Tower on Chao Phraya Riverfront
Yesterday I did a quick tour of Bangkok with the primary objective of taking in a few Buddhas. There certainly is no shortage here. My first port of call was the Grand Palace which I got to by public water bus. The waterfront scenery was diverse ranging from the prestige skyscrapers of multi-national corporations, historic temples through to corrugated iron shacks. The water of the Chao Phraya river is invariably an opaque brown. I don’t want to think why!
Orange robed Buddhist monks at the Thai Grand Palace
On arrival at the palace I made a plan to visit three sites of interest (all Buddha of various shapes and sizes) and negotiated the hire of a Tuk Tuk a three wheeled motorscooter for the princely sum of 30 Thai Baht ($1.00) –and this for two hours of transportation entertainment. A bargain if ever there was one! I’ll elaborate more on that in my next post. Anyway I survived the trip (just) and observed some spectacular architecture and astonishingly beautiful Buddha. Apart from the Tuk Tuk adventure I felt curiously peaceful by the end of the afternoon. Curious.
Part of the Grand Palace
The Emerald Buddha
As a side note, my first reaction on seeing soldiers marching around the Palace with shouldered rifles was to think that this was a bit incongruous with the peace and tranquility theme. Then I noticed that the weapons contained no magazines/bullets and were thus only symbolic. A nice gesture in this day and age.