Today Tony got us a cab and then sent us out on our own. I won’t deny it – I was nervous and felt completely unprepared. Richard was cool as a cucumber today which helped immensely. We were headed to the Grand Palace and our taxi driver dropped us off a couple of miles from the actual palace. So, we wandered around a bit to try and get our bearings, found a map posted along the street, and got ourselves headed in the right direction. We knew we were getting close as the number of tourists increased exponentially.
The Grand Palace is definitely GRAND!! It was established in 1782 and consists of the royal residence, throne halls, a number of government offices and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 sq meters and is surrounded by four walls, 1900 meters in length. The craftsmanship is like nothing that we have ever seen before. Many of the buildings are decorated with gilt and colour glass mosaics. There are towers and steeples, temples and statues, a library and a mural consisting of 178 sections depicting the story of the Ramakien. It was absolutely magnificent!! I don’t imagine that the pictures will begin to do it justice but Richard will post a few.
After that, we walked down the block to Wat Pho, the temple of the reclining Buddha. This is another complex of many magnificent buildings with one of them holding the reclining Buddha. It is absolutely huge!!! Again, pictures can only begin to show you how amazing it was.
We wandered about there for a half hour or so and then decided to try our luck with a taxi. We started with something easy and had the driver take us back to MBK mall. He actually dropped us right at the door for less than the amount that Tony had said that it would be. Wow, it’s not quite so bad as I first imagined. We went back up to the 6th floor and had lunch – Richard was a little more adventurous and tried some seafood. I went with a chicken and rice stir fry – really stepping out of my comfort zone – ha, ha. We wandered about the mall, looked at some clothing, decided to buy nothing and headed for the Skytrain. After going to the wrong platform the first time, we figured it out, got on the right train, made the right transfer, caught the right mini bus and got back to Tony’s. Whew!!
We had a beer and then headed out to try some street food from around the corner. I tried a pork kebob and Richard had some cut up pork and a kebob. We tried to get some cooked vegetables but they couldn’t understand us and we couldn’t understand them. So, no vegetables tonight but we’ll try again tomorrow. BTW, the pork was delicious!!
The reclining Buddha is 150 feet long. I had no idea he would be that big.