Day 4 - Temple Day!!! Bangkok Highlights Tour

December 9th 2017
Published: December 10th 2017
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Day 4 - Bangkok Highlights Tour with "Tours by Tong"

Ok, so this day was so insanely full of experiences and mind blowingly amazing things that this is going to have to be a long arse blog, accompanied by a shit-tonne of photos, and that will be after I have scaled back. We have hundreds of photos of today, and not one of them could truly represent the magnificence of what we saw. Before I start I can only HIGHLY recommend that everyone who is able to at some point, should come and experience some of the amazing sights and culture here.

So that being said, here is the best I can do to describe our day. First off, I am SOO glad that I abandoned my original idea to try and navigate these sights ourselves. I am sure it is possible to get yourself around the area on your own, but we would have taken one look at the crowd at the Grand Palace and would have never made it in! So a couple weeks ago I booked a private tour guide with a company called Tours by Tong. We had quite a bit of email correspondence ahead of time with management and then last night I got a call from our guide Anand himself to confirm that he would pick us up in the lobby of our hotel at 8am.

Side note: A great thing about this country - those who know our family know we like to sleep in, like we are really not morning people. But with the time difference between Alice and here, when we get up at 6:30am Bangkok time it's actually 9am at home, so it feels like a good sleep anyway! Unexpected bonus 😊 So anyway, got up early, showered, dressed in our temple appropriate clothing (modest with covered shoulders and knees for women, men and children) and then headed down to grab breakky before the tour started. Just for the sake of posterity here, I'd best be honest in as delicate a way I can and admit that my spicy arse dinner last night caused me some regret this morning, which made for some worry that I wouldn't be able to enjoy this tour, which is the activity what I have been most excited about in this whole trip! But the tummy settled down once we got started thank all the gods!

Anand our guide arrived bang on 8am and we were ready to go! We also had a driver, Mr Wi, who didn't speak a word of English but who was just a lovely and wonderful man. We piled into our 7 seater van thing and off we went! On the way to the city Anand was pointing out the BRT and BTS stations and we were all just a little smug when we told him we are already experts on the Bangkok public transit dynamics having already been there and done that lol. I think he was impressed......or possibly he didn't believe us haha. Anyway, we chatted about the best ways to get into the city as we drove along in relatively little traffic since it is the weekend. I have to admit here that we were slightly surprised momentarily when we met Anand, and I give full props to my boys for not batting an eyelid when our well dressed guide arrived in a pressed shirt and suit pants and a FULL head of makeup. Mascara, lipstick, facepowder and foundation......the works! I was feeling a little ashamed at this point that I had put so little effort into my own appearance at that stage, I kinda thought all the makeup would just sweat off in 5 minutes flat so I didn't really bother. (it turns out I was right, Anand had to touch his up frequently, and did so between each stop lol......the price of beauty right!?)

Anyway, our first scheduled stop was Chinatown to visit Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. Mr Wi pulled up in the middle of the traffic packed road (as you do!), and got out to let all of us out. As soon as we got out of the car I could hear music and drums and I asked Anand if the music was something special going on or if there was always this much festivity going on at a temple. He immediately turned to look and got crazy excited, he said 'Oh my goodness we are so lucky, they are making new monk today!'. He grabbed my hand and yanked me through the crowds, encouraging us all to run so the boys all hurried along behind us. Boom, immediate immersion! As we were making our way through the crowd he kept pointing people out who were Thai movie stars and famous people, and we noticed a couple of professional camera crews recording the whole thing when we got to the outside of the temple. It turns out all Thai Buddhist men are required to serve as a monk when they are young men, typically when they turn 20. Today it was a young movie star's time to be ordained to serve Buddha. Young men can serve as little as 15 days, but generally will serve an entire wet season as a monk and this service gives a much greater chance of a higher station in life the next time round for both himself and his family, it is called 'making merit'. So the ordination of a monk right now, during the dry season, is very rare. Especially for such a high profile person. So our guide was crazy excited, and we got to learn a lot about how to become a monk and the rules and regulations that bind the monks. Everyday Buddhist people are bound by 5 precepts (rules), pretty similar to the commandments really:

1. Do not harm living things

2. Do not take what is not given to you

3. Avoid sexual misconduct

4. Do not lie

5. Do not take drugs or drink alcohol

Well, there it is......I am loving all this, but clearly the 5th rule means Buddhism is not for me 😊 So regular people have the 5 rules.....monks have 227! Now Anand didn't go into those 227 rules but yeah, I can only imagine what that all regulates! I do know that as a woman I can't touch a monk either directly or indirectly.....which means if I want to offer him something I need to give it to one of the boys to give to him.

