A few incidents happened on our trip in Bangkok, Thailand. One particular incident that I will write about happened on a boat…
We had a good day walking around the Grand Palace, it was awesome. The architecture is superb! The walls adorned with detail and there were many golden chedis around the palace! It was a wonderful experience immersing myself in another culture and taking loads of wacky photos with my sister. But the most significant visit in that trip was to the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha. We were not allowed to wear shoes into the monastery and had to place it outside on this massive shoe rack. Then before entering the hall where the shrine is, we saw many people with their cameras taking pictures. I tried looking at the direction where they are taking but there are just too many people and i didn’t think much of it. I only understand what they were doing when I saw the sign where we were not allowed to snap any photos, take videos or any sort of recording before entering the hall.
Inside, everyone was sitting down before the shrine. Some were kneeling, putting their hands together as if they were praying. Some just had their eyes close. Besides these people visiting, there were guards stationed around them, and i found out from another sign board nearby saying we were not allowed to make any noise, or point our feet towards the Emerald Buddha. Boy it was a sight though. The Emerald Buddha is enshrined on a golden traditional Thai-style throne, claded with one of the three seasonal costumes. Besides drinking in the beautiful image of the statue, the mere quietness and serenity the place has really amazes me. Really peaceful there, were it not for my aunt who roused us to continue onto our next destination, i may have stayed there for a while more.
Later on, after having our fill of the Grand Palace, we decided to look for Thailand’s China town and hopefully get our taste buds on BUGS. To reach there we went on a boat ride, the journey was half an hour long and we had a view of houses surrounded along the river. Nearly every one of the houses had a stairway leading to the river. The river was murky and well…it was a normal view if you asked me. There was not anything spectacular besides just enjoying the breeze and some women on boats trying to sell trinkets and drinks to tourists. The boatman asked us where are we headed to, and we told him that we already had a deal with the ‘manager’ that we were supposed to head to Chinatown. That was not the right answer. The boatman was furious saying that he was only told to put us off at the Grand Palace. (Behind us there was another tourist and HE was supposed to go to the Grand Palace, poor guy had to get off on a different location.) My aunt was indignant, and so was my uncle, they were like ” We paid for this trip to stop at Chinatown! We were already told that it was done!” Worse still, it made the boatman stop at the base to ask whats going on, and then after some sharp barking, i think he was forced to just do what he was told to. That ride was not a slow, pleasant ride. That was the dirtiest, bumpiest and most horrible ride i ever had. We were constantly sprayed with the dirty river water and was jostled about in our seat as he just sped through the waters without a care in the world. And after we all came out of the boat, he just left without saying a word.
Hahaha. It was a helluva trip. But dig this, we got lost in China town and no taxi’s want to bring us back to our hotels! Nearly every taxi either refuse or asked for a ridiculous fare. We don’t know the reason for this but we found out we were walking in circles, with no map or guide it was a really frustrating day. We were tired, hungry and no shops were open yet. Dust was flying all over the place, attacking our face, and wild tut tut’s were streaming from left, right, centre. Man it was chaotic! Finally we found a restaurant that was open and it was AIR-CONDITIONED. We were so happy we sat there for a while before we went off looking for taxis to bring us back to our hotel.
The taxi driver that drove us back turned out to be an exceptionally friendly guy. He was very talkative and spoke better english than any Thai person I’ve encountered. It turned out to be our most entertaining evening as he chatted, made jokes and sang all the way back to the hotel. It made our day and we turned in to the hotel, hot, sweaty and dirty but really satisfied.
**Did you know that the Emerald Buddha is actually made out of jade?
***Photos next time!!