Monday, 16 February 2009

Bangkok

Last week my mother in law and I spent some time in Bangkok. It was the first time that either of us had been there and it was quite an eye-opener. Bangkok is busy and dirty but there is so much to see and do! We arrived on the Monday afternoon and soon settled into our hotel. We went for dinner at the revolving restaurant at the top floor of our hotel. This gave us great views over chinatown and towards the city. The Tuesday morning we were booked into a tour of the palace and of the temples. We visited the reclining Buddha temple which houses a huge gold Buddha, then went on to the palace. This palace gets up to 10,000 visitors a day so we were glad that we went in the morning. There were temples all throughout the palace grounds as well as beautiful murals which were decorated with gold leaf. We actually saw them adding the gold leaf then hand painting the details. It was painstaking work! Our guide tried his very best to tell us as much as he could about the history of the palace but we did struggle a bit with his english which was a bit disjointed. That evening we went to a Thai dance and dinner at the theatre. We had fantastic seats and the show was really good. It took us a while to get there as the traffic was really bad.


On Wednesday we did the bike tour which started off in the heart of chinatown and took us through the wetmarkets and through all the little alleyways of chinatown. From there we went on the boat across the river to the more rural area of Bangkok. Parts of Bangkok are incredibly poor with some houses (shacks) barely out of the water. Despite this, everywhere you went the Thai people were friendly and waved. It was a great way to see Bangkok and I would highly recommend it to anyone going there. I was a bit concerned about my ability to ride as Im not a great bike rider but even I could easily do this. The trip was well organised and plenty of water was provided as well as a delicious thai lunch along the way. Our tour guides all spoke good english as well as quite a bit of dutch. The bike ride was certainly the highlight of our trip! (http://www.covankessel.com/)

On the last evening we decided to do a dinner boat cruise on the river. The food was ok but we did find the cruise a bit disappointing. We both got eaten by mosquitoes on the boat.

Bangkok was busy, dirty and traffic was chaos.(crossing on a pedestrian crossing was extremely dangerous!) It was a great couple of days. Next time we would like to do the River Kwai tour and see some of the outlying areas of Bangkok.
I just loved this photo of the policeman - mask over his face complete with whistle!
Sadly my mother in law has gone back to Holland today - two weeks earlier than planned as her sister in law is very ill. Hopefully she will be able to come back to Singapore later in the year.

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