Monday, March 14, 2011

Bangkok Again

From Khorat it was back to Bangkok. I have spent a lot of time in Bangkok in the past and it is hard to not spend time in Bangkok when traveling in Thailand. I have also gotten to like this sprawling mess of a city. Now the down side of Bangkok is what to see and do that I have not already seen. While in Bangkok I spent one night seeing a friend that is working in Laos and usually spends some time in Bangkok when he has time off. I also spent one evening going out to dinner with a couple of Na’s friends. Here is a picture of Bij, Pawn and Na together at an all you can eat place.

It is fun to go out to dinner with 3 lovely ladies but the down side is I have 3 ladies wanting to get food for me to eat and I can’t eat as much as they think I should. I have done this a couple of times in the past but I was proud of myself this time and did not leave in pain from eating too much.

One day we went to the Sri Mahariamman Temple which is a Hindu temple in the middle of the Silom area of Bangkok. I don’t know how I had missed seeing this temple in all of the time I had been in Bangkok. The temple is in the guide book and I have been past it a number of times and did not notice it but now I have seen it. It looked like a number of temples that I had seen in the past in Singapore or Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia but it is really different than all the temples in Thailand. I am no expert on Buddhists or Hinduism but it seemed to me that the people that were using this temple for worship was sort of a mix of the two religions combined.

One day we went to visit Loha Prast or Iron Palace that is in the Wat Ratchanaddaram complex. I had visited Wat Ratchanaddaram before back in 2008 and had even climbed to the top of Loha Prasat. I remembered how different this building had been and was reading a book a few months ago about Bangkok and there was a chapter about this building and about how unique it is. I did not know the name of the building but from the description of it I knew I had visited it before.

From the book I read before there are 3 Iron Palaces this one and 2 located in India. It was built in 1846 by Rama III as a gift for his niece. There seemed to be people visiting the temple this day and there were exhibits inside about the temple. From my memory there were neither exhibits nor people when I went inside in 2008 but having read a bit about it I found it a lot more interesting on this visit. Loha Prast does not even have a sentence about it in the lonely planet and the bit on Wat Ratchanaddaram is only about the amulet market.

We spent some time wondering around China town and sitting in different parks in the city and just relaxing. If you are not any in rush Bangkok can be a great place to relax and watch life go by but on the other side it you are in a hurry to get somewhere the city drive you crazy.

As in most cases I ended my time in Thailand in Bangkok. Since my trip has come to an end my blog will once again go into hibernation until I either want to put my thought into words or I get a chance to hit the road.

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