Bangkok – Part 6 (The Grand Palace)

After a mouthful breakfast, we started discussing on the itinerary. Again, its gonna be a LONNNGGGG day for all of us. Endless walking and hopping into the MRT, BTS and the express boat to avoid the traffic. Besides, it’s super cheap! We kicked off the 3rd day by visiting The Grand Palace or ‘Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang’. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, Thailand. It open everyday from 8.30am to 3.30pm with an entrance fees of 500 baht (Equal to RM50) which includes tickets to Vinmanment Mansion and the Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavillion.

How to get here: BTS – Silom Line, Saphan Taksin Station (Exit 2). Then take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ta Chang Pier (No.9). 10 – 15 minutes walk will bring you to the entrance of the Grand Palace.

The cheapest mode of transportation to get to The Grand Palace

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Cruising through the Chao Phraya River
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It is located on the west side bank of the Chao Phraya River. It was established in 1782 and the palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam. Even though the present King currently resides in Chitralada Palace, The Grand Palace are still in used for some official events and government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 square metres and surrounded by four walls with 1900 metres in length.

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Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development, with additions and rebuilding being made by successive reigning kings over 200 years of history. It is divided into several quarters: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court, with many public buildings; the Middle Court, including the Phra Maha Monthian Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings and the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. The Grand Palace is currently partially open to the public as a museum, however it remains a working palace as several royal offices are still situated inside.

Source: Wikipedia

Windows at Hor Phra Rajkoramanusorn
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Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn (The Royal Pantheon)
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Hor Phra Monthian Dharma
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We got fascinated looking at the architecture of the building. Amazing! And not to forget, lotus that you can see all around the palace.
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Phra Siratana Chedi. Everything is all in gold-plated.
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The signature of all is definitely the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. We got the chance to step and to witness the Emerald Buddha. It’s quite pack since local will convene to pay respect to the Buddha. Security personnel are everywhere and no photo shall be taken. As for us, it’s worth paying for the 500 baht. The whole structures are BEAUTIFUL and TRADITIONAL.

As promised to the whole family members, right after the visit to the Grand Palace, we gonna spend the whole evening at Chatuchak Market.  It is also known as Jatujak or J.J. This is the largest market in Thailand and the largest market in the world! This place will definitely wreck your wallet! For real! It is advisable to print out the whole layout plan of the market since you obviously don’t want to waste your time walking to one end and to another end.  It’s divided into a few sections which offer varieties of products ranging from home decor, clothing, jewellery, bags, souvenir, antics, plant, gallery and even pets store!

Oh ya, it’s easy to get Halal food here too! We opt for the yellow chicken rice (or Khoa Mok Kai) since a friend of mine keep reminding us not to miss that dish from the particular stall. And she’s true! The stall is located in Section 5 which faces Section 10 (opposite of a Ceramic Store called Zera House). And guess what, we came for the 2nd times just to sip the hot spicy soup and the fried chicken. Our biggest reason is that, we just need to get something for our tea time.

The unforgettable Yellow Chicken Rice
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We wrapped up the whole journey in the land of thousand smiles! And Bangkok is definitely a place that we will re-visit!

Sawasdee Krab.
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Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

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Bangkok – Part 5 (Asiatique The Riverfront)

Asiatique The Riverfront was not in our initial plan. We never heard of it before but if we’re not mistaken, there’s a short entry on this by K.E.R.I . Right after our mouthful dinner and prayer, the van driver then drove us here since there’s a few hours left. Once he dropped us at the parking area, we’re totally clueless. Samat (the van driver) told us that it’s a brand new version of night bazaar in Bangkok. After walking around, we spotted a giant anchor, traditional carts and etc. We then realized that Asiatique was once an international trade ports in 1900s (as one of the earliest portals) which is now been transformed with thousand of boutique, kiosks, restaurants and many mores.

How to get here: BTS – Saphan Thaksin and walk to the Pier to take a free  Asiatique shuttle boats (from 4pm – 11.30pm).

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We found this passport and it have a few checkpoints. You can use the chamber stamping provided at the checkpoints to press onto the passport. We wanted to keep the same when we were in Terminal 21. Unfortunately, they are running out of stock. Just not our luck. 😦

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The warehouse
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Spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself; you are guaranteed to find something you would like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso ladyboy cabaret and soon, a classic Thai puppets performance.

Source: Bangkok.com

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We stopped for some Turkish ice cream. As usual, it wouldn’t be Turkish ice cream without a man doing tricks.
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There’s also a few group of musicians performing along the alley. And even an artist as well!
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If you are in Bangkok, why don’t you just drop by and stroll down this large-scale night bazaar. It is definitely worth spending your evening here.

