Friday, April 04, 2008

Ain't Life Grand

Grand palaceI've been thinking a lot about Thailand recently. I don't know why--maybe it has something to do with planning our summer vacation (currently looking like a trip to Japan or Australia).

It was a little more than a year ago--just after Jia and I were engaged--that we embarked on our journey to Thailand. We didn't have much of a plan when we got there, but we managed to see almost everything we wanted. On our first day, we took a long walking tour through Wat Pho, The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, and Wat Arun. Out of the entire trip, I took more pictures at Wat Phra Kaeo than anywhere else (almost half of my album is filled with scenes from there).

interior grand palace
It was a fair walk from our hotel near Phra Arthit Road, and the tourist map only gave us a general idea of our direction. Fortunately, the Thai people kept pointing us in the right direction, even if we didn't ask for help. After lunch, we reached the Grand Palace--on our way a shady tuk-tuk driver tried to convince us that it was closed for a holiday. I had some choice words for him, as I knew the truth.

grand palace guardInside the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, Jia and I were amazed by the architecture. The sculptures were beautiful as they stood guard at the gates of different halls. I was mesmerized by the gold and mirrored tiles covering almost even inch of the structures. I knew nothing of what to expect when I entered, so the surprise of everything left me in awe.

There were crowds of tourists in every corner, making it difficult to get a decent picture at times. Everyone was being respectful of the temple, taking off their shoes to enter. We walked through the hall with paintings of Thai history and mythology. They were being restored at the time.

We spent hours wandering the grounds. We had a small map of the area, but we seemed to forget it. We were rather lost. There were a few buildings that were inaccessible because they were in use (I think there were some foreign dignitaries in town). When we finally decided to leave on our way to Wat Arun, we came to an unusable exit. And the guards couldn't seem to give us directions. It must've been at least 4:00 when we reached a proper exit.

It was late afternoon by the time we left. We had to hurry to ensure that we arrived at Wat Arun while there was still daylight. We finished our day with sore feet as searched for dinner on the street.
grand palace painting


1 comment:

Anubhav said...

Thailand is beautiful and sadly percieved to be only about gogo bars and gals. I was their recently and found everything about the place - lovely.