Angie and Me in SE Asia travel blog

Outside the Emerald Buddah

How much gold?

A small Angkor Wat

Outside the temple

Holding up the wall

A sneaky picture of the Emerald Buddah

Guards at the Grand Palace

Reclining Buddah head

Reclining Buddah body

Caught a taxi from the hotel to the skytrain station, the driver asked where we were going so we explained we were going to get the skytrain to the river ferry then go down by the ferry to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) he said we would take us to the ferry station for 100 baht, we agreed, on the way he offered to be our taxi for the day and to take us where we wanted to go for 400 baht, we agreed to this too. % minutes laterhe drops us at the ferry station and collects his 100 baht, I still have no idea what happened with his second offer.

We bought an all day ferry pass, for 150 baht (£3) each, jumped aboard the first ferry and headed down the river towards the Grand Palace. We were so busy admiring the view from the boat that we missed the stop and had to get off at the next pier and get the next boat back. We got off at the right stop this time and walked through the market towards the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddah. As we got out of the market we were approached by a man who asked us where we were going, when we told him he told us the Grand Palace was closed. what a surprise, we thanked him for his help but said we would have a walk around the outside walls anyway, within another 150 ye\ards we were approached by another man who told us it was closed too, again we said thanks and moved on to the entrance and surprise, surprise it was open, so we paid our 350 baht and went in.

Once inside you are sent first to the Temple of the Emerald Buddah, the buildings there are very ornate with lots of gold on show and a large model of Angkor Wat. There is also a mural around the outer wall of the temple and this was far more impressive than the one we had seen previously in Phnom Penh. We walked around the outside of the main temple taking many photographs. Eventually it was time to enter the Temple and view the Emerald Buddah, as usual shoes are removed before entering. There was no photography allowed in the temple, but Angie managed to sneak one of the Buddah. While in there however Angie managed to disgrace herself in the extreme. The biggest no no in Thailand is to point your bare feet at anybody, Angie only sat down and pointed her bare feet at the buddah, the most spiritually iconic figure in Thailand. This is the equivalent of going to the Vatican and baring your bum to the Pope, she was swiftly admonished by one of the guards and had to sit crossed legged for the rest of our time in the temple.

After visiting the temple we moved onto the Grand Palace, it was certainly grand and again very ornate, although we were only allowed in 2 rooms, one full of knives, swords, picks etc and the other full of guns. After Angie had finished pushing the camera to its limit, we left there and headed around the corner to Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddah) I liked the sound of this buddah already. WE again met another man on the way who informed us this temple was closed, I wish they would get a new line in patter. We got there and wandered around, into the first room, a big buddah sat there staring at us, the second room, a big buddah staring at us, this continued for about twenty minutes till we eventually found the reclining buddah, this was a big buddah, about 30 yards long and reclining, very impressive, I like its style. After viewing the buddah and photographing it from every known angle we left and headed back for the ferry.

The next port of call was to be Khoa San Road, the notorious backpackers area of Bangkok which we had been advised to visit, if not to stay in. Onece off of the ferry we were approached by another man (surely the road wasnt closed) who told us there was nothing worth visiting the way we were going and he would take us to another buddah, thanks, but no thanks mate. We eventually found the infamous street found a bar/restaurant, sat down had some lunch and beer and watched the world go by. To be honest it was not as bad as I had imagined and when Angie said she could have coped with staying there, because it was much livelier than where we are I could have kicked myself for not booking something there. We finished our lunch and wandered up and down the Khoa San Road to take in the atmosphere, which was fairly frantic, the made our way back to the ferry. Once back on the ferry, we headed back home, but as is usual these day at around 4pm, the heavens opened and torrential rain began to fall. We got off of the ferry at our pier just as the rain began subside, we looked for a taxi but couldn't find one so wandered towards the main road, just as the weather gods decided to have their fun. The rain came down in torrents, we dived under some shop covers to avoid the worst of it. As we stood there huge chunks of silt came off of the roof and landed on the pavement, this was quite amusing, thinking we were glad we werent stood under them, then about ten minutes later, huge chunks of concrete followed the silt onto the pavement near where we stood. We decided to remain in the shop doorway for the time being. We tried to flag down passing taxis, they ignored us, the ladies who sold street food where we were sheltering tried to flag down taxis, they were ignored too. So after about an hour we moved on towards the main road. We were approached by a tuk tuk driver who offered to take us to our hotel for 200 baht, but we would have to visit his "sponsor"on the way, he got told NO too. We eventually made it to the main road where there were plenty of taxis, most of them going the wrong way and many of them occupied. We couldnt cross the road because the water was shin deep on our side of the road although clear on the other. About half a mile on we did manage to find a shallow part of the road and cross. We then managed to get a taxi who agreed to take us back to or hotel, unfortunately we were in the middle of the notorious Bangkok rush hour again. We were less than 4 miles away from our hotel and it took us an hour to get there. The rain was still falling so we went to a restaurant for dinner close to the hotel, the food was ok but nothing to memorable and as seems the custom here I had almost finished mine by the time Angie got hers.

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