So basically we fell right into an incredibly privileged situation and the whole time I felt a bit like an imposter being there. Anand dragged us right up onto the platform into the thick of things and I was sure at some point those officiating or the family would tell us to bugger off, but we were welcomed and able to watch the ceremonies with everyone else. When we arrived the novice was just finishing getting his head shaved, then he had to circle the temple 3 times with his family and friends cheering and singing and playing loud music behind him before he went in to finish praying and saying his rites. So then the bit the kids loved the most, the novice monk and his family had huge bowls of beautifully crafted flowers and bows and ornaments made out of ribbon, each with a coin safely tucked inside. They threw these out to the crowd and the people went freaking crazy! It was the biggest pinata scramble I have ever seen, I have been in mosh pits less hectic! Anand urged us to catch the wrapped coins, they are good luck! And catch them we did! Between the 4 of us we got a very respectable pile of these good luck charms and we have promised Anand that we will never unwrap and spend the coins because that would be very bad luck. This was just a crazy amazing experience.

So yeah, all that happened in like the first 45 minutes of our full day tour. We moved on when the novice monk went inside to say his final prayers and we climbed up into the temple that houses the golden Buddha. This thing is 5.5 tonnes of solid gold housed in the most beautiful building we had ever least until later on in the tour! Anand told us his story but I have just realised that if I relay every bit of history we learnt today this blog will never end, so lets just leave it at the fact that this beautiful thing was covered in plaster to prevent it being stolen and then everyone who knew about it died and it laid under a tin shed roof for 200 years with no-one around it knowing what lie inside. It was only discovered in 1955 when it was decided to move it and the ropes that were used to lift it broke and the plaster that surrounded it cracked off, revealing the solid gold underneath. Crazy story right? By my calculation this statue is worth about 226 million US dollars.....and it sat in a tin shed unrecognised for 200 years.

So the temple building was beautiful and there were temple volunteers accepting donations for amulets and other bits and pieces that are made and blessed by the monks. The monks can't accept money directly and the temple receives no money from government etc for upkeep so this is how they raise funds. For 100 baht donation (about $4) you write your name and birth-date on these really thin sheets of metal and they stay in the temple with the monks forever, bringing you good fortunes. The lady gave Kalyb and I a red silk cloth with a beautifully painted Buddha on it, and a lot of symbolism that I don't understand, but that I am hoping to have explained to me by someone eventually! Todd and Corey both got green amulets plus she gave us Thai calendars for the New Year and glossy pictures of the Golden Buddha. We made out like bandits! After talking to the lady Anand was really excited about the red silk cloths that we got, he said it was a limited edition thing that was not being made any more, he got himself one as well. Not sure how the lady decided on what to give us all, but Kalyb had his heart set on an amulet and he was given the silk cloth so he made another donation to get an amulet as well.

After we had finished gaping in awe at the temple and the Golden Buddha we came back out to the front of the temple where there are lots of little bells lining the walls. You start at one end and walk in a clockwise direction running your palm down the line of bells and at the end there is a giant metal urn/bowl. You close your eyes, pray to buddha and throw the coin with your eyes closed at the bowl. If it goes in, all your dreams will come true! 3 out of the 5 of us got the coin in, Corey's just bounced off the rim and Anand didn't get close lol. Anand said it didn't matter, we had already garnered lots of luck today! We then went to see if the new monk had come out to finish his ordination, the last step being to take off the white robes of the novice and be dressed in his new yellow monk robes, but it seemed the prayers inside with the head monk was still be going on and we had a big itinerary to get through so we decided not to wait for him to emerge and to move on instead. A shame, I would have liked to see the ending, but I think we were so fortunate to have witnessed any part of that, so we were happy to head to the next destination, the Grand Palace!

Mr Wi picked us up out front again.....when he just stops the car in traffic all the cars and scooters just go around, no honking or yelling or people getting angry at the extra delay, everyone is just chilly chill and goes about their business. It's amazing!

