Today, we enjoy Bangkok Thailand. Thailand is a place I would like to go back to and explore more, we definitely didn't have enough time there.
As most of you probably are aware, Thailand's king died in October. The country is in official mourning for one year. While visiting some locations in the country (the Grand Palace where the king will be lying in state for a year for example, and many temples) there is a dress code. Covered ankles and shoulders, and wearing black or white (or a dark colour). I actually heard someone say the cruise ship should do something because it wasn't fair they had to wear black or white. I am pretty sure the ship doesn't control a country in mourning and I think people need to really think about what they are complaining about!
Throughout the city you see many posters remembering the King.
Even businesses display black and white. Unfortunately, we were on a bus tour and couldn't check out this tea room.
Besides driving around Bangkok, we visited 2 temples. The first is the home to the Gold Buddha. It is the largest gold Buddha statue in the world.
|Another remembrance to the King|
|A panel by the Buddha|
|The golden Buddha - note the strings|
The string leave the Buddha's hand and go all over the temple grounds.
We visited Bangkok on New Year's Eve, and part of the new year ritual is for people to hold on to the string and twirl it around their heads during a ceremony. This is to bring good fortune for the new year.
|A sample of the strings at a different temple|
|It wasn't during the ceremony but we did twirl the string around our heads.|
|We were startled when this flock of birds took off|
|There are many Chinese statues and they were used to increase weight in trading ships bringing spices and other light goods|
|These Buddhas are over 600 years old. Over 100 had been brought to this temple.|
|Sample of the wall around Buddha. You could spend hours looking at the story it tells.|
|A monk texting - cracked me up!|
|This was a door to the temple|
Thailand was the most difficult place for me to eat off of the ship. I cannot eat gluten or soy. They use soybeans in everything, including as salt in the water they cook vegetables with. Fortunately, I was only off the ship for one meal each of the two days we were in Thailand, so I could make do.
|The Man's meal|
If you have questions, please ask, we will answer them next week too!