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Saturday, November 21, 2009

A day in Bangkok with Air!

It was great seeing Air and spending the day with him! We met him this morning at 10 and he was a great tour guide! He showed us all around the city, answered all our questions and told us so many interesting things about Bangkok and Thailand that we would never have known if it wasn’t for him!
We went to the Grand Palace, again, and this time actually went inside! I had to wear a cardigan to cover my shoulders and borrow a long skirt because my shorts were too short! The Grand Palace is beautiful. It was built in 1782 and has a western/European style to it. It’s no longer the home of the King but it houses government offices, temples and a meeting hall where the King has conferences and meetings with World leaders. The grounds cover 218,000 square meters, surrounded by 4 walls. Inside there are also Temples and the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha, where people and monks come to pray and show their respect. There is also a golden shrine where relics are kept, a miniature Angkor Wat, an many statues.

The entrance to the Grand Palace

Me & Air!

The Golden Shrine

Katie & I in front of a temple inside in the Grand Palace

A Temple Gaurd

After this we took a ferry boat for 3 baht and crossed the river, which took about 3 minutes. On the west side of the river is Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn). The Temple has the steepest stairs ever, but it was worth the climb because the views of the river and the city were spectacular.

Houses along the river

A view of Wat Arun from the boat

views from the top

After this we went back across the river and had lunch near Air’s university. I tried Air’s recommendation of stir fried cashew nuts with chicken, onion, dry chili and chili paste with soya and rice, for only 49 baht ($1.40)! He showed us his University and the building where all his classes are held. I was impressed with how modern the facilities and buildings were! Katie also got her fortune read, and she is going to be very successful by age 27!
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Weekend Market called Chatuchak Market. It’s even bigger than the night market last night. It was very overwhelming for me, especially in the heat. People had maps just so they could find their way around! I didn’t buy anything here, but I did get to try Thai ice cream that was served in a coconut shell with shaved coconut pieces, so I was happy with that one purchase!

We went to the hospital after this because Katie has a horrible rash on her back. This hospital visit went much quicker than mine in Patong, mostly due to the fact that we had Air there with us and he could translate for us!
For dinner we headed back over to the Kao San area and I tried a red curry dish with rice called Chicken Paneang. Even though I ordered it not spicy my mouth was still on fire! Thank god I did not order it spicy, as it is usually served. I guess the Thai people are just so used to all the spices here, seeing that they eat them from a very young age, and can handle it a lot better than I can. I can’t wait to go home and order Thai food again and see how it compares to the real Thai food! Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Air after dinner because he had to go home. So Katie and I walked around Kao San road and did a little more shopping, naturally. We finally were able to haggle with someone and get dvd’s for 50 baht ($1.60)! Everyone is selling them for 100 baht ($3.30), and wouldn’t go lower than 60 baht. We had originally said no to this mans price of 55 baht and walked away. But minutes later, when we were half way down the street, he came running up to us and offered them at 50 baht each. We spent the rest of the night picking out dvd’s and testing them out to make sure they were good quality, which surprisingly most of them were, except some of the ones that ate still in the theaters and someone sat inside and recorded it with a video recorder. We still paid more than we did for the ones in Indonesia, which were about 80 cents each, but what can you do?

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