Vimanmek Mansion and shopping

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June 29th 2012
Published: June 23rd 2017
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Geo: 13.75, 100.517

In order to get a 6-seater table in the morning we had to sit 10m from the buffet tables, this was fine until Pa saw it; he wasn't at all impressed saying "you sat too far from the food!'' Mum went to order herself some bacon (we'd been told if we want something and it is not served, to ask for it) but they misunderstood brought out four plates of bacon!!

Mum and I caught a taxi to Vimanmek Mansion, where we went yesterday. We bought new tickets as our ones that were valid for a week meaning they had already somehow expired, even though we had only had them for four days (entry was include in the Grand Palace tickets). We made our way to the lockers to put everything inside, which they were very strict on, before entering the house; just as a precaution we were patted down as well. As with many tourist attractions in Thailand, we were not allowed to take cameras or mobile phones with us.

We had to walk around by ourselves as the only English speaking tours were at 11am and 2pm and we had arrived at noon. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but with no explanation or brochures to read from and the only plaques on the wall being in Thai or hidden we had absolutely no idea what we were looking at, why we were looking at it or when the house was last in use. Most of the rooms were roped off and we had to look at from one tiny doorway which was very disappointing. We made our way through the house looking at the mismatch furniture and the contrast between what was original and what clearly wasn't like the TV which was again disappointing as it didn't feel like a true representation of what it would have looked like. The house was full of Thai tour groups who spent barely 20 seconds in each spot and a few other white people who looked just as confused as us. The house was also badly laid out from a visitor's point of view as there would be rooms behind rooms that we couldn't even see in, furniture placed in unrealistic spots and fake walls cut off all sorts of things. By the end of our tour we had gathered that the Royal family lived there somewhere between 1850-1920, which really doesn't tell us much.

On the way out we came back with our cameras to take pictures of the exterior which I did get in trouble for but hopefully it was worth it. Twice when we were making our way out to the road to catch a taxi we got told off for leaving the wrong way, which really didn't matter but did mean that we got to see a BIG lizard-thing. Out on the road we pulled over a taxi to take us to Siam but he drove off, then this happened again and again; after 6 taxi had drove off we were relieved to find one that would take us even if it was incredibly overpriced (by about 200B!) We jumped in the taxi relieved to be out of the heat only to find that the taxi number plate that is normally on the passenger door wasn't there and neither was his licence which is always above the glove box. This did worry me a lot but mum was not at all concerned!!

Today had always been mum's choice so of course on top of her list was to find the donuts we had two years ago that she adored. I thought it was in Siam Discovery, which it wasn't so we ventured next door to Siam Center to find them and again they weren't there. Mum and I both had a fairly good idea of where they were, combined we knew that they were near the front left of the shop just down from Billabong and Esprit on the 2nd or 3rd floor. Mum was very disappointed. With nothing else to do we went into Siam Paragon, the equivalent of Myer with a fancy Westfield around. We felt a bit out of place passing Guess, Gucci, g2000, Prada, Chanel and all the rest but decided we would look for the Hall of Mirrors and the horse chandelier which we loved last time, unfortunately in both cases BMW's were where they normally are.

We caught the BTS home and managed to both get through the barrier in order to keep a ticket as a souvenir. After a nice swim, our first at the Manhattan where Nana and Pa came in too, we went out to Tops for dinner. Mum and I shared Chicken Tikki Macata (Indian) and stir-fried chicken which was lovely. Mum and I went over to Terminal 21 to use the toilets, well rather the bidet, which was quite an experience to say the least. I turned it on cautiously barely sitting on the toilet with my finger on the 'Stop' button and jumped up as soon as the water started then hid in the corner where I dried myself.

Nana and Pa did some shopping at Tops and met us back at Robinsons to walk down the markets. ½ of the way down Mum, Nana and I stopped to look at some candles for a few moments before proceeding on only to find that Pa was completely out of site. Understandably Nana freaked out because this had happened many times before and it had never turned out well. Mum and I met Nana at the corner with tears in her eyes, which looking back now is adorable. We agreed that Nana and I would stay on the corner in case he kept walking then realised and came back while mum ran to the hotel. After maybe 10 minutes we saw Pa walking up to us from the hotel with a big grin on his face. Apparently he went back to the hotel because he didn't want to walk any further along the market, which explains why he was just sitting in the lobby with the hotel key when mum found him. Pa was very smug about it all and was trying his hardest not to burst out laughing while Nana greeted him with a stern face and some wise words.

After a while Nana and Pa turned around while mum and I kept walking and went almost to the end of the market when things quickly turned dangerous and seedy. At every corner there would be tuk-tuk drivers with cards in their hands that they would show all the men, apparently called "pimps", cross dressers who were extremely ugly and girls in skanky outfits and over the top make-up. In this area females seemed to vanish and old creepy men increased; we followed all the females and quickly made our way out.

One spot we walked past which was selling the famous 'Beats' by Dr. Dre headphones had two 'darker-skinned' people starting a fight with a stall-holder, I didn't want to get in the middle of it so stoped walking while mum decided the safest thing to do would be to quickly walk through before it escalated. We don't know how it ended but it must have been a big fight because there was a ring of stall holders around them and let's be honest, they would have seen EVERYTHING before. On the topic of fights, the whole market was full of Muslims in “packs" as we have begun to call them all fighting like crazy with each other, generally between one man and three women, presumably all wives.

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5th July 2012

we should go to the dandy market and find out what if any difference there is between dandy and Thailand, somebody has got to stop posting racist comments guys

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