Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Rainy Day in Bangkok

On Friday morning, we started out with a walk in the park.  This wonderful park is only a few blocks from Simon and Vera’s downtown apartment.  It was absolutely full of people walking, running, doing Tai-Chi type exercises etc. 

One of the first things that we saw was this shrine…..

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Followed by this exercise class…..

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I loved this exercise bike…..

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And then there was this outdoor gym…..

_6103017 And watching all of the proceedings were these Monitor lizards…..

_6103011 Walking back to their apartment, we went thru this wonderful market…..

 

_6103025Simon bought these delicious fruit called Rambutan…..

_6103024  …..which had a pear type taste and texture.

We passed one food vendor and he insisted that we buy a roasted banana and roasted sweet potato……

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They were WONDERFUL!!!!! _6103034 We walked a bit further and Michael wanted to try a fried chicken leg….

_6103037 …..which came with a small bag of spicy sauce…..YUM!!!!

I enjoyed watching people purchase from the soup vendor.   The buyer would get a plastic bag, add whatever herbs and greens that he wanted…..

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The woman would fill another little plastic bag with noodles….._6103041 …..and yet another little bag with a spicy broth……

_6103042 The three bags were packaged together and the purchaser took them to their office, mixed it all together and then sat at their desk and ate breakfast.  What a great way to start the day!!!!!

So, after trying various street foods, Michael found his Mecca…..STARBUCKS……

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The laughter in this picture is because Simon (in his dry Aussie humor) had just said that “Michael wasn’t ordering a double espresso, but rather calling himself a “dopio”!!!

In the afternoon, Simon had to go off to work so Vera took us out to visit the Grand Palace.  We walked to the Elevated Train Station and took the train for a few minutes, then hopped onto a water taxi.

We particularly enjoyed seeing the long boats….._6103073 We were interested in the incongruence's seen along the river.  From this gorgeous hotel/apartment….._6103087

……to these hovels at the edge of the river…._6103090

As we were walking to the temple, we strolled thru a sidewalk market and the first thing that I saw were……

_6103094 ….false teeth…..pre-made and ready to chew!!!!!

The Grand Palace was gorgeous, but unfortunately there was a torrential downpour (it IS the rainy season here)  just after we entered the compound, so we did not get to see a lot, but sheltered under the main temple so did get to take some photos there.

This is the main compound.  As you can see, they like their “bling”!!  The golden dome really showed up against the darkening sky…..

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Looking at the size of the people standing beneath these 2 statues will give you some idea as to their scale.  By the way, most of the shiny stuff are not gems and jewels, but tiny mirrors….._6103105

This is one of the murals painted on a wall.  The artist was able to achieve an amazing sense of depth and three-dimension….I think that the touches of gold paint really helped with this….._6103117

These were the trays that were ready to hold the offerings made to the Buddha._6103122 Here we are…..wet and barefoot, but happy!!!!

_6103131 One funny story (at least to Vera and myself)…..we had to remove our shoes before we could enter this temple complex and dutifully placed them on metal shelves by the stairs.   When it started raining, we didn’t think about the fact that Michael had worn close toed shoes with socks, and that those shoes were rapidly filling up with water as it rained.   When he picked them up, they weighed a TON and he happily squelched his way back home again!!!

 

I love this photo which was taken on the corner of one of the long hallways….

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Being true to my nature, I found wonderful quilting designs.  These concrete etchings were innocently placed at the bottom of the railings all around the building.  I took several photos, but could have easily used up another 100 frames with the different designs….._6103159

This was a vat of holy water and the people would pick up one of the flowers, dip it in the water and then sprinkle themselves with it.   _6103161 We watched one young couple spend a long time there dipping the water into a plastic bag.  Vera said that they were probably taking it to be sprinkled on a sick relative or something of that sort.  I guess that the luck was better if they had to work hard to retrieve the water as they were using a bottle cap to dip into the vat.

This temple houses a golden Buddha but you were not allowed to take photos inside the temple, so here it is from a LONG distance away……_6103174Vera said that there are different sets of clothes that are put on the Buddha depending on the season.  Many people were sitting or kneeling on the floor of the temple and I was interested to see a sign that said not to point your feet toward the god.  Apparently, the bottom of the foot is considered to be bad luck.

When we left the Palace, we tried to catch a taxi to the nearest train station, but they all wanted to charge WAY too much  (200 BAHT) so we ended up walking to the water taxi and then returning home the way that we had come.

1 comment:

Donna Rae said...

I have been there! So cool to see your pictures! Didn't you think that the budder was so tiny compared to all the BIG BLING everywhere? Oh and the food in the baggies. I so remember that. We were also served drinks in a baggie with a straw. Try the STINKY FRUIT! It smells so bad, but taste so good!

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