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Thailand

Day 3, Last day in Bangkok


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large_938978_12077655011310.jpgWake-up call at 6.30 am. After a nice breakfast we left for the Grand Royal Palace. Amazingly big. All the buildings where huge and the gardens were gorgeous. Beside every door there were two Giant Guardians. There were a lot of small temples inside the complex, and a lot of statues. The Guardian Giants were really impressive. They were as big as the buildings and beautifully colored. Every roof was decorated with little dragons or golden curls at the ends. Througout the palace where statues placed of mythical beasts called Kinnorn. This creature is half bird, half man.

There was also a replica of the Angkor Wat. Our guide told us that this building style was used a lot for other temples in Thaliand, like in Ayutthaya which we would visit later on this trip.large_938978_12077655097117.jpg We also saw the Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple, just like the rest of the palace, was build under the reign of King Rama I.

Parts of this Grand Palace are still in use by the current Royal family of Thailand. When there are statevisitors in Thailand some buildings are still used for State business, dinners and such. Close to these buildings i saw a sort of guardian lions as there are in China, except these where looking to the side instead of foreward and looked a bit different. There also was the place where the body of the recent deceased princess was kept. The body has to stay there 100 days before it can be cremated. For her honor they are building a completely new crematorium of around 400 million Baht if i remember it right.large_938978_12077655256676.jpg ..

After that we go a walk through China Town. And it was indeed a walk, a really fast one and we didn't even got the chance to shop around...When we got to the pier there was a boat ready to take us for a ride over the klongs. It was a pretty big boat, a little scary to get in but it all went ok ;) Along the way we saw very different things. Some houses were like villas, amazingly big, while other houses were little and old. There also were a lot of shops close to the water.
We also saw a lizard under a fence, and a lot of stray dogs lying on terraces of the houses. Every house or shop had a spirit house in front of it, to protect it from bad spirits and for good luck. It was told that those spirit houses also stood in front of many hotels, companies, malls etc.large_938978_12077655056383.jpg

After the ride on the klongs we had lunch on a boat over the Chao Praya River. From there we saw Wat Arun, the temple of Dawn. Unfortunately we didn't visit that one. When we got back we did visit the Wat Traimit. In that temple stands the heaviest Golden Buddha, 5500 kg of pure gold.

That evening we went to the most popular and well-known show of Bangkok, Siam Niramit. It was a play about the history of Thailand, the people and the way of living, festivals, and their beliefs. Truly fantastic, the colors of the suits were beautiful and the music was beautiful and it was better then words can Ever discribe. Unfortunately pictures were not allowed :( That was the last evening in Bankok, the following day we would be leaving for Kanchanaburi.

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Day 2, Arrival in Bangkok


View Beautiful Northern Thailand on Astreia's travel map.

large_938978_12075064462941.jpgAfter the flight which 'only' took 10 hours and 20 minutes, we arrived at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport. And it was huuuuge. But a very pretty building. It was 7.10 am when we arrived at the airport. After about an hour (going through customs, getting bagage), we met our Dutch travelguide Peter and our local Thai guide Phi Thoy. We got to the bus and after we started driving the chauffeur and busboy were introduced to us.

Two and a half hours later we arrived at the Bangkok Palace Hotel. Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we had to wait for about an hour more. In the meanwhile we got a general introduction about Thailand and the groupmembers were introduced to each other. It appeared that my friend was the youngest member, and i was third.large_938978_12075064471763.jpgDessert!The room was pretty, the view a lot less, but that didn't really matter.

In the afternoon we went to see the tallest building in Bangkok, Baiyoke Sky Hotel; 309 meters, 84 floors, about a 10 minute walk. We had lunch on the 78th floor, and had an amazing view over Bangkok. After lunch we went to the 84th floor to the 'revolving roof deck'. After taking a few pictures and enjoying the view, we went back to the hotel.

Bangkok is an enormous city, with about just as much citizens as the Netherlands (8 million registered, but estimated 15-16 million), but on an area as big as the Dutch province of Utrecht...It is in a way a really beautiful city, with friendly people and many local shops. But it is also an ugly city which smells because of the traffic and the pollution and not so clean streets.

That evening we had a dinnercruise on the Chao Praya River. The cruise was very nice and the view very pretty because most things on shore were lit, and the food was quite ok, but everybody was so tired from the flight and not much sleep that everyone was practically sleeping at the end of it. Funny part was when the buffet opened. A lot of people practically stormed at the table to be the first to eat....like a lot of ants crawling around a table. But as said everyone was glad it was over so they could go back to the hotel and have a good sleep.

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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