Sunday, September 12, 2010

11 September 2010 Bangkok

Inside the Grand Palace complex

Inside the Grand Palace complex

Lyn and Mick outside the Temple

Mick and Lyn in the Palace complex

Our hotel room. Note the window enabling one to enjoy the view whilst attending to the call of nature or having a shower. Unfortunately it allows others in the bedroom to watch the proceedings! Note: there is an electrically operated blind for those requiring privacy.

Lyn and Mick on the cruise

Mick cruising! We had a brief shower which soon cleared hence the umbrella

Lyn with a pretty Thai lady

Lyn with a pretty Thai lady who was handing out fluorescent bracelets and necklaces

Lyn with the Thai 'Robbie Williams'. He had a really good voice. The female singer didn't sing as well but her looks made up for that!

Lyn and Mick waiting for dinner on the cruise

11 September 2010

In case you missed it in the previous blog....we'll tell you again...

***We were woken at 6.45am yesterday morning to the wonderful news that Lyn and Mick had become grandparents again to a little boy named Carter Aston West. Weighing in at 7lb 12oz (3.53kgs) and 50cms. Both Mum and baby are doing fine. Congratulations to our lovely son Simon and his beautiful wife Michelle and our gorgeous grandson Lincoln.***

Despite being really tired after poor nights sleep on the flight to Bangkok, Mick didn’t sleep well and two English girls arriving home late in the next room talking loudly and banging about helped neither of us. Such is hotel life.

We had to be up early for our pick up to take us to the Grand Palace complex.

As it turned out we were the only ones taking the tour so we had the tour guide's full attention.

The Grand Palace complex is a huge area of 218,000 square metres and consists of not only the Royal Palace and throne halls but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was established in 1782.

When we went through the gate the guards were pinging people who were not appropriately dressed. We were informed when we booked the tour to wear long pants or skirts and ladies to have their chests/shoulders covered, shoes could be sandals or joggers, no thongs. If you got pinged for the wrong dress there was a stall across the street renting appropriate dress for a few Baht.

4 huge walls, 1900 metres in length, surround the area.

The Grand Palace is a really beautiful and ornate building with the usual gold trim although it is no longer used as the residence of the King and Queen who are very much revered here. The penalty for saying anything derogatory about them is 7 years gaol although the tour guide was not keen to talk about such things, but is keen to hear what the overseas press report.

Mick wanted to discuss the details of the Kings heir to the throne a son. Mick had read in an article in the press that he is apparently is a bit of a playboy and is always doing naughty things. Again, the tour guide didn’t want to talk about such things, but they do like to know what the media/people are saying about the royal family.

After visiting the Grand Palace, we went in to the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha where we had to remove our shoes before entering. It was a special place for people of that religion (including our tour guide) who kneel before the alter and bow touching their faces to the floor a few times.

After completing the tour of the palace complex, the tour guide said that as we had a bit of time left he would take us for a look around the town. This included a stop at a huge Jewelry store called the Gems Gallery and were greeted at the door by immaculately dressed, drop dead gorgeous Thai girls.

Mick said to the tour guide that all the girls are so beautiful and slim and he said that it was the same at the hotel and restaurant to which he replied the XL+ sized girls all work in the kitchen!

Anyway, we were then given a cool drink, and we needed it, as Bangkok is very hot and humid at the moment, before we were shown a video presentation of jewelry manufacture. This showed the various stones used in their jewelry manufacture including the fabulous Green Sapphires, Blue Sapphires and Rubies mined in Thailand.

Did Lyn score any baubles? I wonder.

It was then back to the hotel for a shower to cool down to get ready for an evening dinner cruise on the river.

This turned out to be a very well organized evening with great Thai food and music and much dancing on a huge boat. Each couple had their own table facing forward and the views were great. Lyn danced till she dropped and the Thai hosts insisted Mick did the same. The male Thai singer was a Robbie Williams in the making.

A great finale to an all too short visit to Bangkok and apart from the yet to undertake flight home via Thai airways, a great end to the final day of our Overseas Adventure.

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