Bangkok, Thailand

Weather: high of about 100ºF, low of about 80ºF and humid.

Our flight from New Zealand has personal video screens.  So does our flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok.  I dig that GPS navigation stuff with all those wacky place names.
Our first day in Bangkok, we take a three-wheeled, motorized scooter (tuk tuk) around to see some working temples (Wats).  We also sang the song, "One Night in Bangkok" a lot, even though we didn't really know the words.
Our tuk tuk took us around to 3 wats, but we could barely understand the driver, so I'm not sure which wat this is.  He called them lucky buddha, sitting buddha, and giant buddha.   The buddha icon is inside elaborate buildings like this one, except for the giant buddha, which doesn't really fit in a building.
Bangkok is a big city and we covered a lot of ground between wats, and much of it look something like this.
The next day, we walked to the Grand Palace and were completely unprepared for the Disney-like crowds.  We hadn't seen any tourists on our previous day.  The heat and the crowds made it difficult to spend more than a couple hours at this mind-boggling collection of temples.
My favorite part of the Grand Palace is the mural that goes around the inside of the outer wall.  The mural tells the history of the Grand Palace from about the 1700's to the 1950's or so.  In this frame, some monkey men are coming into the city.  In other frames, monkeys are guarding the palace.  And in one frame, King Kong helps an invading army attack the palace.  Or defend the palace... I couldn't quite tell.
One of the kings who lived here ordered this miniature of Angkor Wat to be made.  Now, Angkor Wat is in neighboring Cambodia in a town that means "Thailand defeated", but the king still wanted a model of the temple.
There were demons in the murals and in the sculpture, like these demons holding up the temple.  It would have been nice to have a guide to tell me what was up with that.
The Grand Palace has all the components of a monastary except a place for monks to live.  I guess having the king live there makes up for the lack of monks.  This building has a magnificent jade buddha in it, but photographs are not allowed of the buddhas.
The next day, we visit a museum dedicated to an American who boosted the Thai silk trade (Jim Thompson).  His house has lovely gardens and a great collection of Thai art.  While we're there, the rain comes down hard with lightning and thunder.

How to contact us: