Peace and tranquility in Bangkok

Decided to take a walk to Vimanmek Mansion today, as there was supposed to be a Thai dance show at 10:30am, and Dusit Park was reportedly a serene and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. However, when i was walking into the grounds there were security guards at every corner asking what business i had there. Hence, i didn’t really feel i could (or was allowed to!) have a peaceful wander through the park.

When i arrived at the mansion, i was taken (along with a Swedish family and a German couple) on a compulsary tour around the mansion. At the end of the tour, there was no Thai dancing show. If it had have taken place and wherever it did take place, i had missed it as a result of the tour..
The tour itself would have been more interesting if it wasn’t for the thickness of the guide’s accent and the fast (almost monotone) pace at which she spoke, which made it difficult to understand the content of her speech.

Do it if you fancy a slice of how Royalty in thailand lived, otherwise miss it off your list. Wat Benchamabophit (which i visited afterwatds) is however, worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Moreover, there’s a fantastic food market along the banks of the river as you exit Tha Thewes (the docking port for Dusit Park & Wat Benchamabophit). Everything you could possibly want and so fresh the fish were still flapping around!
When you wander through the market you’re hit by a carcophony of aromas from fresh fish to dried chillis to a huge array of herbs and spices.

Vimanmek Mansion
The mansion is the world’s largest golden teak building. It was originally constructed in Ko Si Chang in 1868, and moved to the present site in 1910. It was the site of King Rama Vs residence in the early 1900’s.

Wat Benchamabophit (marble temple)
This Wat was built in the late 19th century under King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn). the base of the central Buddha image contains the ashes of King Rama V. The courtyard beside the bot (central sanctuary in a Thai temple) exhibits 53 Buddha images (33 original & 20 copies) representing famous figures and styles from Thailand and other Buddhist countries.

It is possible to walk the entire journey from Tha Thewes to Dusit and then along to Wat Benchamabophit if you don’t mind the heat (and being constantly asked where you’re going!) but i had to take a tuk tuk back to the port as i had serious blisters on my feet at this point! (knew i should have stuck to my reliable old flip-flops!) The tuk tuk cost me 80THB, although the first driver i asked wanted 150!!
Photo is of Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

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