Bangkok, Thialand

Founded in 1782 by the first monarch of the present dynasty,

This is the king above.  We had to stand when we went to the movies in honor of the king.  It was great.  Bangkok is home to approximately ten million people and is now the country’s spiritual, cultural, diplomatic, commercial, and educational hub. Bangkok offers visitors the opportunity to experience fascinating glimpses of Thailand’s unique past culture, amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis. The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples,

I think this is either the golden Buddha or the emerald Buddha.  It has been to many years and I can not remember.

Bangkok has magnificent palaces, classical dance extravaganzas, and numerous shopping centers, all which are subjects of great beauty and fascination.  Still, traditional ways of life abound, especially along the “Venice of the East” timeless canals and the Chao Phraya River, also known as the “River of Kings,” which winds through the city. We visited, participated and went to the many temples, plays, dances that were offered.

Very cool statue above. The splendid Grand Palace enclosure below is where the King lives. He was Harvard educated.

Grand Kings Palace above.

Bangkok is home to many ornate temples and buildings with a variety of architectural styles.  Gold leaf, reflective tiling, and Buddha images are seen everywhere. All of these are large and incredible. Much is still to be seen in the Grand Palace compound, such as the Royal Thai Decorations and Coin Pavilion, where a permanent exhibition of royal regalia, decorations, medals, and coins dating back to the early 11th century are on display

Wow look at the attention to detail above in the glass or ceramic Wat front.

The magnificent Wat Phra Kaeo is a treasure trove of Thai arts and home to the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most revered Buddha image.

Golden Buddha above

Bangkok is still a city of temples, and the whole place is resplendent with golden spires, orange-tiered roofs, saffron-robed monks, and serene Buddha images. Prepare to be amazed with the beauty of the 150-foot long and 49-foot high gold-plated Reclining Buddha, with mother-of-pearl inlaid eyes and feet at Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha).

Reclining Buddha above.

Experience the architectural splendor at Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple), with its classically beautiful proportions, and European influences evident on its stained glass windows and use of Carrara marble. End your day with the sun setting in the red sky behind the Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) this is really spectacular.

Bangkok was once known as “The Venice of the East.” Cruising along the “klongs” takes you on a journey of contrast back to earlier years, all the way to modern Bangkok. The contrast continues as you pass into idyllic rural pockets where villagers grow fruit, vegetables, and orchids. An ideal way of combining dining with river enchantment is to enjoy a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. We took a ride through some of the Klongs.

We experience one of the most refined performing arts at Sala Chalermkrung, where a Thai classical masked dance was performed.  We saw a puppet show here equal to Phnom Penn.

very nice eventing seeing a dance at the theater.This exquisite collection of traditional Thai houses stands as a museum to Jim Thompson, the man who revived the Thai silk industry and founded the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. The house sits on approximately a half acre of land on Mahanak Canal. Ban Khrua Village, where his silk weavers lived and worked, is just on the other side of the canal. Jim Thompson’s eclectic collection of antiques and artifacts is on permanent exhibition, making this a magnificent tribute to a well-respected and sorely missed legendary figure.  So we know Jim Thompson’s niece Mrs. Earl Gallagher.  And what happened to Jim!???

Jim Thompson’s house.

To say the least Bangkok is excess in all of its unrestrained glory. Bigger, better, more: the city is insatiable, a monster that feeds on concrete, shopping malls and unfortunately diesel exhaust. The city demands that you be in the present and in the moment because the city is self-absorbed.  Smiles and Sawade are the key passports into Bangkok society. A compliment here is the demands of social lubrication in this megalopolis.

One of Bangkok’s feature is its intermingling of opposites. A modern world of affluence orbits around a serene traditional core. Step outside the four-star hotels into a typical Siamese village where taxi drivers knock back energy drinks and upcountry transplants grill chicken on a street side barbecue. Hop the Sky train to the glitzy shopping malls where trust-fund babies examine luxury brands as carefully as the housewives inspect produce at the open-air markets. Or appreciate the attempts at enlightenment at the city’s famous temples and doorstep shrines, or simple acts of kindness amid the urban bustle.

A small Temple above.  You can jump between all of these worlds. Bangkok is an urban connoisseur’s dream comes true.

That is me above cool shot