Monday 23 February 2015

the Grand Palace, the crazy catfish & the long train journey

On our second day we caught a public bus to the Grand Palace. The complex was established in 1782 and is an extremely important place for the Thai people which, Raht tells us they must visit at least once in their lifetime. As it was Sunday, there were a lot of local people visiting as well as cruise ships which meant the crowd was a little intense.

The grounds of the Grand Palace consists of many smaller buildings, royal residences, throne halls, government offices and the temple of the Emerald Buddha - which is actually made from jade but for many years Thai people thought it was made from Emerald as they mistakenly thought all green gemstone was emerald. 

Temple dress was required - no knees or shoulders on display

In Thailand they have 3 seasons {Raht told us they were hot, hotter and hottest but I believe it's more like Summer, Winter and Rainy Season}. With the changing of each season someone, usually the King, will come and change the golden clothes that they Emerald Buddha which represent each season. 

After spending some hours exploring the grounds we walked to the canal to catch a long boat. We travelled up and down the canal, seeing Bangkok from a different view. We pulled up beside a floating bread stall and Raht bought 5 loaves of bread for us to feed the big dirty gross catfish that live in the canal. I don't recall seeing catfish so big and it was a little crazy how nuts they went for the bread.

We had the rest of the afternoon free to have lunch and prepare for the long train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai that night. 

Bangkok Train Station

We departed Bangkok on time at 6:10pm and I was pleasantly surprised how spacious the seating which then converted into a bed was. My Canadian roomie was on the top bunk which was a little narrower. 

The Aussie BFFs

We arrived in Chiang Mai at about 8:15am the following morning and had to reach for the cardigan due to the crispness in the air. It reminded me of a Autumn morning in Toowoomba, that chill that then heated up to a beautiful day. We headed straight to our hotel for breakfast.

The drive from the train station to the hotel was long enough for me to realise I was going to like it here...

{PS....So I can link up with Kirsty at My Home Truths, I must confess my middle name is Frances...

Also linking up with Alicia at One Mother Hen for Open Slather}

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