Saturday, March 02, 2013

Silent Sentries of Wat Pho

I'm on a boat!
Seven hours after landing and with two solid hours of sleep in my back pocket, I hopped in a cab at 7 AM and asked to be taken to the Grand Palace.  The cab driver wanted 500 Baht, so I hopped out and grabbed another one.  This guy agreed to use the meter.  45 minutes later the meter read 106 Baht.  I handed the cabby 200 Baht and asked for change.  He handed back 40 Baht and shrugged as if to say that's all he had.  Lesson learned.  Don't get in a taxi without change.

The Grand Palace wasn't open at 8 AM, so I went for a stroll towards a market down the street.  The merchants were just beginning to put their wares on sale.  A few old men slurped the first noodles of the day and talked about the things old Thai men discuss on Saturday mornings.

I was in a boat similar to this.  Other tourists took the tour in the opposite direction, apparently.
There was a dock on the other side of the market and they were selling 1 hour boat tours for 1000 Baht. I had to be back at the hotel at noon to go to the convention center and an early morning boat ride seemed like a good idea.  Ian and I did this seven years ago with his Mom and David.  The boat starts out on the river and then goes down several canals and you get a first hand look at Bangkok life by peering into people's living rooms from the water.

Check out Facebook for more photos.
After the boat right I thought I'd try to fit Wat Pho and the Grand Palace in during the rest of the morning.  Yeah, right.  After 90 minutes of wandering Wat Pho it was time to head back to the hotel.  The taxi driver this time refused to put on the meter and wanted 200 Baht.  And that will probably be my last excursion of the week.  The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora begins in a few hours.  I'll be posting updates to Shark Defenders, so please follow along with that adventure.

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