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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bangkok - Day 2 Marble temple

Day 2 started with some bloopers. Shub had set her alarm for 7 am but had forgotten to change the time on her watch. Now Bangkok is an hour behind Singapore, so there we were, up at six and nothing to do. As she related to me how she had never gotten up that early even for work, I laughed and laughed and laughed at her, oblivious to how I was going to fall in the same trap the very next day!

We decided to give a wake-up call to the guys. Strangely, we couldn't get through. It seemed like the phone was engaged. "Who are they talking to at this hour?" and "Maybe no calls are allowed so early?" were two of our responses. Finally we decided to call reception and ask them to get us through. This is how the supremely embarrassing conversation went.

Receptionist - Bossotel, good morning.
Me - Hi, good morning! Could you connect me to room 508?
Receptionist - Uhh... are you looking for a username?
Me - No, I would like to speak to the guests in room 508.
Receptionist - Ma'am, are you looking for Internet access?
Me - No no. I just want to speak on the phone. Please connect me to room 508.
Receptionist - Ma'am, you ARE in room 508.
Me - *horrified pause* Err... thank you!

Me - Shub, we ARE in room 508! :O

Turns out both of us had conveniently forgotten that we had taken over the guys' room 508. Sheesh. After spending some ten minutes laughing at our idiotic behaviour, we finally called the correct room number and woke the guys up.


When Shub went to take a bath, I clicked some pictures of the balconey which looked very pretty in the morning light.

On the way down, we saw this fire extinguisher.

We were horrified to see the dates on the extinguisher! 2-3-51?? This thing had been last checked on 2nd March 1951???? (Turns out the Thai years are written differently, and 51 actually refers to 2008.)

We went down for breakfast and saw unbelievably colourful cabs parked right outside our hotel.

Grand structure opposite our hotel - I'm not so sure if it's a temple.

The breakfast turned out to be an absoluely amazing one. We were cursing ourselves for not having got a camera along and take pictures of the food. We did so the next morning. I think only a foodie like Pizzadude will be able to do justice in describing it, and he has done so here. I was disappointed about not having a camera too - not because I wanted to photograph the food, but more for the hot Thai policemen who popped by our hotel for breakfast too.

We had a lot to do and had planned to quickly grab breakfast and head out to see the grand palace and temples. What we actually did can be described as the exact opposite of "quickly grab breakfast". We hogged and hogged on the food until we could hog no more and had to move ass. I don't think I'd ever had so much mango at one go.

Finally, we were off to the jetty!

Unlike SIngapore, flower shops are very common on the streets of Bangkok.


We popped by 7-11 to buy some water, and I took pictures of Thai McDonald's burgers.

More mangos!

The variety of street food was unbelievable! Of course, a lot of it didn't look very edible. :P


Huge guavas


Robinson Mall, where we had dinner the night before


More colourful cabs!

And finally we reached the river!

Traditional Thai boat


Timepass activities till our boat arrived...


Policeboat?


Shot taken from inside our boat


Boat ticket

The ride was a very scenic one, and one after the other, grand structures were rolling in.
















Finally we had reached our destination. Frankly I had no idea which stop to get off at, and I was glad that our navigator Shub was armed with the knowledge and confidence to lead the way.

Streetfare

Stall selling "fish's gastric soup" (Click on the picture if you don't believe me!)

Colourful array of fruits displayed in glasses

A young artist performing under a tree

He played on, oblivious to his surroundings.

We walked for a bit and then met this guy who, upon discovering the Indians, kept saying "Achha achha!" It was hilarious. He told us that the palace would only open at 1 pm, and that we could take a tuk-tuk and see some temples first. He even fixed up a tuk-tuk for us and negotiated the trip at 40 baht.

In the tuk-tuk and studying the map

Viv doesn't look too happy, does he?

Our first stop was the Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram, also known as the marble temple. The temple's name literally means the Temple of the fifth King located nearby Dusit Palace, and was named so upon King Chulalongkorn's request to construct it near his palace.


Built in 1899, the temple was designed by Prince Naris, a half-brother of the king, and is built of Italian marble.




This Buddha statue, known as the Phra Buddhajinaraja was cast in 1920. The ashes of King Chulalongkorn are buried beneath the statue.

Window of the ordination hall that houses the statue


Outside the ordination hall, there are 52 buddha statues, collected by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab for his king.


Statue coated in gold leaf

Fasting Buddha

Description of the statue


Viv makes a round of inspection to make the shot look natural...

...while I just pose!

Viv and me

Pizzadude and Viv on the bridge

More beautiful structures

I like this picture - very postcard-y.

Silly shot of me in the tuk-tuk's rear view mirror

And here's the strange part - the tuk tuk driver insisted on taking us to this gems workshop called Chin, saying he would get gasoline vouchers if we went there. We had no plans to buy any gems, but we still went anyway.

Gem-cutter hard at work


The blue is beautiful!


I'm not into stones but those sure looked pretty!

Whoa! How do you pronounce the name of this stone?

Hey I think I have a top that would match these stones!

The gems workshop actually had a sign on the wall warning tourists of tuk-tuk drivers who force them to go there. "The tuk tuk drivers do not work for us." It said. Yeah right. :/

Our driver then said he wanted to take us to James Tailor because apparently we did not stay at the gems workshop long enough for him to get his gasoline vouchers. Who was giving out these vouchers anyway? He said it won't take more than 10 minutes. We agreed. (Never ever do that.)

James Tailor turned out to be this tailoring shop which is apparently a world-record holding shop with 500 tailors who can churn out a shirt each in one hour. We looked around, but nothing really caught our eye.

So we headed back to where we started and looked around for a lunch place.

Ch. Prathumtong caught our eye.

The place is literally a hole in the wall, but inside, it was stuffed with people and other stuff.

The Thai people absolutely adore their king and like to put pictures of him in their homes and shops.

Yummilicious Pad Thai - before

Yummilicious Pad Thai - after!

Coming up next - the Grand Palace!

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2 Comments:

  • loved the pics.. the best part was ur and vivs picture together and the colroful taxies.. nice

    By Blogger Maryum, at 8:15 PM  

  • aha just came back from bangkok.
    What an experience.
    You should go there for the Thai New Year.
    Its a lot like Holi except that they play with Jasmine powder and water.
    No to mention the Silom street is jam packed.
    It was awesome.
    The Tuk Tuk took you to the gem cutters didn't they?
    Mine vanished after the marble temple. It seems they get paid 5 liters of petrol for the every batch of tourists they bring in.

    By Blogger Sandew, at 12:00 PM  

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