Our tour group includes Holly (check out her blog engineeredinhd.blogspot.com) and her family:
I never realized before that the temples and other buildings are either covered with gold OR with, yes, really, Broken China Mosaics! I'm not kidding. The tour guide told us how they take china plates, break them and then shape them into flowers or whatever they want...so my art is a Thai building material!
I was surprised by so many Chinese statues - the guide said they were used as ballast in the trading ships from China - bring in heavy statues, take back Thai spices, rice and minerals.
Wat Po, the place of the famous Reclining Buddha. Nothing prepares you for how big this guy is...
But he is not the only buddha there...each of these temples are surrounded by cloisters, which are lined with hundreds of other buddhas....
Sometimes you come across a buddha that has been dressed, I think as a special offering by a devotee:
Next stop, Jim Thompson's House. Jim was an American who loved Thailand and made its silk fabrics a worldwide fashion industry. He took several Thai houses and put them together to make his home.
Pretty Gardens and a Pretty Girl!
Traffic in Bangkok is famously horrendous. So we took advantage of the new Sky Train whenever we could.
It was clean and new and wonderful - except at 7:30 AM...we were waiting, the doors opened, and the commuters were squished in like sardines. (We looked around for the "pushers" like they have in Tokyo - people with white gloves who literally push people into the train - but there weren't any) We had to wait for the next train...it was just as bad, but we took the plunge and pushed our way in...nobody minded.
On the Singapore MRT they have signs that tell you to give up your seat for elderly, handicapped or pregnant women: but in Bangkok, the sign says "Please offer this seat to a monk."
Getting off the pristine train, you come upon the usual Bangkok sites: dirty, smelly streets that are make-shift markets where you can buy anything:
Magazines, Corn on the Cob:
Beautiful fruits and vegetables:
Eggs and toiletries:
All right across the street from a fancy Marriott hotel:
More on Bangkok later!