Location: Bangkok

Yesterday we said our goodbyes to the people in the New Life Project, Chumporn and made our way back to Bangkok on a gruelingly long train ride, which we believed to be 6 hours and turned into 9 hours. Today we took a day to tour Bangkok. We had a late start at 10 am. We went on long-tail boat tours through the canals of Bangkok. They were cool, although they were also loud and sprayed water which wasn’t so nice. On the long-tail tour, we stopped and fed some fish from a fish farm that some monks ran. Our next stop was the royal barges. There were huge boats beautifully crafted and were all ore-powered, so they required lots of people to use them. The designs were a mosaic of colorful glass that covered the entire boat. These boats are only used on special occasions like the King’s birthday. Next, we continued on the long-tailed boats and ended up at a little market were people found some stuff to buy. We also ate lunch at a restaurant nearby. After lunch, we walked to the Grand Palace. To walk around the Palace, you had to wear long pants and cover your shoulders. Luckily some people had just bought pants while at the market, others brought pants or a big scarf to tie around their legs, and others didn’t bring anything and didn’t feel like waiting to borrow pants from the palace, so they didn’t go. The Palace itself was gorgeous. Everything was so well made and maintained. All the buildings were done in a mosaic style, and there was tons of gold and Buddha-type sculptures. It was very over the top. Everything appeared to be handcrafted and everything was covered in some art, whether it was sculptures, mosaics, paintings, carvings, and even flowers. One of the buildings was a temple which held the Emerald, Buddha. It was a very large room with lots of decoration and small green Buddha covered in gold on top. After the Grand Palace, we walked to the Wat (temple) Pho, where there was a huge golden reclining Buddha. It took up the entire building in which it lied in. After walking through most people sat down and chatted, a few people continued wandering through and said they found another temple full of monks chanting their prayers. After the Wat Pho people were tired so we went back to the hotel, which ended up being an hour-long taxi ride. Then we ate dinner at an Italian restaurant nearby, which was kind of a refreshing break from all the Thai food. Another successful, yet tiring day in Thailand!