanded a refund for the 2nd nights stay and got it!!

Thanks god for Ibis hotels.  After checking in we headed on over to the famous weekend market in the Chatuchak for some Thailand bargains and were not dissappointed.  The market was absolutely huge and sold absolutely everything you could imagine!  On one of the streets there were loads of stalls selling puppies (of the pet variety, not for food..... well at least I think they weren't) and Mish was nearly sucked in by the cute faces and soft fur.  Having finally conceded that we couldn't pack one in a backpack we carried on around the very busy market to continue browsing.  Travelling through vietnam and Laos we were used to seeing the same old rip off T-shirts and watches etc on sale and this Market was no different.  There was just more of it.  

Leaving the market with only one purchase we headed in the city to get a flavour of what Bangkok had to offer. 
Then came that late Christmas feeling....  Bangkok's city centre was just lit up with Christmas displays and decorations everywhere and all of a sudden we both had a little Christmas feel running through us.  There also seemed to be more tourists than locals with a surprisingly large number of Japanese tourists.  They were probably here for the shopping as Bangkok is absolutely full of shopping malls.  We counted 14 on just one street.

Only being in this vibrant city for a couple of days we decided to visit some of the local sites, The Grand Palace and the Lying Budha.

Nothing can prepare you for the Grand Palace in terms of the size, beauty, and the spiritual vibe it gives out.  After taken many a picture and trying to gain a little understanding of the history behind the palace we finally went into the main part of the palace where you find the little green emerald budha (Temple of the Emerald Budha) and instantly we were both taken aback by the whole spiritual feel you get when gazing in this room. So much gold, gems, colour and walls telling so many stories through pictures, we ended up sitting in silence on the floors for about 20 minutes just staring all around the Temple (yes Mish was still for a whole 20 mins!).  Both feeling very ignorant and not knowing much about Budism and the History of this place, we headed to to the exit after first buying a book on Budism....  (don't worry, we're not coming back with bald heads and orange robes!).  After the Palace we headed over to the lying Budha which is situtated a short stroll away from the Grand Palace (see attached picture).  The budha is huge and is about 60 feet long.  Hard to get a good view of the whole thing as it is covered in a building and you had to walk around the edges.   Why they covered such an impressive momument we will never know.

Our final evening we spent having a scrummy japanese meal and then strolled up and down the soho area of Bangkok.  Everywhere we went people wanted us in their bars to watch some ping pong or something similiar.... one even wanted us to watch a razor blade show (hmmm sounds interestingly painful).....  we were tempted but refrained as we had an early flight the next morning.

Bangkok has a great history and a fantastic feel about it.  Next time we are in this area we made a note to come back and visit. 

Next stop.... Ko Phi Phi!!
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