Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Only 30 minutes walk from my hotel, crossing two 4-6 lane roads with traffic that make London and NYC look empty. The air pollution is not necessarily visible but I can feel it in my throat.

Just before the palace complex is a hidden oasis underground. A huge marble tiled hall with benches and restrooms – fully air conditioned. Pure bliss. I stopped there whenever my way took me past just to bring down my body temperature. On the walls hang blown-up posters of the palace and Bangkok through the ages.

At the entrance to the palace many guides try to sell their services. In hindsight it would have been good to have somebody explain the stories behind the beautiful paintings. Next time. I like to explore at my own pace.

Security is high, soldiers in immaculate uniforms everywhere. Tourists in shoulder and knee free attire are directed to the stalls outside to buy appropriate clothing. I find it astonishing that people don’t read up customs in countries they visit. Or just employ common sense. You wouldn’t go to church like that, would you?

Once inside the palace walls my senses got flooded with exotic architecture, gold everywhere, colourful glittery mosaics, and Asians dressed up in old traditional clothing. The King and I sprang to mind.

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