Siamese Dream

I was on sensory overload.  We were walking through the Grand Palace complex and my brain was about to explode as it tried to take in the intricate details of the ostentatiously decorated buildings and temples. There were the grand pavilions, elaborate thrones, and the brightly painted murals.  It was all absolutely stunning and mind-boggling at the same time.

The Grand Palace Complex

Halls and Pavillions

 Yet another mural of the Ramayana epic

The place was crowded, overrun by selfie-stick wielding tourists, who were coming in by the bus load. They kept coming, multiplying as a constant stream of buses off-loaded its latest batch. We should have come when the palace opened to avoid the tour groups.

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Legs and shoulders had to be covered to enter the temples. Because we were wearing shorts (us being American and all) we had to rent clothes to cover our nether regions. Surprisingly flip flops were allowed. I guess naked toes are OK.

We spent a good part of the day exploring the complex. We entered the sacred Wat Phra Keow (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) where no pictures were allowed inside.

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Wat Phra Keow Exterior

We were dazzled by the glimmering facades and gold roof tops, elaborate ceramic mosaic designs, and shiny “bejeweled” demon figures.  It was as impressive up close as from afar.

Facades and Gold Roof

Intricate mosaic designs

Bejeweled Demon Figurines

The setting was in stark contrast to the humble offerings to Buddha.

We returned our rented pants and skirt and left the complex and the crowds, heat and hunger finally overtaking us.

At night we decided to check out Khao San road, a tourist mecca where people come to have a good time. It’s loud and tacky with neon lights flashing and music blaring from every bar.  Ladyboys, bucket drinks, laughing gas, tattoos and greasy pad thai were all up for the offering as we walked down the street.  We had overpriced drinks at the Roof Bar and listened to a pretty good band playing old cover songs. It was fun and a little crazy.

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