Thailand’s BlueTiger: Day 11 (Scene 2)
After taking a look at the beautiful summer palace of King Rama V, we headed to Bangkok. Let me tell you we didn’t arrive in the usual mode of transportation. Instead we arrived in style on a ship!!! Close to the summer palace, we boarded a medium size ship that was taking us to the capital. Ayutthaya is located on the Chao Phraya River banks just like Bangkok. Therefore, the waterway connects the old and new capitals.
We had lunch on the ship. It was buffet style and it was really good. I enjoyed every bit of it. Well, it was one of my last meals on Thailand. We were leaving the next day. But I didn’t want to think about that. I just chilled out and made the most out of the ride.
After lunch, I went outside to enjoy the view and appreciate the way of living next to the river. The heat was unbearable, more than a 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I just tried to get below some sort of shadowy areas. The river seemed so calmed when we departed Ayutthaya. I observed temples, houses and people conducting business on small boats.
Things started to change once we got closer to Bangkok. The traffic on the river is as dense as the traffic on the streets. Big boats and ships started to pass next to us. Others just crossed our path.
I knew we arrived to the beloved city when I saw the Grand Palace. It is an amazing sight, no matter from what angle you are taking a look at it.
Wat Arun was also there waiting for us.
Moving a little bit further revealed the new Bangkok, one full of modern and posh buildings. Buildings full of charm and grace. At one point, we were able to see the whole skyline. That was the perfect way to see Bangkok for the last time. At that moment, I understood why is known as the City of Angels.
Once our ship arrived to port, we were transferred to the hotel. The city looked calm. We saw no indication of the opposing red shirt and government teams. Later, we decided to walk to the mall to buy some souvenirs. We had planned to go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market the next day (a Saturday, we were leaving on the evening so we had time to take a look at the city before going to the airport). Because we had to take the Sky Train to the market (remember that the Sky Train was affected by a grenade the day before), we decided to cancel our excursion to the market and buy whatever decent they had on the mall. Ok, as you may guess, we got lost. Yes, we got lost in Bangkok the day after some grenades were detonated close to the Lumphini Park. We asked around and we were pretty far from the mall. We flagged a tuk-tuk and in five minutes, we were entering the mall. The tuk-tuk driver really drived like hell. At least, that was my last tuk-tuk ride of the trip. The MBK mall is really close to what is considered the center of Bangkok, Siam Square. That is the area the red shirts had taken. It was really impressive to take a look at the tons of people camping and waving flags at the city’s center. It is something I saw with my own eyes. It was not necessarily desirable to be at a city while at crisis but it was humbling to witness a historical event. We found great souvenirs at great prizes. When we got back at the hotel, we took a taxi. I wasn’t able to see the red shirts group anymore. Bangkok is definitely a complex city. That may be the reason I liked it so much.