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Golden Mount, Queen's Gallery, Longtail Riverboat, Chinatown

sunny 32 °C

We started the day with a taxi ride to the Golden Mount, the elevated site of the Wat Saket Temple whose main Stupa begins high above the city, providing great views for those who make the climb to its base. Ascending the stairs we were pleasantly distracted by a number of beautiful statues, gardens, water features, bells and of course the amazing views!

Crossing the road after leaving the temple we passed by a whole series of woodworking shops where teak lumber was being turned into a variety of pieces used in temples and some homes. The Queen's Gallery, a high rise art gallery established and supported by Queen Sirikit, was our next treat with many beautiful works by new and established Thai artists, all displayed in air conditioned comfort!

Back out in the 32C humid air, we walked down to the Chao Phraya River again near the old fort, visited a fair trade handcraft store and found a cool spot for lunch on a side alley off the main thoroughfare. Then we boarded an express "longtail" riverboat for 15 baht and headed downriver several stops to explore an area south of Chinatown. Ross had decided to get off at the Wat Pho stop earlier so he could go to that Temple and get a massage at their traditional medicine and massage centre. The remaining 3 of us inched our way forward on the crowded boat and then back to get off at the right stop (on/off happens at the stern) - it was an exercise in managing with reduced personal space!

After walking further south first to look through a Thai home handicrafts store which wasn't terrific, we made our way back north on a series of busy roads that eventually took us through the alleys of Bangkok's Chinatown and then Little India before we recognized landmarks close to our hotel and headed there to cool down before dinner.

Our last Thai supper with Jeannie and Ross was at The Deck on the River across from Wat Arun (the stupas looked even lovelier lit up as the night descended) and then we detoured on the way home to walk through Bangkok's massive and amazing flower market area. There are loads of warehoused production shops, street vendors, trucks loading, etc all covering several city blocks - beautiful pandemonium, but all running 24/7 to get flowers, garlands and all sorts of other flowered products where they need to be each day!

Tomorrow we'll see the Whites off for the airport about midday, and then plan our own last evening and morning in Thailand before heading for the long flight home ourselves...

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Posted by alangcampbell 06:02 Archived in Thailand

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I'll miss your posts but will happily welcome you both home!

by Deborah

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