September 23rd, 2008 – by: wildbrumby
A temple at the Royal Palce
WOW!! We had an excioting day today!!
Dropped my washing off at the laundry, caught a taxi into Bangkok to the Tourist info centre - front desk was void of any information - ask and you will receive - but we had to know what we wanted first!
Took a taxi to the Royal Palace, took a tour there - Sonny saw us coming and insisted that he be our guide, which in hindsight was good as it was a really hot humid day and a local knowledge was far better than reading while walking - he then took us to a huge jewellery manufacturers in Thailand ...may have been a bit of a con, but for 400 baht - an experience. The best jewellery manufacturers in Thailand! Yes, I bought an emerald ring, which seemed fitting as we had just seen the Emerald Buddha at the Royal Palace.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Then the salesgirl took us down the street to a very nice restaurant for lunch - food was divine - and we were told we could come back and their courtesy bus would take us wherever we wanted to go. So, over lunch we decided to go to Jim thompson's Place.......What a beautiful place and what a legacy he has left for Thailand in renewing the sale and promotion of silk! While we were there we became aware of the San Sap canal, that runs just behind, or in front of Jim's, and the boats that were traversing it.....very noisy, and drowned out the poor tour guide's talk. So we decided that after we had been to the huge shopping complex, MBK, we would walk the block or two to the pier and catch a canal 'taxi' or river ferry home. MBK is quite an experience - SEVEN floors of merchandise, all in tiny little 'shop' fronts - if you can call them that.
Topiary trees lining the walk at the Royal Palace
...more like little permanent stalls in a rabbit warren of aisles. Each 'shop' was about 2-3 metre wide by about 5 metres deep and filled so full goods that it was almost impossible to go within. We became quite overwhelmed with it all, fearing we would become lost, after we had reached the fourth floor, that we had to leave. It was quite claustrophobic, and I love markets and trinket shops.
Little were we to know what was in store for us. The canal ferry is the local's water 'bus' home.......what a wild ride....riding bow waves of other water ferry's, roaring along at some times and others almost nose-diving as it stopped f...suddenly for whatever reason - reasons that were not apparent to us sitting deep in the hull, hidden from the world by tarps along the sides.
Rooflines of temples at the Royal Palace
We soon discovered these were very practical as they stopped the canal water from sloshing and spraying over the bow and wetting the occupants completely. I was horrified at one time when some splashed onto my face, not daring to lick my lips and madly wiping it from my face! Getting on and off as we changed ferrys was another thrilling experience......almost as good as take off and landing in an aeroplane or bungy jumping. .....Kiara was literally thrown like a rag doll from the boat across the stinking canal to the pier, from boat 'conductor' to pier worker, or vice versa. To say it was some experience is an understatement. We did something totally off the tourist trail, and totally unplanned. WOW! what a ride!! and we're still alive to tell the tale. And ......we knew exactly where we were when we got off.........I feel sooooo good and so alive! now.
We know knew what it means when we see headlines in the media stating "200 die in Thailand ferry sinking". They don't mean a sea ferry, they mean a canal ferry full to the gunnals!!
That's my day, today........WOW!
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode - Tigers Tomowo