Friday, 25 November 2011

GRAND PALACE, BANGKOK, THAILAND

Firstly, many thanks for all the good wishes in the previous post. I am back from Bangkok and everything was good there.

Bangkok was hot and dry as the desert. The Government did a great job protecting the city from flood and despite the flood scare, clearance at Immigration took more than an hour - normal by Bangkok airport standard. This shows how many people are still travelling to Bangkok for holidays. Top hotels are booked full in advance and despite the flood scare, it's still was a very busy city.

We all had a great time in Bangkok. This was my 9th or 10th trip and I have another trip back to Bangkok again early next year. I have always travelled for business and with friends, so this time was the first for the whole family and we had so much fun.  It was a great shopping (for the children) and eating trip!  I am posting on the Grand Palace this round, my 4th trip this time, but still loving it. Here's sharing the photos:

Instead of taking a local tour, we booked a MPV for the whole family. It's cheaper and allowed us to travel to places we wanted only and at our own pace. Took a photo of their local taxi from the MPV...you'll see lots of this pink taxis everywhere. Tip: when in Bangkok, ensure that you take a taxi with meter, otherwise, you are at the mercy of the taxi driver and they charge 20 times more than the metered fare.





The Grand Palace is a must visit place for all travelling to Bangkok.  It used to be the King's palace and it's always fun to be there..I find those architecture absolutely stunning.


The Phra Sri Rattana Chedi, a chedi or spire is supposed to contain religious Buddist artifact, also most photographed chedi by all visitors.


Mythical golden figures everywhere within the Grand Palace.


Close up!




A miniature Angkor Wat! I am planning to go to Siem Reap again next year to see the real Angkor. I overheard a guide explaining that the previous Thai King was so impressed with Angkor when he visited then, that he built this Grand Palace and lived here, a long time ago.



Another building in the Palace, love this one in blue!  Look at all the details.









Another Chedi.  There are plenty of information about the Grand Palace, so if you are interested, please read them online.


Let's see some details, isn't it amazing :)





At another entrance. You'll find similar figures at the airport as well and it's almost as huge as this!

More close up on the details..



There are many buildings within the Palace, each for a specific purpose.




Even the paintings on the walls were elaborate.



Some part of the ceilings which were hand painted.

Other shots within the Palace.


Finally, the most sacred place in Bangkok and probably Thailand. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew, read more here. In the past, you can get up close within the temple but photos allowed inside.  This time, there were so many people praying so the temple was closed.



Hope you have enjoyed the tour, still more to post about Bangkok and now I have so many people to visit.

Cheers and have a great weekend....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

BANGKOK AND FLOOD...

As you all must have read by now, Thailand is having their worst flood in half century.  Almost one third of Thailand is submerged in water and huge losses to both Thai people and factories.  However, I am going to Bangkok this Friday...eeek...not the smartest choice I know. However, we have bought tickets for the family 6 months ago.  I could cancel and pay a heavy penalty, plus re-booking anywhere else within a month means paying double or more.  I have been keeping a close tab on the flood situation and well, central Bangkok is dry and from what I understand the Government will keep it dry at all cost.  Many other parts are dry, Pattaya for example, just less than 150km away from central Bangkok - another option.  After a long pondering and indecisions, booking and cancelling hotels, tours, car rentals,  both in Bangkok and Pattaya (it's a wonder they didn't ban me with so many changes), we have decided we will go to Bangkok after all. So, I keep my fingers and toes crossed and everything will be okay :)  Will visit you all soon when I am back.

Cheers for now...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

PANGKOR LAUT - PART 2

Hello everyone :) I am posting my second part of Pangkor Laut....and still wishing I was there.
We stayed at this water villa. Perfect in every sense.



With the ocean in front and the mountains and wildlife as backdrop.  In the morning when I woke up, I heard loud noises outside and there they were, our Malaysian Hornbills.


Another peek of the water villas.








In the evening, we took a private boat out to see the sunset. Unfortunately, with gloomy weather, there was no sunset to be seen, which was dissapointing. However, we saw some fishing trawlers around.




Posting a picture of DH for the first time...


We found many such pretty water urns on display throughout our walk.










On the second day, we went to Emerald Bay.  There was a van travelling around the island and you can hop on/off whenever you wanted.  Emerald Bay was listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the world a few years ago and one can clearly understand why. Private island = private beach.  The cool water and waves, completely secluded and accessible only by the island's van and exclusive for those who stayed here.  When we arrived, free mineral water and beach towels were given and the whole day was ours to relax or sunbath...and for us, it was relaxing under the palm trees, no sunbathing, not even dipping into the waters.


Waiting area for the island's van.



Found this flower on the beach, so pretty.








When we came back from Emerald Bay, we walked over to the other side of the island.  Another part which was super exclusive only for those residing in the Spa Village. A whole range of spa experience await anyone willing to dish up top bucks for their world renowned treatment rooms. Also, water villas which are obviously very much more expensive than the ones we stayed.




Lovely daybed...


Reception at the Spa Village.



We love the long koi pond.



Another daybed calling me...




On our third day and going home.  While having breakfast (excellent selection of food by the way!), someone was showing off! Their resident peacock.





It even posed for me :)  Obviously used to crowd, no shyness from this peacock at all, just proudly strutting around.


Finally, sadly too, time to go home....I love this plant. I was so sweet smelling that I reminded myself to get one when I am home.  Oh yes, have mat will travel. That's my yoga mat which I took to Pangkor, they had daily free yoga session but I didn't attend. I did mine on the private verandah facing the ocean. I am sure my friend, Tracy from pranalight would have been proud of me :) Pop over to her blog to read about her amazing Chakra Journey.