Thai version

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Day 4 in Bangkok

Wat Arun
Today started out just like the rest of the day I have been here. I got up as usual at 5am. I went to bed at 11pm last night and I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep. I know it’s going to hit me like a rock one of these days. After getting more done with the journal dad finally got up out of bed and came to my room after he got freshen up in the morning. He didn’t want to stay in his room so that he doesn’t wake up mom. But mom finally woke up and got ready to go eat breakfast. They both came to my room and dad disappear and came back with mom’s anniversary card, which I remembered it was their anniversary I had already filled out the card and was able to gave them the card wishing them a happy anniversary. They said thank you, and thanks to Heather who thought of it long before it was time for me to bring to Thailand. Since it is their anniversary, and before we’ve gone down for breakfast, we’ve discuss what we would like to do today. I told them it’s totally up to them since it’s their anniversary. I suppose they didn’t really have a plan, and my plan was to visit wat temple tour that I have not been to. After a little bit of disagreement of what they wanted to do, they decided that wat temple tour is what we’ll do today. But there were a couple of errands we would have to do before we hale a taxi and start the tour. They need to visit the exchange bank to exchange the U.S. dollars, and go to develop the film.

Breakfast is usually the same. It’s a buffet style; I normally have rice soup with the dressing on the side dish. After that I have omelets, bacons, chicken sausage, stir fry noodles with stir fry chicken on top and of course sa-la-pout. This is that white fluffy steam things with stuffing on the inside. After I finished the two dishes I normally get a bowl full of fruits. I have it with hot team, cream and sugar, water, and oranges. By the time I’m done with breakfast I’m ready to hit the road with stomach full of energy.

We headed out to the concierge and asked where a film development places are. He pointed the way; dad is still struggling with digital camera and has reverted back to the old style film camera. He had just finished up a roll of it, and that is where we’re heading first. On our way to the film store I had ask them if it’s one hour photo development place he said yea. But it will take 4 hours he said jokingly. I ask why he said the all said that remember yesterday it’s suppose to take ½ hour it took two hour instead. We continue to walk and had reached the store front and saw the sign that said 45min film developing. Dad said it’ll take them more than two hours. I thought to myself yea right. After mom and dad gave them the film and requested for the development print 4x6 and CDs. They said no problem can be done. But come back around noon they said. So there we go, dad was right, a 45 min film development turns into 2 hours. Dad look and I laugh then we walked out. It’s no big deal since we’re going to be gone most of the day anyway. So, we’ll have to pick it up later that day.

There were one other spots we have to go, we have to go and exchange some money for grandma hospital stayed. We walk across the soi and not further down the sidewalk we’ve reached the location. It was about 5 til 9am they have not opened shop yet. We sat there and didn’t wait very long until the shop opened up. It didn’t take long; I was basically waiting for them to take care of business. When they were done we left and walk to the next soi to hale a taxi. We were being particularly picky because we wanted to get a pink one. Mom hale a taxi and started bargaining with them, basically we looking to have the taxi driver drive us around all day and pay one price. They agreed up a 1,000 baht for all day wat tour. We all got in and he explains to us that we need to go to this and that wat and go in this order since it will be on the way and end up with this wat then return at around 5pm.

So the first visit we arrived at was a Wat calle the “Golden Buddha” it is located in the china town. This wat has very few visitor it was a little easier to visit the day is early so the heat wasn’t such so bad. The Buddha is truly golden and huge at least 17 – 20 feet tall sitting in a meditation posture. It was relatively a smaller shrine and there wasn’t much to see outside. We met up with the taxi driver and left the scene. But before we left we stop at the street vendor and bought a t-shirt.

Next on the tour guide is Wat Saket also known as the Temple of the Golden Mount (Wat Phu Kao Thong), this temple was built during the reign of King Rama I and houses relics of Lord Buddha. To reach the top of the man-made hill on which the pagoda housing the relics is located you must climb 318 steps. But the arduous trip is worth it because one you reach the top, you’ll have panoramic view of Bangkok. Dad took it like a trooper since he doesn’t want to go into the wat itself, because he has seen so much Buddha that it’s no big deal to him. Which is fine mom and I go in and wai (put hands together to prey) the statue. I really like this pat of the tour even tough it was sort of hot once you arrived on top it was cool and breezy. But it was uncomfortable as well because you have to take of your shoes to step on the very top, can you say “Hot?” By the time we got back to the bottom I was drenched with sweat we stop and take a ice cold drink break and restroom break. Then we met up with the taxi driver.

