April 4, 2014
Back to breakfast where I get my egg cooked to order-over easy. Then it's all the boring usual stuff I have mainly been eating for the past 3 months-fruit, toast, juice, coffee.
There are so many things that I wanted to do during our stay in BANGKOK but several have fallen by the wayside-some due to the protests and others just due to us wanting to take things slow. Never thought the heat would be so exhausting! Intrigued by research on the khlongs so we'll see about that. We walk to the SATHORN/CENTRAL PIER and I look at all the different khlong tours on offer. There's another couple interested and I'm thinking maybe we could do this together, save some money or go longer?? But that's not how they operate here. Later I find that it's best to book a khlong tour from the Tha Tien Pier or even the Tha Chang Pier. It's cheaper.
We decide to do the 2 hrs. KHLONG TOUR and I end up paying 2200 baht. The couple ahead of us pay 2500 baht. I'm not sure which khlongs/canals we go through but I wasn't impressed and I wouldn't do a khlong tour again. Maybe just hiring a long tail boat and having someone at your hotel write down which khlongs you want to see would be better. We pass Asiatique. I know we did have to go through a lock of some sort. Dan khlong? Pass Wat Nangnongvaravihara, Wat Maiyainui?, Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, the Royal Barge Museum, back on the main river. Wish our driver could tell us what we're seeing/passing. After about 1 1/2 hrs. our boat driver wanted us to get off at the Tha Chang pier but I told him, pointing to my husband's watch, that we paid for 2 hrs. so he took us around a bit more and we got to the THA CHANG PIER after 1 hr. 50 minutes. I would not waste my time on this again. Then you have to pay 20 baht just because it's a private boat letting you off at the pier!! As we're walking through the pier area a guy asks us if we want a khlong tour for 1500 baht for 2 hrs. and I say we just had one. This was just not my cup of tea. Live and learn.
|In the other boat is the couple that paid 2500 baht. I don't understand why we couldn't go together as there's plenty of room. I think it all comes down to the money.|
|Tour's idea of a floating market|
|Looks like a khlong boat stop??|
|Interesting paint job|
|Looks like a floating garden|
|I see some monks here|
|Royal Barges Museum|
|Back on the Chao Phraya River|
|Is this the same lock??|
|This was our long tail boat for our khlong tour. Wish I knew what we had seen but the guy spoke almost no English.|
|Walking from the pier|
|Amulets for sale|
|Drum of Justice|
|Tantimas-mythical creatures, half bird/half man, guardians of Buddhism|
|Gilded bronze statue of Buddha-Phra Phuttha Sihing|
|Mural paintings depict the life of Buddha|
|Roof-finials on top represent bird garuda symbolizing power of the King and the slopes of the roof are mythical snakes nagas with erect heads in lower corners which represent fertility through lots of rain for the land|
|Throne Hall room 501|
cremation ceremonies. Grand Chariot of Victory weighs 14 tons and needs 216 men to pull it.
|The Royal Urn|
|Dvaravati room-Wheel of law and deer|
|Srivijaya room-images of bronze and stone of bodhisattva, symbol of compassion in Mahayana Buddhism|
|Ancient Hindu Sculpture room-Lord Visnu, the preserver|
|Lopburi Arts rooms-Buddha under naga|
Buildings #4 North Wing-not open. We also see a Resting Pavilion/Sala-used by kings for ceremonies or as a resting place. There are 4 of them scattered through the grounds of the museum complex. It is extremely hot right now and going from building to building over a large area is tiring. We've spent at least 2 hrs. here.
|Five sacred guardian/protective spirits|
|Now we have to cross back on this street|
|Passing the Elephant statue again|
|Walking back to our hotel from the pier|
It's time to leave for the show so we walk to the SAPHAN TASKIN BTS but stop at SWENSEN"S first for ice cream. Our last visit. Me-hot fudge sundae with rum raisin and mocha almond ice cream, 2 scoops total. Richard decides to go for broke! He orders the coffee mocha almond sundae which has 3 scoops of ice cream! Total 224 baht.
|Hot fudge sundae-2 scoops|
|Coffee mocha almond sundae-3 scoops|
We take the BTS to Sala Daeng. Then the MRT to Thai Cultural Center. As we exit we see the free shuttle van for SIAM NIRAMIT. Cost for 2 tickets, Golden Seat is 4000 baht paid on April 3rd when I made the booking. The website has a secure payment process similar to paypal but through a bank. We arrive at the theatre complex around 6:00 pm. As we are greeted by a hostess we give our names and confirmation # and we are given stickers , a ticket for a free drink, and lovely flower pins for both of us. We get our picture taken and are given a #-probably to buy the picture if we are so inclined. The show starts at 8:00 pm. Outside the theater where we will see the show is a ton of other stuff to see and do. There are stores to browse and/or purchase a variety of goods. Elephant rides-200 baht. A replica of a rural Thai village. Music and dancing. Areas for light refreshments like drinks. We find a table and use our tickets for a beer for Richard and a coke for me. There is a magician of sorts performing. I explore the village. I take lots of pictures but the lighting is terrible and most don't turn out so well. Lots of dancing and music and at one point onlookers are invited to participate in the dancing. We also get beautiful souvenir books with details of the show. That's great because no cameras, etc. will be allowed inside the theatre.
|View walking from the BTS station to MRT interchange|
|Silom MRT station|
|Free shuttle van|
|Posing for pictures|
|Audience participation dancing|
|Posing for pictures|
|Entering the theatre hall|
|Scene 1: North-Ancient kingdom of Lanna. The King and Queen in procession to worship the relics of Lord Buddha.|
|Scene 2: South Sea-Traders from overseas. Thai Buddhists and Muslim cultures blend-singing and dancing. Chinese merchants arrive.|
|Scene 3: Northeast-Heritage of the Khmer civilization. Villagers celebrate the festival of Boon Praweht before the Temple of Phra That Phanom. Angels Apsara carved in stone come to life.|
|Scene 4: Central plains-Ayutthaya. Simple life of peasants. Palace-ambassadors arrive. Procession of royal barges.|
|Scene 1: Fiery Hell-Prayom, King of Hell and tormented souls|
|Scene 2: Mystical Himapaan-This forest is a boundary between the human world and the heavens and home to various mythical creatures.|
|Scene 3: Blissful Heaven-Daow-wa-dueng the second level of heaven where Indra presides.|
ACT 3 JOURNEY THROUGH JOYOUS FESTIVALS Buddhists believe that to go to Heaven you must get merit on earth. Merit making festivals are held all year. Boy Sang Long/Diamond Ordination; Phitakhon/Ghost Parade; Songkran/Thai New Year; Loy Krathong.
|Boy Sang Long/Diamond Ordination|
|Leaving the Siam Niramit theater you can buy all sorts of stuff-large and small souvenirs|
|Map of Siam Niramit complex|
|Our flower pins from the show|