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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: 13.7308, 100.521
Nana and Pa stayed at the Grand China for the morning then caught a taxi with all the luggage to the Manhattan Hotel where we were to meet them later this afternoon.
Just before going out Mum decided that she wanted to look at the Miniature House display; the largest mobile museum, which was in the hotel lobby; there were probably 50 class containers 30X30cm in size that contained different settings, bakeries, jungles, kitchens, shops etc. all made out of clay in immaculate detail.
The concierge fetched a tuk-tuk for us to go to the flower market; the driver figured that the faster we got there the faster he could get another customer so we were weaving all over the streets at the fastest speed we could go! The flower market was on both sides of the road and went for a good 400m. The most common things they sold were wreaths of white seedlings with dangly bits coming of the bottom (spare my bad description). Watching them make them was absolutely fascinating. The ladies would use a thick piece of wire and thread the seedlings and flowers on then tie string around the end and pull the flowers
onto the string; while it doesn't seem that 'amazing' keep in mind that this is all done in 20 seconds and they don't even look at what they're doing! We saw absolutely every flower you could imagine and every stall had their own secrets to keeping the flowers in perfect condition, some wrapped newspaper around the flowers, others used string and some kept ice in the flowers. Unlike some of the other markets we have been to, there was not one person there that didn't smile or ban us from taking photos and surprisingly we were the only tourists there - our own hidden little secret! With my love of photography I could've stayed there for hours. "Vehicles are often decorated with good luck charms and blessings. Garlands hang from the rear-view mirror - these flowers are offerings to Mae Yanang the goddess of journeys. During rush-hour traffic, when vehicles are waiting at traffic lights or intersections, children walk in between the cars and buses to sell these garlands to drivers for around 20 Baht a time."
From the flower market we were taken to the National Museum to see the royal barges but unfortunately they
aren't open on Mondays or Tuesdays but the lovely security guard showed us the best temples to go to and then grabbed us a Tuk-Tuk that was cheap. The first temple we went to was reasonably small and free of charge; inside the temple was similar to a lot of others, red roof with chandeliers and a huge throne with Buddha up the top. Across the street from that, there was a probably 30m tall gold Buddha with people all around it praying and laying flowers; even though I'm not Buddhist you can still feel the magic and connection; looking at the faces of people there is a totally new experience - the raw emotion is gorgeous.
"The Wat Indrawiban temple in Bangkok was build at the end of the Ayutthaya period. It is famous for Phrasiariyametri a 32 meters tall and 11 meters wide standing Buddha statue.
The construction of the Buddha statue started in 1867 and after 60 years it was finished in 1927.
In 1978 some Buddha relics that had been gifted from Sri Lanka were placed inside the statue, and in 1982 the statue got its current covering of
24 karat golden
mosaic pieces, imported from Italy, for the royal city's bicentennial celebrations."
Our next stop was a temple with five Buddha's; lying down, standing, sitting, kneeling maybe and a black Buddha which were all on a huge scale (~50m). The temple itself was being painted by Monks but sadly they didn't seem to care very much, there was paint on the ground, on the statues, on the mosaics and on the rugs; why go to the effort of painting if you only do it half-heartedly?
Thirdly we were taken to a seedy tailor, normally this would be to get free gas for the tuk-tuk drivers but this is where the museums security guy sent us. We were then taken to get the 'free gas' at a jewellery store a bit like Gems; we were given a drink then shown around the showroom; no guesses here, we didn't buy anything. On our way to the Marble temple we went through a pineapple market; there would easily have been 200,000 pineapples in big piles, presumably wholesale.
Our final stop was to the Marble Museum, which again was a temple, this time made of marble. While we were walking in
a ''no smoking'' march of enthusiastic primary school kids walked past. A lady at the temple gate stopped us from entering, insisting that we watch as the children went by! We paid 20B each entry but still weren't granted entry into the temple, instead we were shown around a small courtyard with 30 or so replicas of Buddha's that were only 1m tall; very disappointing.
From the marble museum we caught a taxi to Robinsons (a department store 300m from our hotel) to get some lunch; but as is always the case things didn't go to plan. I saw Times Square and a few other places that I knew were right opposite Robinsons so I knew we had gone too far but mum insisted that we were going in the right direction; 20 minutes later mum realised that yes, I was right so asked the taxi driver but he knew where he was going(not). Finally he pulled over to ask some pedestrians and admitted he had taken us the wrong way. He was very unapologetic and simply told us to catch the skyrail; he had no plan on taking us back, this wouldn't be a problem except I
have a dodgy back and stairs are incredibly painful. With no other option we went up; which brought up another problem, I'm scared of bridges. We squeezed into the train and got off at Asok station which is near Robinsons. To avoid going down more stairs we went into Terminal 21 a new shopping centre and bought a smoothie each for lunch before meeting Nana and Pa in the hotel lobby. We have inter-connecting doors with Nana and Pa.
For dinner we went down to Tops which is supermarket and group of restaurants below Robinsons; despite the name ‘Tops'. Nana and Pa had Indian for dinner, I had fried noodles with egg and mum had chicken and cashew nut something. Mum and I decided to leave Nana and Pa behind and go back to Terminal 21. Each level was based on a different city; we had Rome, San Francisco, Tokyo, Istanbul, the Caribbean's, London, Paris and Hollywood. Each level was very detailed and felt real; there were big bridges, telephone booths, ponds etc. Warning, I'm talking about toilets: I've always known about the ‘fancy' toilets but never thought I'd use one and honestly never wanted to but before you even
sat down you could feel the heat radiating of the toilet seat and next to you was a full remote that controlled every aspect of going to the loo and a bit more! The toilet panel had the following buttons – Stop Shower/Move Bidet/Move Dry Up and Down – Water Vol. /Dry Temp. Nozzle Position Water Temp (Hi – Lo) Seat Temp (Hi – Lo) Energy
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