One day in Bangkok!  The high pressure squeeze!  I checked in at the Your Place guest house – 320B/night for a single room, with breakfast and towel.  It is near the train station

Note huge picture of the King

Then it was straight off to Chinatown

There are some wonderful back alley markets here if you are even slightly interested in fabric or haberdashery – a whole shop just for buttons?  What about bias binding???  They have it!  Then there was a huge expanse devoted to fresh flowers.  Every shop or stall had a picture of the King.  I asked one man if his was for sale.
Hmmm.  I started hunting.  One place had a few in the back.  Where did they all come from??  I continued walking down to the Wat Pho temple with the 46m reclining Buddha.  Tourist trap, but deservedly so – the temple complex is very large and full of spires and statues

The actual statue has a huge queue being herded along around it

Then I went to the Golden Palace.  It has a handy note outside

A fair enough warning since there is a dress code once inside.  You can get free clothes to cover up but hawkers try to charge you to borrow theirs.  One tried it with me.  I pointed to the sign 1m away saying “Clothes available for free” and that made him go away.

The palace was the residence of the royal family before they moved to their current location but it’s $15 just to look at the outside!  I stole a look over the fence

I saw a woman selling badges of the King.  Getting warmer . . .

I continued to the Democracy Monument.  On the way I saw a memorial for protesters killed in 1973.

No tourists here. The display is very informative.

Post-WW2 Democracy Monument

And the stalls selling lottery tickets right next to it. Rather like Thai democracy.

From here I thought I would go to the museum but it was far too large – I’ll d it when I return to Bangkok.  I decided to go to the palace.  On the way I found the monarchy appreciation stores!

There are HEAPS of these!  You can buy flags, stickers, posters, photos, giant corflute royal seals, badges, tie pins – everything!  I bought a whole pile of stuff and made for the post office.  On the way I was checking my map and a man approached.
“Where are you going?”
“The post office”
“It’s shut today – government holiday”
I gave him an O Rly? and walked off.  The post office was 100m away and open.

After this I went to the park around the palace.  There was a strange sale going on in one of the halls

Unfortunately my Thai doesn't extend to 'Why is the army selling soft toys???'

This whole area would be very nice for running – long streets without intersectionas and no tuk-tuks trying to runyou over.  There is the only Victorian building in town

It’s an art gallery, but they charged admission so I didn’t go in.  I continued to the palace

They don't allow visitors. You can't even SEE it

Note the jack weapon carriage of the guard, and he’s not even loaded.  I think the royal family is relying on the moat, which has someTHING in it

From here I returned to the guest house

Bangkok used to be the Venice of the East. Now there are cars and the canals smell like open drains

and had dinner

Chicken and noodles $1.50


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