Floating Market tour and the Royal Palace
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
It really was a trip of touristy points, and in hindsight (now that I write this review a good half a decade AFTER, and with so much more trip planning experience) I can say this was one of the worse planned trips of mine. I mean, 0 input from me which is a bit surprising seeing as I'm OCD. In any case, we began the morning early - same routine and our first stop was the Floating Market. Like the Pyramids in Egypt and the waters of Venecia, this is a must-see for those visiting Bangkok.
There's not much to talk about this place - the pictures say it all - you go on a little boat through narrow canals, lots of flowers and items for sale. But the highlight frm here was a snake farm they took us to.
Anyway we finished our tour, and headed to another touristy shop - expensive prices and all. Didn't buy anything. Lunch was at a mum/pop kind of Thai rsnt (awful food) and then was our 2nd tour of the day, and another postcard moment.
The Grand Palace!
This is a complex of buildings in Bangkok, Thailand. It served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th century onwards. Construction of the Palace began in the late 18th century, during the reign of King Rama I, when he moved the capital across the river from Thonburi to Bangkok. The Palace has been constantly expanded and many additional structures were added over time. The present King of Thailand; King Rama IX, however does not currently reside there but at the Chitralada Palace. The Palace is instead used for state occasions and special events. Another thing about this Palace: you can't wear shorts to this! You have to wear trousers, and you can actually 'rent' a pair of garrish trousers for a small fee right at the entrance (which for Thailand's weather means the entire population).
The highlight of this place is the Wat Phra Kaew - Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. The main building is the central ubosoth, which houses the Emerald Buddha. There are three main doors used to enter the temple, however only the King and Queen are allowed to enter through the centre door. Even though it is small in size it is the most important icon for Thai people. Legends hold that the statue originated in India, but it first surfaced in the vassal Kingdom of Cambodia and was given as a gift to the King of Ayuttaya in the 15th century. The image disappeared when Burmese raiders sacked Ayuttaya and the image was feared lost. A century later, the 'Emerald' Buddha reappeared elsewhere and was eventually moved back here.
Also here is the Chakri Mahaprasad Hall which is a building in a style influenced by the Italian Renaissance. You can't go in though, just watch from outside and admire! We wrapped up the evening at 6pm and went to Chinatown and India area for some window shopping.