Bangkok

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Now anyone who has followed my blog on our recent trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will know that we have been back a few weeks now but I just want to add the last post of our trip, and that’s about our stay in Bangkok. After our truly magnificent trip we decided to stay in a very nice hotel that being the Anantara Riverside Resort and chill for the last three nights of our trip, but before we go onto that I must add to my very first post on Bangkok where our trip started.

When I finished this post I said we were going to visit Wat Arun, Wat Pho (the home of the reclining Buddha and the Grand Palace, first Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, it’s named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. and is situated on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. In the centre is a tall tower surrounded by four smaller towers a truly magnificent spectacle, “Top Tip” climb the very steep steps up the tower to get some fantastic views from the top of the Chao Phraya river.

Next on the agenda was a visit to Wat Pho or temple of the reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long, The 3 m high and 4.5 m long feet of Buddha are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. They are divided into 108 arranged panels, displaying the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers.

Next up the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development, with additions and rebuilding being made by successive reigning kings over 200 years of history. Just a few tips when visiting the Grand Palace, firstly as we walking from our hotel to the palace a few random people who innocently asked if we were we lost or where we were going promptly told us the Grand Palace is closed in the morning but they can take us on a tour of the city for a cheap price, but don’t be dissuaded by these offers as the Palace is definitely open in the mornings to everyone not just tour parties like we were told. There are public address systems notifying visitors of the various scams around the palace. Another tip when visiting the palace, shorts, sleeveless tops are not allowed to be worn inside as a mark of respect as I found out when reaching the entrance, but don’t panic as you can loan trousers and shirts free of charge, you just have to pay a small refundable deposit, and this is where the second scam kicks in as we approached the main entrance just as we were about to go in I was confronted by a chap who noticed I was wearing shorts, he then gave me a pair of ridiculous trousers with a hideous flowery pattern and said that would be 100 baht please for the hire and if it was not for my eagle-eyed travelling companion a certain J Duggan who read the large sign above the chap hiring the said trousers detailing the free loan of the said items at the ticket office, which incidently were neither ridiculous or flowery, the bare face cheek of it.

There are many other sights and things to do in Bangkok, like taking a trip to one of the many roof top bars especially at night offering magnificent views of the city, we chose the Vertigo bar, and although the views were stunning the bar and restaurant were nothing like the picture on their website. Another tip if you visit the Vertigo bar, the dress code is smart casual and no shorts which I knew about in advance but although I was dressed smartly, I had sandles on, I was refused entry unless I donned a pair of ridiculous shoes which they will loan you free of charge I looked far less smarter than what I was originally wearing. Another must do is to take a trip on the very reasonably priced river taxi for some great vista’s of the city from the Chao Phraya River.

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