August 04, 2003

Grand Palace

Wat Phra Kaeo is the holiest site in the country and host the image of the Emerald Buddha. It is located inside the Grand Palace. From my point of view, there is no interest in this site appart from that the ticket (B200) also gives you a right to enter the Vinamnek Mansion (otherwise B100). The Grand Palace, is huge and absolutely packed with tourists, it makes your tour absolutely miserable and you are better off spending time in less touristy areas.

Indeed, it looks like all tourists in Bangkok (and particulary the big organised tours) are holding a meeting in this place. The hords of Japanese and Korean that have the habit to put themselves as a star in front of any monument, door, building or statue makes nearly futile any attempt to capture a piece of art without any colorful human on it. And westerners probably think of the holy places like the latest 'in' cafe, standing up, talking loudly or simply being unnecessarily noisy.

Another disappointing thing, is that cameras are not allowed inside any building. I'm still trying to figure out exactly why. On one hand, it might be to avoid bipedes doing inside the mess they are doing outside, so it might be understandable. How sad, though, it turned me away from a few buildings.

All this mean that I need a break.

I booked my bus for tomorrow to go to Chiang Mai through the guesthouse. It is (normally) a night VIP bus (B550) that gives you room to stretch and lie confortably and include food and drinks.

I will probably stay in Chiang Mai about 2 days, time to wander and try to get some handicrafts then I will get back to Bangkok and take another bus to a destination to be defined, somewhere close to salt water.

For the record, it is unbelievable the number of French travellers out there. In one day I bumped into more French people than in 6 months travelling from Egypt to South Africa. You can spot them easily, most of them hang around with the Guide du Routard, or a french version of the Lonely Planet.

Crowd at the Grand Palace Grand Palace Grand Palace Grand Palace Grand Palace Guard in the Grand Palace Grand Palace. Crowd in front of the guard. Dog at Thavee Guesthouse Professional organization, a barber shop mixed to a travel agency...Avoid them

Posted by stephane at August 4, 2003 07:10 AM