Friday, December 06, 2013

Happy Birthday King!

After a couple of crazy days adjusting to Bangkok we decided to have a day off.  However, in traditional O'Neill-Williams style what starts as a gentle easy day can all too easily descend on a roller-coaster ride into the unknown!

We headed out once it cooled down in the afternoon and caught the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin and then a boat up the shore to Tha Tien.  Immediately Mark's eyes were drawn to a golden throne of mango, so we bought a plate with sticky rice and coconut milk and feasted like kings.  Easily the most delicious mango we've ever eaten.

We were right next to Wat Pho so we decided to head inside.  Wat Pho is one of Bangkok's biggest temples and home to the reclining Buddha which is 46m long and 15m high and is *just about* housed by the building. I can only assume they built it around the Buddha!  This statue illustrates the passing of the Buddha into nirvana.
We continued to walk around - and witnessed a wonderful sunset from the Wat, so have some glorious photos ready for our marathon slideshow session when we return.
The Grand Palace had closed and we planned to head towards Sao Ching Cha in search of dinnner - for reasons beyond me we decided to take the scenic route around the Grand Palace.  Best.  Decision.  Ever.  As we rounded the corner we were met by a sea of yellow t-shirts - turns out that the Kings Birthday, which had been majorly played down, probably because of the protests, was actually going ahead!  We'd arrived in time to see a constant stream of pink taxis departing the palace to mark his birthday, then followed by the King in his official car with all his military.  Obviously we gave him a little wave and wished him Happy Birthday.

We headed on to Sao Ching Cha, albeit slowly, before coming to the conclusion that everyone in the city was headed in the same direction.  Turns out the area we were aiming for is based around City Hall near the Red Swing, so when we arrived, once again it was nothing but a sea of yellow.  People were holding candles aloft and singing Happy Birthday to their King.  It was really beautiful to watch.
Unfortunately it did mean that most of the food stalls had closed down so we didn't get to do the culinary tour we'd had in mind.  HOWEVER, we did manage to score the most incredible Pad Thai from a street vendor.  I can still taste it now if I close my eyes.  Ooosh.

Slightly sated we went in search for other things edible and happened upon a stall selling deep fried tofu and taro balls with sticky sweet chilli sauce and sesame seeds.  Yes please.
 And here ends our Bangkok adventures.  Bring on Chiang Mai.

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