October 30, 1961 – Thailand

Rama Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand – Clear

     Today had to get up early again so we could get some breakfast before leaving on a boat trip up the Chao Phya River. 

      We boarded a private launch to take the ride and see the picturesque scenes of native canal life.  The river had many canals for boats to use as their principal transportation thoroughfares since they are economical.  Our trip took five hours and was really something to see.  We started off seeing Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn, who had been given that name because at first light of morning the temple had a reflection of pearly iridescence.  This Buddhist temple was one of Thailand’s most famous landmarks.

Chao Phya River by Motor Boat

First View of Wat Aroon, Temple of Dawn

Temple of Dawn

Temple of Dawn Detail Made from Broken Dishes and Pottery

      After seeing that and several other temples we went on to see the canal of floating markets.  There were hundreds of floating boats and they were all very colorful. Many boats had food for sale while some had people washing dishes, babies, themselves and their clothes, all in the same river.  I really enjoyed this portion of the trip and found it fascinating.  We stopped at several of the boats to shop and purchase things we liked.

Bangkok, Thailand Klongas Canal and Market

Bangkok Floating Market

Another View of Bangkok Floating Market

Third View of Bangkok Floating Market

      Our boat trip also gave us a chance to see two Royal barges being prepared for a big celebration.  The royal transports were regal, long and narrow with a golden swan head on the bowsprit.  Mr. Herdsman told us one of the barges was to be used to carry the king and the statue of the Buddha for the celebration.  Both were so colorful and impressive to see that I wished I could have ridden on one of them.

Golden Swan Royal Barge

Another View of Golden Swan Royal Barge

      We were free to do what we wanted in the afternoon after we returned from our trip so as usual Edith and I decided to do some shopping.  Mr. Herdsman had recommended a little area where shopping would be good so we took a taxi to see what we could find.  We spent several hours wandering from shop to shop looking at all the little items for sell.  When we finally returned to our hotel I was quite pleased with the earrings and necklace I had purchased. 

      Dinner was good and afterward we spent the remainder of the evening playing Canasta with Curt and Flo.  It was a pleasant change of pace for us to be able to play cards quietly and talk about things we were seeing on our trip.  Edith and Flo thought the Golden Buddha was the most impressive things we’d seen in Thailand so far whereas I liked the floating markets best.

      When I went to bed I remembered that I still had to finish my letter to Ramona and promised myself I would get it done the next day.  I wanted to get it mailed while we were in Bangkok.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 14:05:23

    Remarkable that Grandma was able to get pictures of the Royal Barges. I have the movie “Around The World In 80 Days,” which features the King’s Royal Barge in one shot, and the filmmakers had to go through a great deal of trouble to film it.


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