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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bangkok, Thailand




Leaving Chiang Mai, we flew back to Bangkok on Monday, August 3. I stayed at the Intercontinental, which is downtown in a large shopping district. On the surface, this was quite different than Chiang Mai. Looking out of the window, one might think it was New York. Consider the traffic:



Or Bangkok's version of Times Square:



That night, we had a great dinner at Bhan Khun Mae (translates to something like "Mom's House"). It was yummy:



The next day I went to visit the Grand Palace, the former home of the royal family. But the huge compound is probably better known for Wat Phraw Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (actually made of pure jade.) The palace is really a must-see in Bangkok. Pictures really cannot capture its grandeur and beauty. Here are a bunch, just to try to give you an idea:











And while we weren't allowed to take pictures of the Emerald Buddha inside the Temple, I did use my zoom to capture it from outside. Notice the clothes on the Buddha -- they are changed for each of the three seasons, and then only by the King.



After the Grand Palace, I left to visit Wat Po, the oldest temple in Bangkok and the home of the famous "Reclining Buddha" which is 147 feet long:



It is really quite beautiful, and it was interesting to see how it changes as you walk through the temple, since it is really difficult to see the full Buddha because of its size and the way it fills up the temple.






After Wat Po, we left to have a Singha beer on the river, completing a lyric from "One Night in Bangkok"-- "This grips me more than would aMuddy old river or reclining Buddha"--



After the beer, we took the river ferry back up the river to the train and back to the hotel.



That night, we had dinner, checked out the night markets, and then I settled down for a few drinks before going back to the Intercontinental to pack for the long voyage home.

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