Next on the our guide list were The Marble Temple or Wat Benchamabophit was built during the reign of King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn 1867-1910). Mainly built with materials from several countries, it’s one of the most modern examples of Thai religious architecture. Called “The Marble Temple” because it’s main chapel is constructed in white Carara Italian marble, this Wat houses a replica of what many consider to be the finest Buddha image ever made in Thailand. Phra Phutthachinarat of Phitsanulok. This is truly beautiful I took few pictures of it. It was a short trip, remember dad’s schedule it was running close to noon, so our next trip is to visit something to eat. But, next to this wat there was a nice klong (drum) that was unique and was pretty interesting to see.

So once we track down the taxi driver, we inform him to get us to pata shopping center to go to the food court. We got to pata and walk strait to the food court. I’m not sure if you remembered but this food court you have to go exchange cash for credits and use the credit card type and pay at each stop you want to get your food at. I have almost the same things I had at Lotus, it was pork chop basil and yellow chicken curry with fried eggs on top. Also earlier at the Marble Temple I had ran out of battery, so after we finished eating we went to find some battery for the digital camera. I also bought some Thai movies 2 for 100 baht I got 4 of them. I had the store shop person personally picked it for me. I hope they’re good. Now that we’re full and feel a bit better, it’s time to head to Wat Arun. We met up with the taxi driver and head to Wat Arun.

Wat Arun will be the last stop of the leg. The last one to arrive will be eliminated. I feel like that sometime, but not traveling internationally just in Bangkok and not racing with anyone just the time. Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) I called it the Temple of my love. I know I’m getting cheese on you. I just thought it was appropriate. This Wat is noted for it’s prangs (pagoda) which are decorated with Chinese porcelain. The central prang is at a height equivalent to a 20 stories building and is the tallest of its kind in Thailand. You can’t value it’s beauty until you come up close to the temple. Its very detail and pretty from the distance it dark and nothing is reflecting from it. The surrounding was also very nice, the river is right next to it. There are boat taxi ad rice barges going along the river. I went into the wat and try to clime up to the highest level, but it was blocked off. Darn! Since this was later in the day the heat was extremely hot and humid more hot and humid then any other day since I’ve been here. On our way out we stop at the street shop and bargain for a mystical (I called it dragon) mask. We got into the taxi and headed back to the hotel.

Needless to say on our way back it took us over an hour to get back to the hotel. It was some kind of rush hour; I think the school was letting out. One of the things I got out of this that I did not mention was a couple of things. Most of everyone including the taxi driver considered me as a foreign, because I have been inform I look like the Japanese, or Chinese. I ask why they said I dressed like them and my skins are a lot lighter then most Thai and my figures are pretty big. Many of the temples we visited today required that you pay an entrance fee if you’re a foreigner; I have to continuously tell them in Thai that I’m Thai person. If they don’t hear me talk Thai they would not know that I’m Thai. The taxi driver thought that I was only 27 or 28 years old and did not look like I’m 35 years old. He also thought that my mom is in her early to mid 50’s but in reality she is 59 years old.

Anyhow we made it back to the hotel at 4pm, mom had once felt sleep in the car during traffic jam. She decided to take a short nap and dad sat on a chair to watch TV. I decided to go to the internet café and send you this Thai Diary. I hope you enjoyed it. After that was all done, I head up to the room and decided to go and do some exercise. I told dad that I will be gone for about an hour and will be back. The exercise session was vicious I over work my body and by the time I was done I was extremely tired. I got back to the room showers and even after the shows I was still sweating. Mom has wake at that time I have her put that snake powder on my back and I cover myself with those things, a few minutes later I was cold as ice. By the time I got back it was a bit over 6pm. Mom and dad had already been freshen up and ready to head out for their anniversary dinner. Once I was completed with my shower and got dressed we start down stair and walk to a bar-b-q place dad wants to go. It’s call Tony Rimos, we order a full slab of ribs and split three ways. I order calamari for appetizer. Dinner was fine, dad don’t get this type of food since he has been in Saudi. So really it was a treat for him, if had my way I would want to eat Thai, I could get this stuff any day in the states.

After a good dinner we headed back to the hotel, but we took our time since there are lots of shops along the side walk. We stop at one of the sunglass vendor and grab 2 pair (100 baht/each) and mom grabbed 2 pair for uncle Dang and A. A little bit down the side walk we found some bootleg DVD I got the messenger and dad got one I can’t remember it. DVD was not very clear, but what do you expect for $100 baht. I will start to copy most of dad’s onto my laptop so that I can watch it later and maybe even on the flight back. After we got what we wanted we headed back to the room. Now mom and dad have to pick up Dang tonight. I started to pack up my stuff since we’re leaving tomorrow morning. Mom did the same things. Dad took a nap while they waited till 10pm to leave. I’m just sitting here finishing up my journal. A little sneak peak for tomorrow Tuesday 28th of Feb, we’re heading to Nongka and the latest news is they got her out of the hospital today. So I should be able to see her tomorrow. I’ll let you know more.

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