15.01.2014 - 15.01.2014 26 °C
With only spending 5 days in Bangkok I feel like I need to get in everything I can! On my second day in Bangkok I spent the day at the Grand Palace. I planned to go for 2 hours ended up staying for 4 hrs! The palace has strict clothing attire requirements and shorts, sandals are not allowed, you can rent trousers but I just put on some jeans and shoes. The day started off with an awesome brunch at the Holiday Inn (which is by far the nicest Holiday Inn I have ever seen- would be equivalent to our Westin in downtown Edmonton) which has a promotion for $295 BHT ($12) you can eat their lunch buffet. I love a good buffet and this one was great. Different stations with chefs making you custom Italian, Thai and Japanese food in front of you. The prices for food still continue to surprise me. Food is so cheap and delicious. I am eating like a King in Thailand and because of Thailand's diverse population there is such a variety. I am hooked on these Orange Julilus type drinks that I get for $0.85 they make with fresh strawberry's and bananas. They are great on a hot day or with a splash of vodka before going out. Anyways this travel blog is derailing into a food blog very quickly.
On the tourist ferry to the palace.
Back on topic, the trip from my hotel to the River where the Grand Palace is located is about an hour. You then hop on this river boat that takes tourists from the sky train station to the Palace. What is interesting is that their are different classes of ferries and you can really tell the different between tourists and citizens. Our ferry had comfortable seats and life jackets and looked in good shape. It cost $40BHT one way ($1.50) there is another type of ferry that cost 3BHT ($0.10) and well it is a miracle in my opinion it is floating with no seats and I an not imagine life jackets on that vessel. There are numerous stops on the ferry that you stop at to get to the Palace. It really is not the most efficient transportation method out there. When you finally arrive at the pier for the Grand Palace you are on your own. You have to venture past a market of all type of raw fishes and insects, cross a busy intersection (again absolutely chaos, this must be the most dangerous aspect of Thailand) and then you finally get to what is the Palace grounds. However, you must ensure you go through the right entrance or a guard will approach you with a rifle and startle you, which happened to me. Finally through my awesome hand gesture communication I found the right entrance.
You can walk around the grounds but there really is not to much to see, the temples and palace are walled off, and if your a citizen of Thailand, if not you have to pay $500BHT ($15) which is quite shocking as that is a lot of money for Thailand. However, as soon as you walk in you realize it is worth every penny. It is hard to explain the site other than it is one of the most stunning sites I have visited. (Joyce you would have went crazy taking photos!) Enjoy the photos below, the great thing about the iPhone is that regardless of your age, nationality and English speaking skills you can usually take a photo for you!
After the palace for the first time since being in Bangkok I got lost and could not find the ferry terminal, when I finally did find it again I missed the ferry and had an hour to browse through the market. They literally have everything and anything for sale. Turtles,Eagle (!!!!!), frozen cubes of blood, the list goes on. When the ferry arrived I was starving (surprising after what I had just seen at the market) and got off at one of the ferry stops at the gorgeous Royal Orchid Sheraton where I had dinner on the patio and then made myself at home crashing their pool area and using their private boat to take me back to the train station. They never asked me I was a guest so I feel I was welcome to use their amenities
The sun setting while having dinner at the Sheraton
Wrapped up the evening by visiting the night market by my hotel overall another productive day in Thailand!