Bangkok: things we did in between the eating*

*Some eating is featured (couldn’t be helped).

Saturday 14th November – Saturday 21st November

We’ve spent the last week in Bangkok with my parents and extended Thai family.

In one paragraph, what is Bangkok like? It’s big. It’s hot. Most Thai people don’t seem to notice the heat… I feel like I saw a lot of them in jumpers and jeans, eating hot soup, while I was in shorts and a T-shirt, trying not to move. You see drivers doing things that wouldn’t be allowed in the UK – especially people on scooters – like cutting over pavements or driving the wrong way. The idea of “right of way” on the road is pretty open for interpretation! There’s a lot of enormous air conditioned shopping malls (I’m told that people here shop because there’s not a lot else to do). There’s street vendors everywhere selling meat on sticks and diced tropical fruit and noodles and curries in plastic bags. The streets are hot and dirty, and the pavements are a haphazard mess of cracked paving stones, ramps, tarmac and puddles. In contrast, the underground train (MRT) is air conditioned and spotless. There are temples (Wats) to be found everywhere, with bright geometric designs favouring gold, white, red and green.

Here’s some pictures…

A view of a Bangkok road while we waited for the sky train.


It took us a while to figure out who the mysterious orange figure was in this picture. We should be giving up our seat to… an icecream cone man? A man who is unfortunately very flabby?


Eventually we realised, it is – of course – a monk!

For Eric’s birthday we went to a Japanese restaurant. Here a starving Eric is told to wait until we take a photo (OK three photos) before he can begin his meal. “Just let me eat!” he’s saying.  

Poor Eric.

Sea World! Where I take a lot of blurry pictures of fish. Here’s the only good ones. 

A visit to Chinatown. Apparently this is the biggest one in the world (that isn’t actually China).  

You can wander down endless sois (alleys) getting lost amongst the stalls, which sell all the brightly-coloured tat you could ever dream of. 

  

Near Chinatown is Wat Triamit.


It houses the world’s largest PURE GOLD Buddha. 

It’s 5.5 tonnes and very shiny. 

There’s a good story about this Buddha. For a long time nobody knew it was made of gold, as it had been encased in plaster to keep it safe from the invading Burmese. One day, as it was being lifted into the temple, the crane holding the Buddha dropped it, the plaster casing cracked open and – kerching! Gold Buddha. So if you’ve got anything old lying about why not hurl it onto some cobblestones to reveal your very own solid gold keepsake?

We visited the beautiful Guan Yin Shrine, which houses a 900 year old statue of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy.  

And we also took a peek at the famous crocodiles kept in Wat Chakawat Ratchawat, rumoured to eat disobedient young monks. 

On Tuesday our friend Gift took us to see the Art in Paradise gallery. A group of Korean artists made lots of 3D-effect images, which the visitor is encouraged to get involved with. It was the slight excuse me and Eric needed to act like complete tits. 

  
  
  

The unmissable and incredibly photogenic Wat Phrakaew.

  
  
  

And the equally stunning Wat Pho, complete with HUGE Buddha (in gold, of course). 

  

A boat tour along the Chao Phraya river. I kept my mouth very firmly closed as water from the river splashed me!


As the week went on it basically descended into an eat-fest. Mum’s many Thai friends kept taking us out, or mum would take us out, or mum would take my Khun Yai (grandma) out and we were invited…

Here we are having sukiyaki. You order raw ingredients and cook them yourself at the table.  

We could order more ingredients via a touch screen computer at the table. This was dangerous. 

We also ate some durian. This fruit is notoriously bad smelling, and you are not allowed to take it on the underground in Thailand because of this. Yet its creamy, sweet delicious taste and unusual texture actually prompts Japanese and Korean people to visit Thailand on “durian eating holidays”.  

Eric didn’t really like it.

Thai food is better than English food. This is a scientific fact. But… I’m not too sure about some of the desserts. Here is a traditional Thai dessert.

In case you were wondering, this is mixed beans in a sweet syrup. Served warm.

Hmm. Give me a Mickey Mouse shaped icecream any day. 

We finished off the week with a trip to Safari World, where we saw lots of animal shows. 

 

Look at the picture this elephant painted! 

Khun Yai with an elephant. 


Please don’t pooh on my head. 

Amongst all these activities was a lot of meeting my parents’ Thai friends, who, along with our family, gave us lots of advice and offers of support for our upcoming trip. We have been given a phone and SIM card, maps, recommendations and contacts. I’m actually feeling quite prepared thanks to everybody’s help.

One last dinner with the family before we set off tomorrow morning. It’s been a good week.  

PS. Here’s Khun Yai’s dog, Taahm. He is mainly fed rice, and he’s very cute and very naughty.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Bangkok: things we did in between the eating*

  1. I like Bangkok been there many times but I didn’t know about @art paradise. Fyi…it is similar to Philippines art in an island. Will post it next on my blog when ready. 😉
    Great trip you have there!

    • Hi, thanks 🙂

      Art in Paradise is surprisingly un-advertised to tourists. We only knew about it through a Thai friend – they should publicise it more. There’s also one in Chiang Mai, which again is really not advertised. It’s a pity – they’re such good fun!

      • Lots of tourist spot and activities in the Philippines aren’t advertised unfortunately. I just happen to know about it by word of mouth from my cousins who visited it then my son & I accidentally stumble upon it while malling as they put a small booth in the mall but obviously some people doesn’t know how to pose on it, a pity!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s