Sunday, November 11, 2007
2007 Bangkok, Thailand
The first trip to Bangkok it was oppressively hot and humid when I attempted to tour the palace. We took a cab there, but were intercepted by tuk-tuk drivers who said the palace was closed over the noon hour. They wanted us to go with them to another tourist trap, and they would bring us back when the palace opened. I was sick from a shrimp salad the night before and I elected to go back to the hotel. It turned out to be a con -- the palace had, indeed, been open, but they wanted to divert us to retailers who paid them a kickback.
The second trip to Bangkok we encountered the same con at ten in the morning (best to go early due to heat and crowds), but went on into the Palace. What a magnificent place! Gold leaf everywhere. This palace rivals any in the world I've seen for opulence and grandeur. Its large enough to take the better part of a day to go through, and its worth it!