Around The World 4 Bangkok

I like the way the sun was shining through this lampost which sits on the Pont des Arts before it crosses the Seine, near the Louvre.

Blue skies with a few clouds always make the Louvre Pyramid look better to me.

January 8th
We took a motorcycle ride to the skytrain. I hold on tightly, keep my eyes closed and pray we don’t wreck. I’ve seen too many victims of motorcycle accidents in my days as an operating room nurse to be comfortable. The fact that the driver had a helmet and I didn’t, didn’t help but we made it to the train station safely. We boarded the train, switched trains once and went to the end of the line which took us to the Chao Phraya River. At the harbor there we took a water taxi eight stops and went to see Wat Pho, the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok. The best thing there was the giant gold reclining buddha. It was huge with lots of worshippers burning incense. There was also a large gallery of many smaller buddhas. This is where a famous massage school is run as well. Then we took a very short boat ride across the river to Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn. It was much more elaborate with alot of Chinese porcelain covering the temples, some made into shapes of flowers. Then we walked to the Grand Palace. This was so huge, elaborate and ornate that the other two wats sort of fadded from memory. There was a huge temple totally covered in gold. The grounds were enormous and took forever to walk around, especially in the heat. This is the home of the Emerald Buddha which seems to be the most venerated in Thailand. There were many worshippers and it was extremely elaborate, almost overdone in decorations. The buddha was actually very small and was dressed in a gold robe-it is changed seasonnally thrree times during the year.
There is a famous week-end market, Chanachak, that we drug ourselve to. It was huge and packed with everything you could think of. We bought a wall hanging and two t-shirts and ran out of energy, tired of fighting the crowds in the heat. We took the metro back and then the motorcycles again back to the hotel.
The people seem very sweet and warm here. Whenever we enter a hotel or restaurant they put their hands together and bow their heads. Maurice and I like the difference between Hong Kong and Bangkok. Bangkok seems different than most big cities. Except for the food and the people, Hong Kong could be NYC in many ways as it is so very western. Bangkok seems very eastern still even though they are working fast to be modern. There is still a huge difference between the rich and poor.

Some of the tile made into a flower motif found on the side of a temple.

Three gods holding up part of a building.

I especially loved the roof line of the many temples in Thailand.

The head of the reclining buddha-hard to see how enormous it is.

I don’t know why the feet of this buddha are outside the container, just thought it was worth a photo.

The very elaborate gold covered Grand Palace.