Saturday, January 26, 2013

Exploring Thailand's Temples

Yesterday started with breakfast and heart shaped eggs. And even though I don't like eggs, I have to admit that heart shaped eggs are really cute! Then came the bread and crissonsants with nutella and butter. Then some corn/egg soup. Followed by sausage, which tastes more like a hot dog than sausage. This was followed by ham. All the while drinking some sort of hot chocolate. It never ends. But (for the most part) it was delicious! I am so thankful that Alexis and I are able to stay with Bow and her family. This is the authentic Thai experience.

We started the day off at Wat Phra Kaew. I'm not sure how to describe this temple, but it is simply amazing (which seems to be true of all the Thai temples I have seen thus far). With Bow and her brother Boss as our tour guides we explored Wat Phra Kaew. This temple complex is filled with elephants, Buddahs, and more gold than I have ever seen in one place! It's interesting because you have to dress in long skirts and modest shirts. If you aren't dressed accordingly, then you must rent a silk wrap-a-round skirt. 

Wat Phra Kaew is beautiful and I love the iconic gold spire, but it is filled with far too many tourists and people! After walking around and taking photos, we grabbed a tuk-tuk and headed to the Grand Palace. The Grande Palace was the home of the royal Thai family until 1946, now it's a museam filled with classic Thai treasures.  I keep saying that I am amazed with things, but it's so true... Especially the detailed and intricate art work and wood carvings.

Once we explored Wat Phra Kaew we heaed ove.  to Wat Pho, which holds the amazing 'Reclining Buddha.' I had no idea how tall and long the reclining Buddah was! (Besides being huge, the feet as corvered in mother of pearl astrological symbols.) Although the  Buddah was unbelievable once again there were hundreds if not thousands of tourists there, so we decided to head to lunch.

Bow, Boss, Aexis and I enjoyed a lunch filled with green curry, white rice, and of course some French fries. I was glad to sit down for a while and I splurged on a Coke, which happened to be covered in Thai writting. After lunch we caught a taxi to the Vimanmek Palace. (Once again on the crazy Thai roads!)

Vimanmek Palace is a beautiful place that was once home to Thailand's kings of old. However, because the people value the King so much, you are not allowed to take anything into the palace. You must also wear a long skirt, which prompted Alexis and I to buy Thai sarong. Mine purple sarong fades to white which images of elephants across the bottom. I love it! Anyways... The Veinamek Palace is huge. Far greater than I would have imagined. I am also dumb-founded by the amount of Rhino tusks and elephant tusks that seem to fill every room. I can't fathom the price tag on those!

Once we finished at the Vimanmek Palace we went to the Anata Samakhorn Throne Hall, which showed 'Arts of the Kingdom.' This is place dedicated to showing off pieces made for the King and Queen. The building itself was covered in gold and remineded me of the Sistine Chapel. The throne hall had more ornate things in it than I have ever seen. Crazy-intense wood carving, beattle wing fabric, silk fabric mediums, and statues to name a few. 

After Anata Samakhorn, Bow's dad came and picked us up where we went to an open air market called the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The market is indescribable in size - too many football fields to count! Although I read that there are over 8,000 vendor stalls!! Here we wandered through hundreds of stalls, buying some small trinkets, before finally heading for dinner. 

We ate dinner with Bow, Boss, Bell, their dad, mom, and grandma. During dinner Alexis and I decided we don't like Korean food. And yes, I know we aren't in Korea but we went to an authentic Korean restaurant. Also... I fail with chopsticks and foreign food.I don't like fish or eggs or a number of things when it ones to this food. Good thing Bow's mom ordered us steak! (I was struggling up till this time!)

Thank goodness there was ice ream at the end! I'm also excited for ice cream! Now it's the start of another day and I am excited to see what it holds! 

Oh... I also wanted to make a quick mention of money. Most everything reasonable runs you 100 baht. This is roughly $3.00 USD. It's fantastic to pay so little for something! Even the expensive things (1,000 baht) is only $33.00USD. I'm so glad things are cheap!

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