We will continue our journey on Part 6 – The Grand Palace.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Bangkok – Part 4 (Kanchanaburi – Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and River Kwai Bridge

Again, we didn’t know anything about the Burma Railway (or also known as Death Railway/Thailand Burma Railway) until we watched the TLC Channel. FF’s favourite channel is definitely TLC and AFC (It’s all about food, food and food!). We started to blog hopping, endless reading and research on this particular infamous Death Railway. We just realized we learned a lot about it before we departed to Bangkok. And we even knew about the movie. There’s always an immense feeling of emotion while visiting and exploring the place (if only you know the overall history).

The whole journey started with a short visit to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, in the heart of the Kanchanaburi city. Besides this, there are another 2 cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which is the Chungkai War Cemetery (near to Kanchanaburi) and Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Thanbyuzayat (former name of Myanmar). This cemetery recorded almost 7000  graves of personnel ranging from the members of British units, Dutch, Australians, Indian Army and others.

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Al-Fatihah to the 11 members of the Indian Army who are buried in the nearby Muslim Cemeteries too.
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After 15 minutes driving, we finally arrived at the tragic rail route that involved thousands of Allied Prisoners of War (POWs) and unknown civilians that has been forced to work on the project. The mysterious railway was built by the Japanese Army  as a route to Thailand and Myanmar.

The most famous portion of the railway is Bridge 277, ‘the bridge over the River Kwai’, which was built over a stretch of river which was then known as part of the Mae Klong. The association with the ‘River Kwai’ came from the fact that the greater part of the Thai part of the route followed the valley of the Khwae Noi, ‘Kwai’ being the Thai word for Water Buffalo. In 1960, because of this discrepancy between fact and fiction, the part of the Mae Klong which passes under the famous bridge was renamed as the Khwae Yai (Thai แควใหญ่, English “big tributary”).

Source: Wikipedia

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Eventually, it all started with a wooden bridge followed by a concrete and steel bridge. The bridge was then partly destroyed from hard bombing during the Second World War and rebuilt where it is now one of the popular photogenic site.

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The scenic view from the bridge. We spent an hour here under the scorching hot sun appreciating the nice view.  We even saw some visitors taking a boat ride to explore the River Kwai but we’re not sure on the price. There are some other activities offered beside the boat ride – Lunch / Dinner at the Floating Restaurant on the River Kwai, fun train ride crossing the River Kwai Bridge or exploring the nearby Buddhist Temple.

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Another MISSION ACCOMPLISH pose from FF!DSCN0247-2

We will continue our journey on Part 5 – Asiatique, The Riverfront.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Bangkok – Part 3 (Ratchaburi – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market)

Floating Market! Yes, it is! Thailand was very synonym with floating market. Since we’re in Bangkok this time around, we definitely not gonna miss a visit to the floating market. We opt for Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which it is situated in the Ratchaburi Province, and one of the major tourist destination. It’s only a few kilometers away from the Mae Klong Railway Market.

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From all the review, the floating market is normally crowded with hundreds of vendors using rowing boat selling vegetables, fruits, foods and others averagely from 8am to 11am. But these days, long-tailed boats were used to bring visitors throughout the canal. We totally forgot the price that we paid for the long-tailed boats services (*but if we not mistaken, they charged us somewhere around 450 baht). We started our journey way back in Shang Pier since the traffic are super congested on that day if we wanted to go directly to the floating market area and we’re running out of time. From there, you can actually opt for rowing boats. Again, we can’t confirmed on the price.

While on the boats, we keep looking around especially on the residential / houses build along the canal and their style of living. Personally, we found that the water is a lil bit smelly. Ermmmm, wondering!DSCN9586-2

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Us, without FF!
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Here we go! We’re almost there!
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A floating market is a market where goods are sold from boats. Originating in times and places where water transport played an important role in daily life, most floating markets operating today mainly serve as tourist attractions, and are chiefly found in ThailandIndonesia and Vietnam.

Source: Wikipedia

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The boat stopped over at one of the handicraft shop. We guess, the biggest one there! We didn’t buy anything from the market and even from this shop since the price is a lil bit expensive. We managed to experience the making of local biscuit as well.

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We spent about 1 and 1/2 hours for the whole journey. As for us, the floating market is a lil bit overrated. Opss, I mean its been too commercialized. You can actually see a few rows of new shops build along the canal and fewer vendors using the rowing boats. We don’t see the authenticity. And again, it was such an experience.
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And this is what we had for lunch at the Halal stall by the roadside on our way to Kanchanaburi –  Noodles soup and Cha Yen. Simple but yet delicious! Alhamdulillah.
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We will continue our journey on Part 4 – Kanchanaburi (War Cemetery and Bridge Over River Kwai).

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma