Friday, March 11, 2011

The rest of out time in Thailand......

What a mess! In the middle of my Bangkok blog my download of the pictures stopped – I had exceeded the memory limit (1GB) for Blogspot. “Oh dear; mumble mumble”, I said (not). Signed up for 20GB of extra storage; figured out (more or less) how to use Picasa for my picture storage; downloaded there – also a bit of a learning curve; then was able to put the pics of Grand Palace in Part 1.

Bangkok – Part 2
Grand Palace and its decorations
When you look at all the Palace decorations every building is different. The tower with the flowers consists of pieces of Chinese porcelain. Porcelain was imported from China and some of it arrived broken – the pieces were used to make the flowers you see covering the tower
A similar technique but a bit cruder was used to make the flowers on the other surface.
The other element that really got our attention was the tiles – painted with beautiful simple scenes.
Buddhism is about meditation and self-awareness

Anyway, you have to look back to see all these things on the prior posting.

After the Grand Palace – it was now about 1.30pm - we were rushed through a food market to go to the dock to catch our river cruise craft for the next part of the tour. The vendors were cooking for customers – predominantly in Woks and the sights and smells were wonderful.

Our cruise was in a slightly wider version of the longboat (think one of the James Bond movies and the chase scenes). Getting on was an adventure and staying dry was – like forget it. It was so wet and humid my Mickey Mouse watch steamed up inside the glass!!

We rode along the Chao Priya River and saw the sights – two we wanted to capture for prosterity.
First, waterfront property in Bangkok!!

Second, the feeding of the monster catfish! We went to a temple that reveres these fish and craft come here to feed them – chunks of bread. The water is brownish black and ugly, the fish are brownish black and ugly and the feeding frenzy makes one of them all

Went to a waterfront hotel for a delicious Thai lunch – the noodle soup was amazing, the food lovely and fruits I had never seen before were a successful experiment.

After lunch, we were taken for a 45 min shopping trip to a jewelry / craft store – had no interest and found it to be a bit of a bore. Then bus ride back to the ship and an evening departure for the overnight sail south in the Gulf of Thailand

Ko Samui, Thailand:
Today we sailed into this beautiful island and anchored about 3 miles offshore. We had a free day planned and went to Chaweng beach which is about a 40 minute drive from the pier where our tenders drop us.
Had an exciting ride to the beach - the van was space-age - had everything except seat belts!!!!
Had two hours at the beach – lovely weather; sunny and warm. The water was warm but was pretty rough – lots of waves and a bit of an undertow. It was a welcome break from the ship and from organized touring. 

The beach front was a shopping street – which represented a welcome break from those of us at the beach for those of us who were not.
At 2.15pm or so it was the drive back to the pier, its a small island and a fishing port - here are some of the fishing boats
then took the tender to the ship thought you would be interested in our ships approach to the prevention of piracy!!

and a quick bite of lunch before getting down to completing this blog memorializing our stay in Thailand.

We are supposed to sail at 4pm for Singapore but have not yet done so. The news is full of the Earthquake that just took place off the coast of Japan and the Tsunami it spawned. We are in the best place possible for safety – on the ocean – but it may be out of caution that we are delayed. We’ll stay in touch

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