. Jai loves anything to do with the Royal family - of any country - and loved it here. We walk on passing the small fort of Mahakam that is closed today then past Wat Ratchapaddaram with a stange black towers on its roof - unique as far as I can say. We pass another building with advertisements everywhere for 'The Glorious Story of Nitasrattanakosin' which appears to have a music connection. As I understand it, the exhibition is opening today and we are the very first visitors. Only stay for 5 mionutes so it doesnt bode well for them. Pass the Democracy Monument sat in the middle of a very bust junction and pass a 200m stretch of road that is packed with people buying and selling lottery tickets. Continmue to our old noodle shop which is closed again today and it looks as though it may be permanent. We eat very poor Thai food on the street then back to the room for a bit. As we are approaching the guest house we are accosted by a young girl who had recognised us and had previously worked in our friends bar in Chiangmai. She is now working at the guest house next door to us. Leaving Jai sleeping mid afternoon I go out for a last walk amongst people for a while. I stop and watch some muay Thai training in a small alley, pass Khao San Road and cut back through Wat Chana Songkhram, the Victory Temple. Named by King Rama I after victory in the battle of the nine armies against Burma many years ago it still has military significance. Took a couple of coffees from 7/11 back to room. There is an 'interesting' notice behind the counter at reception which reads "Check-In. If you have bicycle, motorcycle, pet, child or Thai people coe with you, please inform before" - I wonder which is the worst evil !!
We check out as close to our 6 o'clock deadline as we can and after eating at the guest house take a taxi to Mo Chit. The traffic is terrible and it takes us best part of an hour to get there. We make our way through the hordes of people to By No 47 (of 85 !!) and the Mukdahan bus. There is a bus already waiting but unfortunately not ours. Ours leaves on time, however, at 20:10 and is comfortable enough.
A great sleep last night and we are down for breakfast at 07:30. Walk to Sanam Luang park but it is completely surrounded by a high metal fence and appears to be in the process of being dug up. We take a taxi to the Golden Mount, alledgedly the highest natural point in Bangkok. Today it is surrounded by street salls and a small fair complete with big wheel. We climb out the spiral staircase that surrounds the mount 'Phu Khao Tong'. It is quite cloudy today and even the odd trace of a raindrop but the view from the top is still pretty good. The chedi itself is dressed in red so technically it is not even a golden mount today. We decide that we have been sat down enough the last few days and will walk back to the guest house. At the foot of the mount by the sweet smelling canal that is still used for passenger boats is a small museum dedicated to an earlier King and Queen, Prajadhipok and Rambhai Barni. It is quite interesting with well posted English signs and had some good well laid out exibits. Discovered that they lived in Surrey and Kent for quite a long time