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(Thailand Map)


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2009:

All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

Wednesday morning my 16-day voyage of Southest Asia on the Diamond Princess came to an end.
We came along side in Laem Chabang, Thailand at around 7:00.
It was about a two hour drive to Bangkok after disembarking the ship around 10:00.
Sailing into the port of Laem Chabang, Thailand Sailing into the port of Laem Chabang, Thailand Bagkok, Thailand

The Diamond Princess ends her 16-day voyage of Southest Asia
when she comes along side in Laem Chabang, Thailand in this three minute video.

Our first stop in Bangkok was at Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan.
The temple built in the reigh of King Rama III in 1846.
The highlight of the temple is "Loha Prasat", or Metal Castle, housing an urn containing relics of the Buddha.
It is the only one of its kind left in the world.
Our next stop was at Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
It is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.
Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew
Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha Temple of the Emerald Buddha Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Built in 1782 - and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative
seat of government, The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to
have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is
a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people.
Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint.
Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
We took a short walk through the streets of Bangkok down to the river for our boat cruise.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha Grand Palace The Streets of Bangkok

The Chao Phraya River runs through Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.
It is believed that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, which was besigned by a Burmese army at the time,
King Taksin arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking.
He later had the temple renovated and renamed it Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn.
Chao Phraya River Chao Phraya River Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

This eleven minute video begins as our bus arrives in Bangkok.
During our visit in the city we visit some of the city's many Buddhist temples:
Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan, Wat Phra Kaew (The Emerald Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
We also visit the Grand Palace and take a cruise down the Chao Phraya.

After lunch we were taken to our hotel in Bangkok, the Asia Hotel.
I had a few hours to relax there before heading to the airport for my midnight flight to Athens.


Around 10:00 I headed for Suvarnabhumi Airport.
This airport has the world's tallest control tower,
and the world's third largest single-building airport terminal.
Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airports in Asia.
My Thai Airways 777-300 left right on time at
12:35am for my 10 hour nonstop flight to Athens.
Suvarnabhumi Airport terminal Thai Airways 777-300


MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON OCTOBER 22, 2009
Hello,

Tired of hearing from me yet? Three weeks down and two to go.

Disembarked the Diamond Princess for the last time Wednesday morning. It was over a two hour drive into the city of Bangkok. We had light rain in Bangkok most of the day. Once we got to Bangkok we visited two of the city's 900 temples. The first was Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Next it was off to the Grand Palace. Quite an amazing collection of buildings and temples.

Grand Palace

Within the grounds of the Grand Palace is Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha).

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha is the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

We walked through town from the Palace to get to the river. We passed numerous food venders on the way.

The Streets of Bangkok

We then took a cruise on the river and canals of Bangkok.

Chao Phraya River

We passed Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn during our cruise.

Chao Phraya River

After the cruise we had lunch at a local hotel. It wasn't very good, everything was ice cold. The worthless shopping stop was next and to the hotel after that. The Grand Palace was spectacular, but other than that I didn't care much for Bangkok. Traffic in the city doesn't move at all. I was only here for a day and there may be some nice parts of the city, but I didn't see any of them. Street venders are everywhere cooking food on the filthy streets. The smell made me sick. Below is a picture of the beautiful view from my hotel window in Bangkok.

Bangkok

Was only at the hotel for about five hours before I had to leave for the airport. The new Bangkok airport is the nicest airport I have ever seen. Also the biggest, it's mammoth. My flight left right on time at 35 minutes past midnight on a Thai Airways 777. During the ten hour flight we flew over India, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. We landed just as the sun was rising. Any guesses as to where I am?

More to come,

Tim
Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.


Click on the arrow above to continue to my next adventure, GREECE.

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