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claire’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 13 Jul 2008

Location: bangkok, Thailand

MapJust before Dad asnd Lucie arrived on the Friday, Ben and I checked into the Rembrandt Hotel. Now, imagine two backpackers with massive bags looking like hippies trying to check in the hotel. The staff were not impressed!!! Nontheless, we got checked into our luxury finally!!
Once we had met up with Dad and Lucie (tried to surprise them at the airport, almost missed them!) we took them around central bangkok. I think they we pretty shocked at how busy it is and how much pollution hovers over the city. It was a really hot day too, temp was around 34 degrees and the humidity was something insaine!! We had a quiet night, so we could all be up bright and early to see the sights the following day.
As Lucie was with us, the thought the best thing to do was to take her to the day market, Chatuchack. It was packed and soooo hot, but Lucie was in her element. Handbags and Jewellery!!! She did quite well with her bartering skills and managed to buy god knows how many braceletts and things. Around midday the heat got to us and we retired to the pool back at the hotel. Not sure how to act around a posh hotel pool, just do what we do and make so much noise everyone else leaves!
After a relaxing couple of hours, we took them to the Khao San Road. What a contrast. I think they we taken aback how busy it is. But its brilliant for mooching around and we did pick up a few more bargains along the way.

Up early again (ok so its starting to wear a little thin!) to head to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha. You did warn us Stas, but we still went in the wrong clothes!! Lucie and I had to put on a heavy shirts which was brilliant when the temp had alreay reached 32 degrees. The picture on Lucies face was hilarious, so much so I took a few pics and you can see them on there (sorry!)
The pagodas around the tempke are amazing. They ideas behind the design are from china, india and cambodia. The amound of coloured glass and gold used in terh design is immense. Im not sure the pictures do it justise. What was interesting was when we saw the Grand Palace was the 2nd floor design is based on Buckingham Palace, and the King even bought over street lamps from London to make the Palace look good!!
Our final trip of the day was a river cruise in a longtail boat. It was fun, and we fed massive catfish and saw those giant lizards in the river. The river looks quite dirty but it doesnt stop the children swimming in it-yuk.
Early evening we went to Pat Po market which is full of designed fakes. I was really reserved and only bought a wallet, but the others went a bit crazy. Lucie bought 3 hangbags and Dad got three watches!! This market is more agressive than the other stalls. If you are not interested in buying, they thais wont even let you look at the bags which we found strange!