So we jump in the car and Anand warns us that the Grand Palace is sooooo hot and soooo crowded, so we are warned, but completely unprepared when we get out to the absolute hordes of people crowding the entrance. People are jam packed like sardines trying to get through security to enter the complex. Anand had to leave us because there is a separate line for Thai citizens who are just going in to pray or whatever. Makes sense, they shouldn't have to wait in line behind thousands of tourists, many of whom are getting pulled up and told they can't come in because they are not appropriately dressed.....can't understand people who don't do a bit of research before they visit a place! Anyway, we squished through security holding on to Corey for dear life so he didn't get swept away with one of the many Chinese tour groups who move together in unison like schools of fish. It'r really quite amazing to see, the leader holds up a big stick with a teddy or a ribbon or something unique on it so that the group knows where their guide is at all times. Even Anand brought a green umbrella with him so we could pick him out from the crowd on the other side of security. Once inside and reunited, we found a quiet corner of the entryway and Anand spread the map out and explained all the different sections of the Royal complex. It is seriously enormous, though most of the grounds are off limits to people because the Royal family still lives there today, and not just the current King and his family, but the descendants of all the previous kings as well. Hundreds of royal family members, all living in different buildings and sections. He said the residential section was significantly extended under King Rama IV as the man 32 wives and concubines and then his son Rama V had 92 official consorts and produced 77 surviving children! All lived at the Grand Palace and their descendants still do, Thailand is now up to the 10th king . Like I said, a huge place.

I'll upload a heap of photos of the palace complex because I honestly can't accurately describe that place. And the photos won't do it justice either, but it will give you some idea. Everything that looks gold is not painted. It is all hand laid gold leaf, floor to ceiling, and the roofs. The wall decoration you see isn't wall paper, that is all hand painted lotus flowers and designs. The murals depicting the different stories of the Thai Kings and stories of Buddha are just so intricate, and are painted all the way up to the crazy high ceilings. On the outside coloured glass tiles and 18 carat gold tiles decorate the entire outside of the buildings. Some of the buildings were completely decorated in Chinese porcelain flowers. It is simply amazing and we were stunned and awed at everything we saw. I can't even fathom the money, let alone the man hours that went into building these structures, the Thai people are truly serious in their love for the royal family and Buddha.

Outside the doors of all the buildings there are 'demons' or 'nagas' which are serpents who are the guardians of the temple and scare away the bad spirits so they can not enter. This was all just so cool. Despite having to fight the crowds to get in and see it all, we actually managed to get some good pics and got such a fantastic lesson in Thai history and Buddhism that I couldn't possibly relay it all, so I won't, but if you are ever here, you must go, and you must take a guide! I highly recommend Anand, we got to talking and it turns out he has a Masters Degree in Art History......not at all surprised when he told us that! He is so knowledgeable and gets truly excited about his country's history and culture. He described the techniques of how all these things were decorated and built and it was just fantastic.

The Grand Palace also houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and that is where he headed next. This is one of the most sacred places in Thailand and no pictures are allowed inside the Temple. This is an active temple, and many people were inside praying....I felt a little uncomfortable encroaching on their prayer time, but Anand pulled us over to the side of the temple, where we sat on the marble floor right at the front with a great view and he could quietly tell us the history of this place and it's striking green Buddha which is carved from a single piece of solid jade, about 66cm tall. It sits really high up in the temple, and so looks a lot smaller than the other statues we had seen thus far, but considering it is carved from a single solid gemstone it is pretty bloody impressive. It's story is another one of a hidden treasure as it was apparently in Northern Thailand, hidden in a temple at a monastery and covered with plaster to hide it's value. The temple was struck by lightning and one of the monks noticed that the plaster had flaked off of his nose, revealing green colour inside. The monks removed the plaster and revealed the gemstone within. The King decided he wanted to have the Buddha in his capital, which was at that time in Chiang Mai. He ordered it be moved by Elephant to his residence. The story goes that 3 times the elephant set out with the Buddha, but instead of going to Chiang Mai it instead insisted on going to Lampang. The King realised that this was a divine sign that the Emerald Buddha did not want to live in Chiang Mai and so a special temple was built in Lamapang for it and he lived there for more than 30 years. Some time later it was moved to Laos as the royal family there was related to the Thai royal family in Chiang Mai at the time, my history lesson got a little muddled up at this point, but I get the feeling there were some wars going on with Burma and Laos and Siam (Thailand) all involved, anyway, it stayed in Laos for nearly 250 years. Anyway, in 1779 a Thai general captured Vientiane in Laos and found the Buddha and brought it back to Thailand. It is so sacred that not even the monks can touch it, only the King of Thailand may touch it. 3 times a year he climbs way up to it's seat at the top of the temple and washes it with water and dresses it in it's seasonal clothing. When it is washed all the water is collected and this 'holy water' is taken outside and thrown on all the people who come to participate in the ceremony. We saw him in his 'cold season' clothing. A laugh that this is cold season, since by this time we were crazy hot and sweaty, but that is the current season.

