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Saturday, April 19, 2008

A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 3 (IV)

After lunch, we visited Wat Chai Wattanaram, the last Wat we visited in Ayutthaya, or rather, for our trip.

Decapitated Buddha statues along the inner wall

The central prang in the Wat

The two Buddha images

贝 likes these photos very much

After walking around the Wat taking pictures, we climbed up the prang, with three Japanese tourists behind us.

At the top of the prang was an alter with an old statue of Buddha. It was within a small enclosed chamber and it felt very hot. We wanted to get down but the Japanese who were there too were taking pictures and blocking the stairway. We waited and waited, and were feeling hotter and hotter.

Finally, Sui politely told them to make way for us, which they immediately apologized and did so. Then, it was our turn to take pictures and let them feel the heat.

Our last destination in Ayutthaya was the Bang Pa In, summer palace of the kings of Thailand.

It wasn't originally in our plan, but 贝's brother had added it for us. Since we saw that it was only around 3pm+, we decided to visit it anyway.

The entrance fee was THB100 per person, which frankly i felt that it didn't worth the price. I mean, ya, this palace is beautiful and all, but after having visited the Grand Palace that was so much bigger and more opulent, this palace seemed to be paled in comparison.

As it is a royal site, we need to be properly dressed, which again means no sleeveless and shorts. Sui was wearing sleeveless but she had a cardigan with her, while i was in was in shorts but i had brought along a shawl. So i gotta wrap the shawl around my waist before i was allowed to enter the royal ground.

At the entrance, we saw golf buggies for rental. We were so tempted to go for it, if it wasn't for the price of THB150 per hour rate, and it could only accommodate four persons while there were six of us.

This palace was filled with European-style buildings. The bridge across the lake was decorated with sculptures.

贝 and i, in front of the beautiful Thai pavilion in the middle of a lake

We then entered a building with royal exhibits. Before the ladies could enter the hall, we gotta borrow the Thai shawls and cover our entire legs. There weren't much in the exhibit hall, but we spent some time inside the building, enjoying the aircon.

After we got out from the building, we decided that the ladies should take a picture as memorial.

Don't we just look like the Thai Ronald McDonald who says "sawadekap" to every patrons?

We then went to a cafeteria to have some drinks and rest for a while. It was then we realized that the palace was actually closing for the day soon. And so, we left the place and concluded our trip to the ancient city of Ayutthaya.

The journey back to Bangkok was smooth, but once we were back in Bangkok city, we were stuck in traffic congestion because of the rush hour. The driver then tried to take a short cut, which was also having a traffic jam. The traffic condition in Bangkok was really horrendous.

After we got back to the hotel, we rested for a while and then headed out again to the Suan-Lum Night Bazaar.

Only Sui, Ting, 贝 and myself went to the night bazaar, while Carol and KT went to MBK because they planned to go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market on the following day and it made no sense to go to two places that sell similar stuff.

We took the Skytrain and then changed to the MRT. It was the first time i took the underground metro in Bangkok. Unlike the Skytain that requires the commuter to buy tickets (like those we used before in SG), the MRT in Bangkok actually uses tokens.

We bought the tokens at the ticketing machines and then entered the station. After we arrived at the destination, we then dropped the tokens back to the slots at the exit for the barrier to open up. I thought it was a better idea than the single trip EZ Link tickets used in SG, as it saves the commuter's time in returning the cards for refund. Furthermore, tokens should have a longer life span than cards.

And talk about the train ticket, Sui got one that was really amusing.

With the staircase leading up to the top of the hill, as if reaching the sky, having the phrase "Single Trip Ticket" right beside the temple on the peak is really an irony.

Anyway, we didn't buy much at the night bazaar. 贝 got himself more elephant sculptures to add to his collections.

Sui and Ting also didn't get much from the bazaar. We returned to the hotel at around 11pm+. Then we decided to join Sui for the Thai traditional massage.

On the day before, Sui and Ting had tried out Thai massage and they said it was good. Ting didn't really enjoy it that much though, because she was planning to have a baby and hence the masseuse was very gentle on her (in case she was already pregnant). So Ting decided not to join us this time because she felt that she didn't have her money's worth.

So, Sui, 贝 and i went to the massage palour opposite the hotel. As it was already late in the night, we paid for an one-hour massage service for about RM40. It was my first time experiencing Thai traditional massage.

(The person-in-charge was a beautiful and sexy lady, but we were wondering if she was really a lady)

We changed into pajamas and was asked to lie on mattresses on the floor. The Thai traditional massage was rather different from the other types of massage. No oil or ointment was applied. Other than kneading and rubbing parts of the body, the masseuses used hands, arms and legs to apply pressure on almost every part of our bodies. I giggled when she was massaging my upper thighs.

More time was spent on our legs, which were aching from all the walking for the past three days. The scariest massage technique i found should be the part where the masseuse arched my back in backward direction, gently of course, to loosen it without breaking me into half.

The Thai traditional massage was indeed effective. My muscles felt more relaxed and the legs didn't ache as much anymore after the massaging session. However, it didn't really eliminate my muscle pain entirely as i had thought it would. I think this may probably be because that the masseuse didn't use as much pressure when doing the massaging on me. As i had told the person-in-charge that it was my first massage experience and i'm afraid of pain, she had specifically instructed the masseuse to be more gentle.

After the massage, we went back to the hotel and slept soundly for that night.


Share your cogitation

Saturday, April 19, 2008 @ 3:24 am: Working my ass off in Taipei
Thursday, April 17, 2008 @ 12:36 am: Flying tomorrow
Monday, April 14, 2008 @ 2:47 am: A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 3 (III)
Friday, April 11, 2008 @ 3:47 am: A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 3 (II)
Thursday, April 10, 2008 @ 3:25 am: A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 3 (I)
Wednesday, April 09, 2008 @ 2:42 am: Noise
Sunday, April 06, 2008 @ 10:32 pm: A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 2 (III)
Sunday, April 06, 2008 @ 6:06 pm: Busy at work
Thursday, April 03, 2008 @ 4:07 am: A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 2 (II)
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 @ 4:48 am: A trip to the land of smiles -- Day 2 (I)