Monday, 15 December 2008

Monumental fatigue in Bangkok

We arrived in Bangkok a couple of days ago. We're staying in a funky hostel (Lub d) in Silom, a nice part of town. Yesterday we tried to catch up with some sleep and plan the next stage of our trip. We've decided to head north towards Chiang Mai with the intention of crossing the border to Laos, then Vietnam and Cambodia. In January, we'll head back to Thailand to visit the beaches in the south of the country.

Today we did a bit of sightseeing in Bangkok. We caught the river taxi to Wat Pho, Thailand's oldest Buddhist temple. It's home to the country's largest reclining image of Buddha (46m long). The rest of the temple complex was very impressive too.

Next stop was the Grand Palace complex which was a visual onslaught of gold covered statues and buildings. Never did the phrase 'too much to do, too little time' fit a place so aptly – too many monuments, short opening hours. Andy felt that some pruning of the monuments was needed. Putting in some nice green lawns would have broken up the buildings and made it easier to enjoy them.

For a bit of relaxation at the end of the day, we went for a sunset stroll in Lumpini Park. Lots of runners were doing laps around the outside of the park. However, at 6pm the national anthem began playing. All of the runners suddenly stopped and stood rigidly to attention whilst it was playing. Once the music had stopped, the running continued. (Thais absolutely revere their King and there are pictures of him everywhere). The park also had about 1,000 men and women doing outdoor aerobics, all moving in time together to some catchy Thai pop music.

Around the corner from the hostel, we've found some great street food. Very fresh, and seasoned with chillies, lemon grass, lime and coriander.

We've noticed one thing so far. A disproportionate number of very young, beautiful Thai women have a real thing for overweight, middle-aged and unattractive Westerners. We wonder what they find so attractive about them...


Anonymous said...

Glad you arrived safely.
Speak soon
Love Mum & Dad X