We got a lot more history than that, and some awesome stories about the wall murals, but unfortunately no pics to go with this one. It was a really amazing place, and seeing the people praying so fervently was really awe-inspiring. I always feel a little sad and not a small amount of envy for these people who believe so strongly in something. I feel a little bit lost and without faith sometimes. And being surrounded by all this truly makes you want to be a part of it! I think I am still a long way off of enlightenment.

Ok, so after the Emerald Buddha we had a little look at the residential area through the thick bars of the gate and then went out to look at some of the other buildings in the complex including some of the funeral/cremation chamber of recently deceased King and the coronation hall. They will be coronating the new King sometime early next year and there is a lot of activity around the coronation building to get it ready. The late King ruled for nearly 80 years so they haven't had a coronation in like 3 generations!

So Corey had about had it by this time, and it was lunch time so we decided to head back out to the street. On the way out we caught the changing of the guard which was cool. These guys had some serious machine guns - Kalyb says they are M-16s but that they weren't loaded. Because you know, his zero experience in gun handling is outweighed by his enormous video-gaming experience which tells us that they had unloaded machine guns lol. I wouldn't have fucked with these guys though!!

So we left the palace complex and squeezed all 5 of us into a tuk-tuk to get to our lunch restaurant which is close to our next temple destination. So a tuk tuk is a crazy arse little scooter thing with a carriage on the back. Like an open air taxi conveyance. So it is probably designed for 2-3 people max, but the driver was like yep sure, and we all piled in. PS -Todd says it was like a large motorised wheelbarrow with a roof over it lol. Anyhoo, this insane man hammered off down the road weaving us in and out of traffic and I was fairly certain at this point that we were going to die lol. Got my heart pumping but the kids and Todd loved it 😊

Lunch was alright, a 'safe' restaurant that had a huge menu with both Thai and Western selections. I had a yummy noodle dish that was (thankfully!) not spicy because I wasn't sure how my digestive tract would handle more fire lol. Kids and Todd had pasta which apparently quite good, so that was nice. Us big people each enjoyed a beer to quench the crazy thirst of a long morning of temple gazing and Corey had a great watermelon slushy thing. He loved it.

After lunch we set off down the road for the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho. Ok, so I had read about this, but after the intense Buddha filled morning I was a little worried it would just be a bit more of the same (not that I would mind! I could do this shit for the whole 4 weeks! But Corey in particular was a bit templed out at this stage), however we were more than surprised at how immense this thing is. He is laying down, but is still as tall as like a 2 story building! He is 50m long and 15 metres high, and again covered in hand-laid gold leaf. He was built first and his temple was then built around him and painted with magnificent murals telling the teachings of Buddha. The feet are inlaid with beautiful mother of pearl decorations of the 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddha. There was a section down by the feet being restored so unfortunately we couldn't get really close to the feet but they are really beautiful.

The whole time we were there I could here this weird sound, not quite like bells ringing but of metal clinking. I finally worked it out when we went around to the back side of the Buddha. There are 108 bowls and you can donate to the temple to get a bowl of coins to put into each of the bowls. Heaps of people line up to do this and walk down the line and the sound was hundreds of coins hitting metal bowls all at once. It was cool. The kids made their donations and walked down the line, dropping their coins in all 108 bowls for luck.

Outside the main temple building the complex also houses a a school for Thai medicine and acupuncture and a Massage school where the Thai massage is still taught and practiced. There were some cool anatomy etchings on the walls showing pressure points etc.

There is also a place in the complex where Buddha statues have been collected from all over the country from different eras to protect them from being destroyed during the various wars that have occurred throughout Thai history. So they look similar from far away but when you look up close Anand pointed out to us the the differences which suggest the era the statues were carved in. Some of them are 800 years old, some as recent as 150 - 200 years. Very nice. They are all in various stages of restoration.

