I took 850 pictures on my trip. I’ve been felling a bit overwhelmed about going through them all but today it is getting tackled! Unfortunately, now that I’ve been home almost two weeks, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to remember in what order everything happened. But I’ll do my best. I will also keep the words to a minimum ’cause pictures are the best part so if you want more story behind anything, let me know, I’ll gladly tell!
The first hurdle of course, was getting there. I spent many, many hours in planes and airports going from Greensboro to Atlanta to LA to Taipei to Bangkok. Thankfully, I’m able to sleep on planes so it wasn’t unbearable. We got into Bangkok at 2am so after sleeping for a few hours we met up with the whole group and our guide. Kit has been a tour guide for 22 years so she knew her stuff. We were a large group of 39 and against the odds, there was no one that we disliked. There were two brothers from LA, one very talkative and one very quiet, there was a Slovakian couple from Toronto and the guy was such a caricature of someone large, old, red faced. They were both nice though. Most of the group was older and pretty well traveled but there was one couple, Jamie and Mike from Houston who were closer to my age and I liked them a lot.
So anyway, we started in Bangkok for three days in a really nice hotel (they all were). We went to the Reclining Buddha which is the third largest Buddha in Thailand at 151 feet. It is plated in 24 karat gold and had the most amazing Mother of Pearl inlay covering the bottom of it’s feet. The fact that it’s laying down symbolizes that he achieved nirvana.
(Foot detail. The circle is probably about one a half feet in diameter.)
The Reclining Buddha is in the same place as the Grand Palace, the oldest temple in Thailand. It is covered in the most amazing glass mosaics, ceramic mosaics and tiling, and gold…
and is surrounded with lots of Chinese demon statues that are for protection…
a scale model of Angkor Wat in Cambodia…
and statues teaching massage stretches.
The Grand Palace was the
(and still is a) massage school so there are a lot of diagrams or pressure points and such for teaching purposes.
They began building it in a very European style but the king changed his mind at some point and it was finished in a more Thai style. The king no longer lives in this palace after his older brother was assassinated in his bedroom there, which left him to become king.
We also went to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is actually a single piece of Jade but they call any green stone emerald. It has three different outfits, one for winter which it was wearing when we were there, one for summer, and for rainy season. Only the king can change his attire.
We went to show one night called Siam Niramit, a huge production (and in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the tallest stage) about the art and cultural history of Thailand. It was a great and beautiful production (where pictures were not allowed).
We went on a River cruise another night that was very touristy. There was not one but two lounge acts. We could see the Grand Palace all lit up though which was very pretty.
So that was Bangkok.