During my last trip to Thailand I feel I did not get to explore enough. Which is kind of a crazy thing for me to say because I am very much a stay indoors and fire up the playstation type of guy.
In Thailand though I was out pounding pavement everyday. I was out riding the BTS, riding the water ferry, seeing Wats (temples) and hanging out eating delicious food in the night markets. That being said here are the things I want to see most when I get back to the Bangkok area.
THE GRAND PALACE
(Note: The above is a picture I took outside the of Palace. While not the most flattering it is one that I took and I’d prefer to use as many of my own pics as possible.)
I think I mentioned in my last post that while in Bangkok I had planned to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho on the same day. Long story short the Grand Palace was closed to the public when I got there and so now this is the place I want to see most in Bangkok. Not getting to see this amazing place is regret of mine.
Some interesting things you may not know about the Grand Palace:
-King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) doesn’t actually live here. The Royal family hasn’t really lived on the grounds since 1925.
– It was initially built entirely out of wood.
-There was an Inner Court where the King would house his harem. It’s no longer in use.
-The famed Emerald Buddah is kept here.
- Emerald Buddah is actually not made of Emerald. Emerald just refers to the color.
- Has 3 seasonal outfits that only the King or Crown Prince can change.
Ayutthaya Historical Park
I REALLY REALLY wanted to come here while in Thailand but did not get the chance to. Chances are if you are a Martial arts movie /video game nerd you have seen this place and may not know it. Remember the old 80’s movie Kickboxer where Van Damme is training in the ruins of what looks to be an old temple. That is a part Ayutthaya. Sagat’s stage from Street Fighter with the statue of Buddah lying on his side. Thats Ayutthaya.
While its not really in Bangkok its not crazy far either. So I would not mind grabbing a taxi and heading out there. Something about this place really draws me to it. Its number 2 on my list!
– The capital of the Ayuthaya Kingdom aka Siam
-In 1767, the Burmese attacked and conquered Ayuthaya. This is when the capital was moved to Bangkok.
-It had not 1 not 2 but 3 palaces
- Grand Palace – This was the King’s residence. It was destroyed during the Burmese invasion of 1767.
- Chandra Kasem Palace – Royal residence of the crown prince.
- The Rear Palace – Built by King Maha Thammarachathirat for one of his sons.
Pictured above is the sign for the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. I tried coming here with a few family members and ended up not going due the amount they wanted to charge us (about $64.50 USD per person. They charge over double for foreigners) and the fact they wanted to put us in like 3 different boats. I was very surprised they did not want budge on the price. Next time I will be looking for a different market.
Otherwise I think the idea of climbing in a boat for an afternoon and doing all your shopping by paddling around is an amazing idea. There are many different floating markets around. I would suggest doing some research online before trying to goto one that way you don’t get surprised like I did.
This is number 3 on my list!