Today, we left our incredible hotel with the King-sized bed and beautiful view of Bangkok :( :( but now we're on a train headed to the River Kwai and Kanchanaburi province!! The fun never stops.
Yesterday, on our last day in Bangkok, we went to the King's Palace in Thailand and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Here, we saw where the ashes of THE Buddha are housed. WOW. We also were herded through like cattle to see the Emerald Buddha (which is apparently not emerald at all, but jade). I had a freak out moment, because in all my preparation for this trip, I kept reading everywhere that a woman is NEVER, for NO REASON allowed to touch a monk. There were three little "monks in training" (?) walking into the temple in front of us and I was doing everything in my power to not be shoved into them by the crowd but alas, I was unsuccessful. He turned around and just giggled at me though, so I think all is well. PRECIOUS :)
That afternoon, we did my favorite thing so far: a boat tour of Bangkok. That boat would've violated like 37 American safety violations, but it was a beautiful day and such a cool way to see the city. Highlights: the oldest Catholic missionary in Thailand, built by the Portugese (Nathan and I were the weird Catholics frantically scrambling to get out our cameras at this point. No one else seemed to care), Wat Aran and a hotel where a scene fromThe Hangover 2 was filmed.
We went to Thai Mass that evening. Following Buddhist tradition of removing your shoes when entering a temple, we all removed our shoes outside the church before Mass. SO. COOL. Thai is a beautiful language, and was so pleasant to listen to. We sang traditional Catholic Christmas songs in Thai :) Nathan and I noted that between the combined 12ish languages we've gone to Mass in, this was the only other one besides America where the Priest told jokes during the homily. HA.
That night, Nathan finally got his Pad Thai at a weird but cool local restaurant that only played American 60's music (?) and we both finally found a beer besides Blue Moon we enjoyed.
Newest rendition of food on a stick noted and avoided: seahorse.