November 2008

The last stop for us on our honeymoon cruise aboard the Diamond Princess in 2008 was Bangkok, Thailand. We would be flying out from there on the evening of our arrival but we had a full day’s excursion booked to see us through in the meantime. We said goodbye to our cabin on the ship, boarded a coach and set off into the city. As the port was quite some way from where we needed to be there was a brief stop on the capital’s outskirts to allow people to use the toilet and stretch their legs. The combination of American franchises alongside local stores and the humidity were both as we’d come to expect on the latter part of our Asian holiday.

Wat Ratchanatdaram

Our first proper photo stop was at Wat Ratchanatdaram, a Buddhist temple complex which included in its interior Loha Prasat, the iron castle or monastery with 37 black spires to represent the virtues needed to reach enlightenment.

Outside the Buddhist temple area we had to wait for our coach to come around to pick us up; it was possibly stuck in traffic. This gave me a little opportunity to take some photos of the surrounding area and people passing by.

Wat Phra Kaew

The next stop on our Bangkok tour was Wat Phra Kaew, regarded as the most sacred Buddhist
temple in Thailand and known in English as The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This was an incredibly colourful place, with golden and ornate buildings as far as the eye could see.

As is typically the case with cruise ship excursions there was a guided part to this tour followed by some free time to look around, shop for souvenirs, or take a look at the Emerald Buddha. I didn’t actually go in to see the Emerald Buddha (named for its colour, not the material, which is jade) as you had to take off backpacks and shoes and I was hot enough without wanting to cram in with hundreds of tourists.

After exiting Wat Phra Kaew we walked as a group towards the riverfront and through a large street market area where we would be catching a boat for a ride for the next part of our Bangkok tour.

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