Date: Sunday January 4,2016
Location: Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Thailand
On New Years Eve we flew out of Chicago and flew to Dubai on business class with Emirates, which was an amazing experience. Spending 13 1/2 hours on that plane was quite the treat compared to normal flying.
When we arrived in Bangkok, Samantha got online and read through some reviews of what we should do in Bangkok while we were here. She stumbled across the Thai Tour Guide company and found some great reviews of their service so we booked a 9am-4pm day tour with the company and it was a great idea.
Here’s what we did according to their itinerary and below this you’ll see some pictures and my thoughts about each place.
The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple are the perfect introduction to Thailand’s Architecture, Culture and Tradition, You will visit the highlight attractions around this complex such as
The Royal Temple (Wat Phra Kaew, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), The Golden Chedi, Pantheon of the Chakri’s Kings, A miniature replica of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Coronation Throne Hall and Royal Reception Hall
Wat Pho (The Temple of The Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and still an important center for Traditional Thai Medicine and Traditional Thai Massages School
Canal Tour, Take a long tail boat along the bustling Chao Phraya River and quiet Klongs (canals) Passing picturesque scenes of Thai River Life.
By the river see Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) is an important landmark located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The main shrine, decorated with glazed ornaments and ceramics, rises 67 meters towards the heavens. Built during the beginning of King Taksin era, the magnificent temple reflects the glory of the Thai culture. The highest Prang in Thailand symbolizing Hindu-Buddhist cosmology
Pak Klong Talad (Flowers & Vegetables Market), It is known mostly as a wholesale flower market serving everyone from flower vendors to florists, but it also has a good selection of fresh vegetables, which are bought in the pre-dawn hours to be transported to neighborhood markets around Bangkok for sale in the morning.
Pak Klong Talad is the most important flowers & Vegetables wholesale market in town
We started off with visiting The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple.
This place was unreal. In fact, all of the temples that we’ve seen so far are just so detailed it’s insane to think about how much time it actually took to build and touch up everything. We were told that the whole thing took only 3 years to design but with how much was put into it, it’s almost impossible to imagine it only taking 3 years.
One thing that was pretty interesting is where the inspiration for a lot of these came. Many of the designs have a Cambodian style mixed with some Thai and Chinese influences.
Looking at the pictures right now it’s a shame that the camera can’t capture what it’s really like as good as I wish it could.
Every color just POPS and the gold shines so bright it’s unbelievable. I honestly wonder how it doesn’t all get tarnished.
We did go on a Sunday, so it was extremely busy and the fact that it’s immediately after a New Year made it even busier than usual according to our guide, Tao. He did a great job with a lot of the pictures and snapped them with a minimal amount of people in them, which was great.
Next up we went out on the Canal Tour. We took a long tail boat along the bustling Chao Phraya River and quiet Klongs (canals) Passing picturesque scenes of Thai River Life.
A lot of the little kids who were out on their docks with their parents waved to us when we went by them, which was great. Seeing kids from around the world is one of my favorite things. Seeing the joy that simple things can bring into their life helps me to be grateful and appreciate what I see even more.
After the tour we wandered around a bit and ended up walking through Pak Klong Talad (Flowers & Vegetables Market), It is known mostly as a wholesale flower market serving everyone from flower vendors to florists, but it also has a good selection of fresh vegetables, which are bought in the pre-dawn hours to be transported to neighborhood markets around Bangkok for sale in the morning.
Pak Klong Talad is the most important flowers & Vegetables wholesale market in town and holy damn is it enormous. It had more flowers in one spot than I have ever seen and for insanely cheap prices. Sam must have taken 30 pictures of just the orchids and the pricing for them.
The current conversion rate is 1 U.S. dollar = 35.9350295 Thai baht
That means the picture with all of those roses that was 60 baht costs about $2 USD…. insane, right?
Next up was visiting Wat Pho (The Temple of The Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and still an important center for Traditional Thai Medicine and Traditional Thai Massages School
The third largest buddha in Thailand… our guide said it was about 42 meters long! Sadly, the symbol of Buddha laying down meant ill health and was said to be a representation of the end of life.
The details on this were unbelievable.
Massage students use to have to study these pictures, but after passing their tests they were able to practice anywhere in the world. Luckily now, they have an actual school teaching them!
Random facts we learned:
- The halo on the top of Buddha’s head is shown as a way of separating Buddha from man. The images of Buddha with a bald head are actually the monk-version of him
- The things on the top shelf Buddha’s sitting on are all pointing up to show that Buddha is sitting on elevated ground and the ground moves up to support the Buddha.
- Buddha is made to be both female and male
Surprisingly we were allowed to take pictures in here, although you can’t point your feet directly at Buddha so whenever you sit/kneel, you must place your feet in a direction other than directly at Buddha.