Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shopping & the Queen's dresses

Day 9 & 10

Two fairly quiet days after the big long one to Hellfire Pass.  Monday we thought we’d do some shopping so we headed for the mega-mall MBK.  I remember this from when we took the girls to Bkk & Pataya years ago.  

 Across the road and all connected via the BTS (skyway train system) and a series of linked pedestrian walkways are Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the uber posh Siam Paragon (home to Hermes, Chanel, Armani etc)  Siam Discovery was having some kind of ‘Design’ exhibition and there was an installation of Mr P .. very strange concept but the locals seem to love it judging by the number of them taking photos

Decided to try Asiatique for dinner .. for Sydney-siders it’s kind of a mix between Darling Harbour and Paddy’s Market but really nice actually.  An old warehouse district has been transformed into Bangkok’s newest night time destination.  Restaurants line the riverfront and back through 2 old re-vamped warehouses, and the others are given over to night markets.  Despite it’s obvious target market, prices were pretty good (and in some cases better than MBK)

Tuesday .. I woke feeling a big off.. nothing specific, just blergh!  Tony decided he wanted a day round the pool so after a late breakfast I decided to visit the Queen Sirikit Textiles Museum in the grounds of the Grand Palace.  I got the skytrain from our local station Ratchathewi down to Saphan Taksin (where we went last night) and took the local river boat upstream to Tha Chang.  It cost me the princely sum of 15baht (about 50c) and I watched in amazement as far toio many stupid tourists paid out 150baht for the tourist boat which covered exactly the same stops.  Bangkok has some amazing riverside architecture.


Off quickly at Tha Chang and following the crowd of Thais headed towards the palace through the inevitable gauntlet of food & souvenir stalls.  Bought a bottle of water and a mango (20baht) and watched the sky darken wondering if  was going to get wet again.
The Museum itself is fantastic!  NO photos allowed inside so you will have to take my word for it.  A stunningly beautiful collection of gowns from the Queen’s private collection (c1955-1990’s) and some fantastic stuff on the resurrection of the handcrafted Thai silk industry under the Queens patronage.  Beautifully set out, great information – a really classy museum.


Back onto the river boat – it’s a really busy river and the variety of boats is amazing.  Past the very beautiful Wat Arum


Today must also have been ‘excursion day’ – all day I kept passing groups of schoolkids on excursions – this group was most impressive – staff all in their smart blue/white checked shirts and kids in their polo shirts. 


I grabbed a very late lunch in the Siam Centre and walked back to the hotel.  If you want to know how slow the traffic is – I got to the little soi where our hotel is before this black bus.

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