Friday, August 04, 2006

"It Buddhist holiday. (insert attraction here) closed today. You go see Big Buddha, then visit tailor shop."

We ogt off to a late start today, everyone was disorganized and we were trying to figure out what to do. I headed out with Boukje and Matt to see the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Along the way, people kept stopping us and trying an old scam. They'd ask us where we were headed, then say that that place was closed, or the hours were different. But if we wanted, he could hail a tuktuk nearby to take us to some OTHER attractions that were open. All that was required was for us to visit a tailor's afterwards and have a look around. We got burned on that yesterday, so I was determined not to let it happen again.

After running the gauntlet, we made it to the Grand Palace, miraculously still open. The grounds of the palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) were quite impressive. The spires and brightly colored statues were quite amazing. The Emerald Buddha itself, to be honest, wasn't. IT was very small, set far away from view, and packed with tourists and worshippers. Although the inside was covered in beautiful paintings, it didn't feel worth the trouble of wading through the crowds.

Afterwards, I bade my two companions farewell and met up with Colin and Yusuke to find a ticket to Koh Tao tomorrow night.

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