Bangkok - Stop #3


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January 16th 2009
Published: January 16th 2009
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Bangkok - Stop #3

We will be making 2 stops in Thailand. After a short stay in Bangkok we will travel to Malaysia for a week. When we return to Thailand we will be staying on the island of Phuket.

Bangkok is a sprawling city of congested traffic, dirty air, street vendors, food stalls, river boats, opulent palaces and incredible temple grounds. Taxis are cheap and are the easiest means of transportation even with the constant traffic jams. In 2 days we were able to see the Grand Palace grounds, visit 3 Wats (temples), inspect the Royal Barges, check out the old Oriental Hotel and complete all the travel arrangements for our trip to Burma/Myanmar.

The temples and the Grand Palace are amazing places covered with glass and porcelin embellishments. Much of the porcelin, used to cover the stupas, was once used as ballast in ancient Chinese ships. Over the years it was recycled and cut into various shapes to create the facades of the many stupas. The temple grounds are nice quiet retreats from the noise and frenetic pace of the city.

The Buddhas are everywhere and we have probably seen over 100 already. The most important one in Bangkok is a 26 inch jade Buddha that is called the Emerald Buddha. It is housed in a temple at the Grand Palace. Most Buddhas are covered in gold leaf which is applied by the many people who go to the temples to pray. While most Buddhas are shown sitting or standing, the reclining Buddha in Wat Po has a special significance. When the Buddha is reclining it symbolizes that he has reached Enlightenment. All other positions symbolize his quest for Enlightenment. The Wat Po temple is the largest and the oldest in the city. The reclining Buddha it houses is 150 feet long.

At the Royal Barges Museum we were able to view 8 of the barges used by the Royal family for special holiday celebrations. Many of these date back to the early 1800s. The barges are carved from a singe teak tree and are powered by 50 or more oarsmen. Our walk to the entrance of the museum led us through one of the old canal neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are hard to find as the high rise buildings have destroyed this bit of old Bangkok.

We are now in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. This is the first new stop for us and should be a highlight of the trip. Today, we saw the Orang Utans in the rain forest. What a thrill that was!!! And, yes, it is raining in the rain forest. But, it's a warm rain!!

RPM




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The main Stupa The main Stupa
The main Stupa

The temple literature states that the Buddha's relics are buried under this stupa.
The temple with the Emerald BuddhaThe temple with the Emerald Buddha
The temple with the Emerald Buddha

Photos are not allowed inside the temple. The Emerald Buddha, in his winter clothes, is inside the door toward the top of the doorway.
Pink cabs and a Bangkok Tuk-TukPink cabs and a Bangkok Tuk-Tuk
Pink cabs and a Bangkok Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-Tuks are the cheapest way to get around the city, but not necessarily the safest. We've ridden in them and it's a scary ride.
A Long Tail engineA Long Tail engine
A Long Tail engine

The river taxis have car engines with the propeller mounted on a long shaft. For an explanation of the inner workings of this boat motor system, please call John Weathers @ 1-800-ASK-JOHN.
Wat ArunWat Arun
Wat Arun

Also known as the Temple of Dawn


22nd February 2009

Bankok Travels
Hello Pamela Just would like to say how good your photo's are. I was in Bangkok for new years eve for 3 days had a great time. I then flew onto Koh Samui for 9 days then flew onto Phuket for 9 days. Like yourself I love travelling the world would like to go to Vietnam next year. Enjoy and make the most of your travels. Steve.

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