Mum and I have had a great few days wandering about, feeling our clothes stick to us in places I’d rather not mention. The reclining Buddha was pretty spectacular, although I’m quite sad the poor guy is stuck indoors the whole time. I imagine something like that would look far more appealing outside, with the sunlight glinting off his face, causing epileptic fits left, right and centre amongst gaggles of awestruck tourists. As it is he’s looked away in a temple, and we’re expected to pay 50 baht to take the 5 minute walk around his gargantuan frame, make a “wooooooow” sound and leave.
I guess if we were feeling particularly religious or inspired by his presence we could stop and admire him a moment longer, maybe say a prayer or perform a chant, or make an offering. But we’d probably just get trampled on by an obese lady called Megan or Brittany or Sharon in the process, who didn’t see us because she was trying to take a photo with her daughter’s portable Nintendo. It’s a shame really, but that’s tourism I suppose.
We also did a brilliant tour called the Bangkok Food Tour; well worth the 475 baht per person. The tour is pretty new so our guide ‘Olive’ really did manage to get us off the “beaten track” and we sampled some impressive food in various restaurants we’d never have ventured into before. We had Yum Pla Dook Foo (deep fried shards of catfish with a green mango salad) in a local village just off the river. We ate Curry Lava on Egg with beef satay (complete with a huge chunk of fat that apparently, was the best bit), a Thai Style green custard bun, and the best roasted duck I’ve ever eaten. This three hour morning trip more than made up for the endless journeys on the Chao Phraya Express Boat up and down the filthy waters from our hotel district to the main drag of palaces, shopping malls and air-conditioning. Gets really tiring after a while, and I’m sure breathing in all that crap is the equivalent of chain smoking your way up the river.
Olive gave us an interesting insight into the Thai culture as far as married couples go. I never knew that Thai husbands and wives have to live with one set of parents, until the parents die! They get to choose whose parents they live with, but once they’ve chosen, they have to stay with them until the oldies kick the bucket. I’m not sure what I think about this. I suppose I can appreciate how lovely it is, judging by the lack of healthcare offered by the outside world. It’s very nice that traditions such as this are still alive, and that families help each other out in this way, but jeeeez, imagine what a dampener something like that would put on our selfish London/Sydney lives. Yikes.
Anyway, I’m writing this from the overnight train to Chiang Mai, which has been an experience in itself. We’ve got about ten minutes till we get there. Will post some piccies of the ride up later! But now, we’re treating ourselves to a relaxing day by the pool. I know mum’s looking forward to doing nothing all day, just as much as I am. Bangkok is awesome but it feels like a massive mission just to do anything or get anywhere as your body is constantly battling an inner inferno. Crazy. Cannot wait to dive/belly-flop into that swimming pool. X