A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new."
Dalai Lama

Monday, 24 August 2009

Bangkok Dangerous, did not turn out quite so bad....

Bangkok dangerous, did not turn out quite so bad, in fact a really great time. Relaxed but at the same time exhausted.
It had been along time since I had been able to have time with Sarah and Vivi so off we went Friday afternoon. Up to Bangkok.
We had a couple of nights there booking into a small old (read worn out) hotel on Soi 20. First evening was an Indian dinner followed by a walk round the small trade stalls lining Surkumvit Road and doing some shopping.
Saturday was all out… First the house of Jim Thompson. Jim Thompson was an American who came over to Thailand at the end of the second world. The hand weaving of silk, a long neglected cottage industry captured Jim Thompson’ attention. He devoted himself to reviving the craft. Highly gifted as a designer and textile colorist he contributed substantially to the industry’s growth and to the worldwide recognition accorded to Thai silk.
His house combines 6 teak buildings which represent the best in Thai architecture. On March 26th 1967 Jim Thompson disappeared while on a visit to Malaysia. No one knows how or why or indeed what happened to him. Disappeared without trace. Makes the visit to his house all the more interesting to have some intrigue added in.
Some beautiful; gardens and the houses are wonderful. Quite how one lives in a lot of up and down places I do not know but he certainly made the most of it all.
He had decorated it with old Thai statues of Lord Buddha etc. Some dating back to the 11th Century. My photos do not come anywhere near doing the place justice.
We enjoyed the guide tour and walking through the gardens. In a sense quite surreal as there is only a wall between this oasis of tropical gardens and the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. In fact it is only about 5 minutes walk from the National Stadium and the end of the overhead railway system. At which is a MBK mega store and I mean massive in being several kilometers along and packed with people buying phones. Cloths, gold you name it they’re buying it.. So quite a contrast!!
We went back there after the visit to do a little shopping. Bumped into a little old America woman looking for a book stall. So that became out first point of call in MBK. MBK is next to the national stadium. And outside was a small football pitch. Blue coloured grass?....
Quick lunch and off to the Grand Palace. Not the best timing, to go, on a Saturday afternoon when the roads are packed and the temperature is rising. Just very hot and no wind.
What a place. It really is a grand palace complete with walled gardens, a massive Wat and numerous building and statues etc. The Wat hosts a load of murals showing various scenes on the life of Lord Buddha etc. and I would suggest any visitor to Bangkok to find time to fit in a trip there. In fact essential to any list of ‘to dos’ in Thailand. I see little point in listing out all the details but the link below will provide you with all you need to know. http://thailandforvisitors.com/central/bangkok/ratanakosin/prakeo/ Really is worth a visit. One thing that did strick the 3 of us. The murals were being restored. The persons working on the restoratiosn were all young, so unlike parts of Europe the traditioinal trades appear here to be carried over from one generation to another. V Good. There were also several Thai students wandering around and stopping visitors and undertaking impromptu interviews. Sarah and Vive being amongst them. My photos are mostly of the Wat as by the time got the the Palace we were worn out!!!!
It was just hot and we expected rain at any moment as it was so humid and close. Well we made it back to the hotel still hot, no rain but the air felt really heavy. We showered and got ourselves ready for dinner. Just ready to go and down acme the rain, yes the tropical storm arrived and we were stuck in the hotel. And it poured just like standing under a bucked of water being thrown at you. Went on for hours, finally at about 9pm we made it out for a dinner, followed by a dance and live music. Soi 22 to be precise. No details available for the evening entertainment….No camera…..
This completed our Bangkok trip and Sunday saw us drive back to Pattaya. Stopped off at a friends for a quick pool practice and then an early night.