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Maria and Gerry’s Travel Diary

Monday, 03 Jul 2006

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

MapThere were long queues at passport control and we ran into a spot of bother.You see in the plane they gave us an arrival and departure card not telling us that you fill in one but do not detach the other which I had done.The guy who had obviously had a bad hair day asked for the departure card.When I told him I was arriving not departing he got snarky and told me I would have to get the required bit of paper.So where do I get it I asked him.I do not know was the curt reply.Things got a bit hot when I asked him how was I supposed to get that blasted form if he was not going to tell me where to find it.A female official made her entrance at this stage and poured oil on troubled waters by producing the pukka chit and the guy stapled it into my passport and waved me through.As I passed him I apologised and he answered with a smile.Face had been saved
In the meantime Maria had gone downstairs to collect a trolley for our cases.
Collected our bags and headed for the exit where we saw our name displayed and were whisked to our hotel in Central Bangkok in air conditioned comfort. Traffic was heavy and to us seemed chaotic with trucks,utes cars,tuk tuks and swarms of moterbikes.
We were lucky that our room was available and we crashed at 9am for two hours much needed sleep.Previously we had confimed our prebooked city and temples tour.Found a very good coffee shop in a shopping mall attached to the hotel so a good start to our short stay in Thailand.
After a quick snack we got on a bus to be taken to central depot where people from other hotels joined us.Noted that lots of people were wearing yellow t shirts and there were lots of Thai and royal flags as well as numerous photos of the king stuck on buildings,shop fronts,along the motorways and city streets.Today was the 60th anniversary of ascension to the throne so a great display of loyalty for the monarch.
Our tour visited a number of fabulous Budhist temples so well maintained.One had a sitting Budha comprising 5.5 tonnes of solid gold.It was discovered by builders in 1954 encased in concrete to keep its real composition hidden from the Japanese.In another temple we saw a 27m long reclining Budha.Learned all about the Garuda the half man half bird seen on the top of temples to protect it.Drove through China Town with its myriad gold shops,also candle shops selling all sizs up to 2 meters in height,clothing shops etc etc.After our return to the hotel went shopping in the heat.One small shop after another all bidding us to buy,buy which we did.
We then had our evening in a small eatery where the menu was limited but the food was great and so was the price.For $4 NZ we got two big plates off a pork dish and a big bottle of beer.Delicious.
Got some clothes for our grandchildren and a wheeled cabin bag for Maria.Back at the hotel enjoyed a cocktail and being entertained by the piano man.Early to bed