A Travellerspoint blog

The Grand Palace

sunny 44 °C

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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.

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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!!!

Posted by katyjamie 19:49 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Our Arrival

Thailand: Bangkok

sunny 44 °C

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Well we have finally arrived and had a fairly nice 12 hour flight and located our baggage fairly quickly too. We were then greated in arrivals by a million Thai's trying to get us to come into one of their taxis (It was like walking down Canterbury high street with the charity sellers but a million times worse!!). But we already knew what bus to get so we headed outside and bought our bus ticket and only had to wait 20mins for the bus. The journey from the airport took roughly an hour and was fairly enlightening, we saw a huge difference in the culture compared to England and also a big gap between the rich and the poor within Thailand. From our bus window we saw grand palaces next to shanty towns!!

Our first thoughts are that it is very very very hot. The manager of our hotel told us that it is 44 degrees today. Wow.

The hotel that we are staying in is really nice, it is just off the Koh San road, which is the main backpacker area here. Probably the best thing is that we have AC in our room, and that is a life saver.

There are a few things that really strike us as being different. The first thing is the smell, a strange combination of spices and sewarage, or as Katy thought, Fried Cat!!!! Which brings us onto our second thought. The disgusting stray cats that are everywhere, they are all stupidly thin and that is probably because they live on bowls of rice, as we saw this morning. Also the road systems here are very scary. There seems to be no clear method of safely crossing the road (in some cases what would be considered almost a motorway in England as sometimes there's 4 lanes of traffic to dodge your way through), it's all down to luck and judgement.

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Today has basically been a case of us finding our feet and trying to locate the main tourist attractions we want to see before we head off on our first tour on Sunday. The Grand Palace is roughly 15mins from our hotel and after 2 hours we finally found it!! But as we weren't dressed appropriately for entering the palace and the temple (as we need our arms and legs covered and to wear closed toe shoes) we have decided to do that first thing tomorrow before it gets too hot to be wearing these types of clothes. We were in shorts and t-shirts today and after 3 hours outside we got back to the hotel dripping in sweat - Disgusting!!!! So our new method of washing our clothes is to just get back to the hotel rinse our clothes in cold water and put them back on wet (by the time we get down stairs they're dry!!).

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Today we visited the Wat Pho temple grounds (as we could't enter the temple itself as explained earlier but we will go properly tomorrow) The grounds were amazing though, the facades of the buildings were covered in gold leaves and jewels and there were lots of small fountains with small budha statues. We caught a glimpse of the gold statue inside the temple. Just the grounds of the temple were everything i thought that they would be, breath taking!!!

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We are off to get some food now, probably something with rice (Last night our meal and drinks cost 300 baht, which is roughly 3 pounds, for both of us). We will update our blog again soon. You can all enjoy the rain while we enjoy the heat. Ha ha ha!!!!

Love Jamie and Katy
xxx

Posted by katyjamie 01:37 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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