So once we were finished at Wat Pho we headed across the Chao Phraya river on the ferry to check out the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun. Unfortunately this temple has been under restoration for nearly a year and though it is almost finished, we decided not to pay the entry fee to go into the grounds because we couldn't go inside or climb up to the top, so we just admired it from the outside. This temple is really iconic of Bangkok and it is built in the Cambodian style. Really beautiful with gorgeous gardens.

Right outside Wat Arun was the boat pier where we were to board our little speed boat that would take us on a river canal tour of the the Chao Phraya. We waited on the pier for our boat to arrive, marveling at the river traffic which is pretty much just as hectic as the road traffic! Boats of all sizes and shapes competing to land at the pier in an orchestrated dance that had a conductor that we clearly couldn't see, since we kept wincing and expecting crashes which never occurred. Finally our boat arrived and we had to kind of balance on the tyres hanging off the pier and jump down to the boat a metre or so below us...... a little daunting considering the river was crazy choppy with boat wakes. But we all made it in and I was the 'no fun Mum' who made everyone put their lifejackets on immediately. The boat driver was pretty much as crazy as the tuk-tuk driver. The Chao Phraya river is really wide, but there is so much traffic on it that there are waves coming at you from every direction! The boat driver was smashing against waves so hard that we were getting air off our seats which again, the kids thought was fun and hilarious and I thought OMG I brought my friggen family here to die lol. I managed to relax after a few minutes but no shit, to try and describe what it was like, about 1 minute into the ride Kalyb grabbed my arm and said 'oh shit Mum, we just hit a fucking rock' and then 4 seconds later, 'another rock!'. Not rocks, just the sound a little wooden boat makes when it hits a wave at high speed!!

So the boat ride was actually amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am glad we did it. For about 4 weeks before we arrived Bangkok sustained really heavy rain and flooding. The Chao Phraya river is still technically at flood heights and this was apparent everywhere we went. Even on the way down to the pier, there were elevated woodem platforms set up through the little market stalls and the ticket booths that let us walk above the water level which is still above the banks and through some of the market areas. The fruit and flower market along the banks has been completely abandoned. When we got onto the ferry across the river to Wat Arun we could see the water level basically sitting right level with the dock and the river has gone down substantially, 3 weeks ago it was half a metre higher and the riverside area was inundated. As we went along the river, and into the canals we could see the differences in affluence in all the houses along the river. Anand pointed out the houses of the wealthy, these are built on high stilts and managed to sustain only minimal damage in the floods. The less wealthy have houses that at this point in time are right at water level, 3 weeks ago they would have been under nearly a metre of water. Some were destroyed, collapsed completely, some just abandoned with a water mark as high as a person's waist which showed how devastating the flood had been to the people who live riverside. Anand said many of the people would never come back, apparently the river rises higher and higher each year and many of those who had made their homes along the river for generations have given up and moved inland, because they couldn't afford to rebuild on higher stilts. It was sad. On the other side of the coin some of the fancy teak houses up on high stilts are truly amazing. These belong to the rich, the movie stars and politicians, truly gorgeous looking, a little strange juxtaposed with the ruined houses around them.

I have to say again that the Thai people are just so friendly, there weren't a lot of people out and about along the river as we went along, but all of the ones that we did see smiled and waved at us as we went past. Men fishing, kids playing, women hanging washing. Just peeps getting about their day, probably going 'oh look another bunch of fucking tourists' but giving us a smile and a wave anyway 😊

So some great bits, we were going along and there were some ladies in little canoe type boats with all kinds of drinks and snacks and souvenir goodies for sale. We waved her over and she paddled to our boat, and praise be the gods, she had cold Singha beer in there......and god bless her, she was willing to sell it to us even though it was during the 2-5 booze prohibition. So now we are armed with cold beer and cruising along the river at speed waving at the people we saw......this is the holiday life! We got to the cat fish temple where you pay a small amount for some loaves of bread and throw it overboard to feed the sacred fish. These fish are wily, they know that they get fed here and they also know that there is no fishing allowed in the surrounding area.......and they are MASSIVE! Big bastard cat fish, and when you throw a bit of bread they come calmly to the surface and gobble it down. Now, what the boys found exciting, is Anand said, you have to throw the big piece so they fight for it. OMG. You throw a big chunk in and it is on for young and old! Shitloads of them break the surface and tear the chunk apart, shaking and fighting for it! Frenzied fish feeding! So that was cool. Then as we continued on along the river the driver slowed then stopped and pointed to bank, yelling out something in Thai. It was a crazy big monitor lizard - a big bastard water dragon 😊 He was sunning himself on a ledge and he turned to have a look at us. It was like a small crocodile! Well really, it was like a big perentie, but still, it was really cool.

