Another hot day in Bangkok

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
Trip End Mar 02, 2013

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

I got about 5 hours sleep last night, Bob got about 8. We were to meet our guide at 9am. The itinerary for the day was not too clear. We knew we would be visiting the grand palace and some temples, and there would be boat ride. We did not seem to care that much. Everyone just went with the flow.

The first stop was to the grand palace. It really is an amazingly beautiful place! But since Bob and I have been there 13+ years ago, we really did not want to bother putting on long pants in this hot weather, so we chose to skip it, and went to the Wat Pho instead, which was next door to the palace. We got another hour long massage each, and enjoyed it. I got 3 bug bites while lying on the bed, which made me very nervous - what bug was it?? Hope it was not something that would get on my clothes ..... The lady put some sort of balm on the bites which stopped the itching. I subsequently bought a bottle of the "Wat Po Brand Balm" - it's similar to the Chinese Tiger Balm.

Kung told us she would come to the massage place to find us. And it would take them about an hour to visit the palace. But it turned out she did not come to find us until about noon time. The palace was very crowded, she said, and the others took lots of pictures which took time. That's OK. After we joined the rest of the group, she took us to see the famous big sleeping buddha and other sights in the temple. Everything was beautiful indeed! But it was so hot and I found it hard to enjoy things in this kind of weather. Oh, one interesting thing was that the king's grandson and his schoolmates were in the temple. The 8-year-old boy was surrounded by monks and security people. We happened to be walking into the place they were walking out. We were told to stand to the side while they walked by. Kung told us that the school he goes to is a very exclusive and expensive school. All the kids from that school wear a specific uniform.

Talking about the king of Thailand, Kung told us that the king is a good king and very well liked. We see pictures of him and of him and his wife everywhere. He is already in his mid-80s, and is not in very good health. He has 1 son and 3 daughters. Apparently his son is no good, which is why he has not let him take over. Some say that the king might want the grandson to take over some day....

Any way, after the place and temple visit, we had the choice of visiting another temple. Thankfully others in the group were also not too interested in another temple, so we chose to go on with the boat ride. We hired a private boat, like many tourists did. It's a long narrow boat, with the engine in the back, and a canopy on top. It turned out that the boat ride took us through the back channels, which we did not even know existed. It was interesting to see the houses along the shore. Most houses were wooden huts on wooden stilts. Some had already collapsed, and many were in pretty miserable shape. But there were a few mansions. One of them was made of teak wood, absolutely gorgeous! Kung said the price tag was 16 million baht!

We saw a big "lizard" on a stone platform of some sort by the river. It took me a while before I saw it. Wow, it was huge and very well camouflaged! You really had to look hard to see it! This "lizard" turned out to be a "monitor". It is very similar to the "komodo dragon" - Nat Geo happened to be showing that dragon after we came back to the room (Lucy called us to turn on the TV). They indeed looked very much alike!

After the boat ride, we were hungry so Kung took us to a Thai restaurant nearby, which was air conditioned (our requirement). We had a small lunch, just what we wanted. Then Kung took us to the local market, per our request. I wanted to buy a pair of local pants - the pants that do not really have legs, just 2 holes with elastics and a waist. I saw someone wearing it on the street and it looked so comfortable! I wanted a pair.

The market Kung took us to is actually the night market. But it's also open during the day and is less crowded than at night. It was FUN walking through that place!! The stuff was quite cheap! I got 3 pairs of those pants, for about $7 each :-).

We got back to the hotel before 4pm. Took showers, and started writing my blog. Had dinner with the Warrens, Lucy and Chris in the hotel's restaurant - nobody felt like schlepping out. For tomorrow, we decided not to join Lucy and Chris for the floating market - we had seen it once before and I'm too lazy to go out in the heat to take pictures. We will have a relaxing day tomorrow, maybe try out the swimming pool.
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