It's hard to believe i've been travelling for almost 6 weeks now! The time is flying by! I thought I'd do a few posts with some updates of what I've been up to. So, first things first; Bangkok. This was the first stop on our trip and man was it a bit of a shock. I met my friend at the airport, and we were thrown into the deep end - dropped off at Koh San Road and left to find our hostel. It took us a good half hour of walking through little side alleys until we managed to find it! Wandering round in the heat, with massive backpacks, completely lost was not the perfect start to the trip I can assure you! We only had a few days in Bangkok, but we managed to get plenty of sightseeing done in that time. My favourite place that we saw was without a doubt the Grand Palace. The place was huge and surrounded by high white walls. It took us ages to actually find the entrance. Once inside, you start to get a feel of just how expansive the place is.
We made our way round to the main courtyard and were blown away by how ornate everything was. In the centre of the courtyard was the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which was stunning; decorated with masses of colourful glass and so so so much gold. Inside was a tower of golden ornaments an on the top sat the Emerald Buddha, which was a hell of a lot smaller than I expected given the size of the temple housing it! Our tour guide told us that the statue is actually made of Jade, but was hidden for years and when it was finally rediscovered the people saw it was green and assumed it was made of emerald. I guess the name just stuck! There were 3 more big temples in the courtyard, all lined up - the golden bell shape, a cambodian style building, and a more traditional thai style structure. All of them ridiculously ornate.
There were so many tiny statues lining the walls of temples, I loved how colourful they were. So many vibrant reds and blued and greens! It was all just so different from the churches you see in Europe. I have to admit though, my favourite statues were the much less colourful elephant figures. The detail was just amazing - I couldn't get over how realistic the skin looked.
This building was by far my favourite. The colours weren't as vibrant as some of the other temples, but the decorations lining the walls and roof were all made from beautifully coloured china which the builders had obtained by smashing china teacups!
I think what I most enjoyed about the Grand Palace was how different it was to the rest of the city. There was so much greenery and all the colours were so rich, it was such a nice change to get away from the crazy roads and buildings stacked on top of one another. Although I have to admit, I was pretty desperate for an air conditioned room by the time we had done. I'm so pleased I got the chance to visit the palace, and if you ever go to Bangkok I absolutely recommend it!