So a little past that we turned around and headed back towards the temple area. By this time is was nearly 4pm, we had one more stop scheduled which was the Jim Thompson house but we were all pretty tired and just a touch sunburnt so we decided to forego the Jim Thompson house and just head back to the hotel. Anand said that was no problem and like magic, Mr Wi just appeared at the road where we disembarked from the boat and he was ushering us into the car. We relaxed into the airconditioned goodness chilled out on our drive back home. Anand and Mr Wi are going to be with us for our tour of Ayutthaya, the ancient city, next week so it was not goodbye, just see you later and we headed up to our room. The pool and a swim was an immediate need for everyone so we jumped into bathers and headed downstairs. The pool is still bloody cold, but I enjoyed hanging half my body in while the rest was in a nice spa. So relaxing and much needed after a long day of walking around.

So the last bit of our day was dinner. We decided to go next door to the Chimac House of Chicken and Beer. Sounds great right! So we discover upon entering that this is a Korean restaurant, but that's cool. The menu has pictures lol. We perused our choices and googled a few things to try and work out what the hell we were ordering and in the end, Corey and Kalyb decided on chicken wings Korean style, Corey just regular and Kalyb with spicy, I had the Jol Myeon, a dish of glass noodles that came with a LOT of condiments that I had no idea what to do with......including a bowl of clear liquid that I wasn't sure whether to wash my fingers in or eat lol. I ate it in the end haha, it was a very nice broth! Todd was feeling adventurous and decided on stir fried chicken gizzards. I was both proud and concerned, no way in hell I would order gizzards lol. When the food came out, the gizzards were just sizzling away on a hot metal plate, they looked great. They tasted like rubber. Spicy rubber lol. They were terrible, there is no way in hell I would have eaten that dish and I told Todd to just bloody leave it! For the $6 or whatever we paid I was not worried if it was untouched, though we did worry that the staff would be offended that we didn't like it. In the end we said it was too spicy to eat lol. The chicken wings were good and my glass noodles were fantastic! The various condiments were sweet and sour pickles of various types, garlic cloves, cucumbers, onions, some kind of white fruit flesh I think that I couldn't identify but was really sweet and tasty. All complimented the salty noodles really nicely! I wasn't sure if I was supposed to stir it all through or just eat it out of the bowls, but it all tasted good 😊 We sent the kids back to the room after our dinner and Todd and I went down to the little bar up the road because he fancied a Jacks and the 7-11 doesn't sell any. We enjoyed a couple of drinks, with the soccer on the tv behind us, and we are finally getting used to the fact that we are generally the only English speaking people in the room. We are kind of enjoying it in fact, no-one knows what the hell we are on about it so we can pretty much discuss whatever we want lol 😊 .

On that side note......just because toilet humour is so our thing.....Corey has been unable to poop since we got here. I seriously thought he was going to be the only white person in history who needed to take a laxative instead of an anti-diarrheal in Thailand! But last night, after dinner, he went into the loo and hallelujiah, we have poop. So much shit in fact that he manages to block the toilet and though we narrowly avert overflow disaster, we still need to call the poor hotel guy to come and unblock the thing! Again, what is the etiquette here? Do we tip the poop unblocker guy? I thought definitely yes, and sent Todd racing down the hallway to try and give him some money in thanks after he left but he had disappeared, his miracle already worked lol.

So toilet stories aside, it was a long bloody day but seriously, I pretty much planned a 4 week holiday of Thailand around just this one day. I could have written an entire 5000 word blog post on any one of the things we saw, but instead I tried to hold back for this half novel on the whole day. I loved this day. Every part of it. I love that the kids and Todd got to share it with me, and that they all were attentive and respectful and learnt tonnes about the Thai people and what they believe and love. This has already influenced us in our holiday and we are hopefully still to learn stuff about this beautiful and amazing country! If you managed to read to the end of this mammoth blog post good work for not getting bored of my babbling!!

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11th December 2017

Fantastic blog. Enjoyed it all. Very envious. Love to all

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