Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore, October 2014

We are currently in Bangkok at the beginning of a visit to Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Singapore. The main focus is a river cruise in Myanmar but the tour starts and ends in Bangkok and we have chosen to add a few days in Singapore at the end.

 

We arrived in Bangkok (after a mere 28 hours from Cincinnati) on Thursday night (October 9) and move on to Myanmar on Sunday. We have been told that internet access in Myanmar may be poor so this may be the only Post we can make until we return to Bangkok on October 25. If so, bear with us; in the meantime we are including a few pictures of our time here.

 

Today (Saturday) we spent the morning visiting the Grand Palace. This is a huge site comprising temples and civic buildings and is the official residence of the king. The Palace was built over a 100 year period beginning in 1772, at the start of the current Rama Dynasty, and reflects the architectural desires of the first three or four kings. This was our third visit to the palace but each time we are amazed at the beautiful buildings and the extremely colorful decorations on them all. Orange and gold seem to predominate but all colors are represented since virtually all surfaces are covered with metal, ceramic or glasses of every shade.

The Grand Palace from the River

The Grand Palace from the River

The original palace building

The original palace building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest palace building

The latest palace building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quintessential Thai architecture

Quintessential Thai architecture

The golden stupa

The golden stupa

 

 

Every external surface beautifully decorated

Every external surface beautifully decorated

The spiritual center of the complex houses the Emerald Buddha, a small figure dating from the 15th century and originally found in Laos. It is only about two feet high but is housed in a large, ornate temple, perhaps 50 by 20 feet and 40 feet in height.

The Emerald Buddha's Temple

The Emerald Buddha’s Temple

The civic buildings are equally impressive and stand in beautifully manicured gardens. Every building appears to be in immaculate condition and well maintained.

Wat Arun Hindu Temple from the river

Wat Arun Hindu Temple from the river

The city of Bangkok sits on the Chao Phraya River, which is filled at all times with water taxis, ferries, tourist boats and huge commercial barges. The overall impression is of a huge modern city (which it is) but spread throughout are examples of traditional Thai architecture in the form of temples, civic buildings and, of course, the Grand Palace. It is a beautiful city both day and night.

Bangkok by day

Bangkok by day

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Bangkok at night

 

As we said, tomorrow we break new ground on our first visit to Myanmar. More from there………… or wherever we can “connect”.

Bob and Molly

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