31.03.2007 44 °C
Yesterday we visited the Grand Palace which was amazing!! The palace itself was split into two seperate sections. Firstly the Temple of the Emerald Budha and then the Grand Palace itself. The temple of the Emerald Budha and its surrounding grounds were incredible, statue upon statue carved of pure gold and walls covered in huge murals. The temple itself was amazing, the Emerald Budha itself was only small (and actually not made of Emerald, it was actually made of Green Jade). Though the statue was only small it did sit upon a huge golden shrine, flanked by huge golden statues of ancient wariours. The palace was impressive but after the Temple it was never going to better it.
Today we are changing hotels to start our first tour in Thailand - Treasures of the North. Our new hotel is about a 5 min walk from where we are at the moment, we located it yesterday and it looks a lot nicer than where we're staying at the moment (not that where we are at the moment isn't nice but it's more basic) the one we transfer to today even has a swimming pool which in this heat will be awesome!! Although we're only staying there tonight before moving on with our tour tomorrow. Tonight we will be having a meeting with our tour leader and then having dinner with the group, both me and Jamie are looking forward to meeting some more westerners as the first few days here have been a bit overwhelming and intimidating at times being the minority. We are also looking forward to some guidance from our tour leader as we haven't yet been able to venture very far in Bangkok. As it's quite hard to navigate around and with tuk tuk touts every meter trying to get you to use their tuk tuk and overfriendly (and therefore not trustworthy) thais trying to give us directions to a million different "Big Buddhas" because the attraction that you have said you're wanting to visit is "closed" for the day, has made us very wary of who to trust and therefore have tried to do much of the navigating and walking ourselves.
Other than a few sightseeing expeditions we have mainly been trying to settle into the area. The heat is difficult but hasn't yet stopped us doing anything, the food is nice but there is only so much noodles you can handle and also waitresses with large adams apples are a little disconcerting (aka ladyboys)
We will be on our tour for 8 days returning next Sunday so we will update our blog when we get back with hopefully more to tell after exploring the North of Thailand and having our first ride on an elephant!!!