We visited a 46 meter long reclining Buddha. Unbelievable! I have some pictures of the giant soles of his feet inlaid with mother of pearl.
We also went to the Grand Palace, which was the former residence of the royal family (although still used occasionally for major ceremonies). It was hilarious that the guide book said to look out for people saying that teh grand palace was closed and trying to detour you somewhere else to help you spend your money - and indeed - they were there!
As you can see - lots of gold and colored mirrors cover the outsides of all the buildings in this complex. Small detailed work gleamed down on us in the 95 degree mid-day heat. My mother and I made like the asian tourist and carried a sun parasol. It was fun having my mother on my arm while we were safely in the shade of the umbrella.
Many of the walls inside the buildings and on the interior side of the walls were covered in detailed paintings relating stories from long distant legend and more recent history. Here is a blow-up of a giant monkey-god that laid down over a river so that aThai army could cross over his back.
My mother and I walked about miles in the midday sun through the side streets of Bangkok so I could get fitted for a suit that I ordered last time I was in Bangkok (nearly 2 months before!). For nearly 30minutes we passed nothing but stores selling goods for buddhist offerings and ceremonies. Giant, plastic golden buddhas shrink wrapped and ready for purchase!
Not to mention: take home a waxy, life-size imitation of your favorite enlightened monk.
As we passed out of the old city and into "new" Bangkok we passed the National Stadium and came to a giant complex of several interconnected shopping malls in the Siam district.
The Siam Paragon is clearly the jewel of the malls and its 4-story atrium is picture-worthy with plants, water-works and a lovely picture of the king. On the fifth floor Cinema I saw The Hurt Locker with my mommy - and was stunned with how good it was. (I came back the evening I was to fly out of Bangkok to watch Avatar in 3D IMAX ...It was amazing! The whole time I was thinking, these blue people have it exactly right - I want to be a blue girl - link me up to the big nature network, get me a flying Ichran and link me to some shimmering ancestral trees!
As you travel downward through the mall from the entertainment floor you pass though a home living floor and a fashion floor and eventually down in the basement you get to the largest aquarium in southeast asia. I happened to have 850 Bhat to blow before I left the country and was delighted with my walk-about.
Look! Nemos with their anemone home in captivity!
This picture turned out surprisingly well. I think the fish tank wall may have contributed a bit of curviness.
So..these are Moray eels. I saw several of these while I was scuba diving and thought I recognized them - they are Flotsam and Jetsam from the Little Mermaid!
I got some very close up pictures of this shark with all his teeth and staring eyeballs...there is something about standing so close to a giant shark that makes one a bit giddy.