Bangkok

Capital of Thailand and home to 9 million people. An Asian corporate centre packed with people and traffic. The city was just recovering from bad flooding when we arrived, and they were actually hosing the mud off the dock area. It was straight into a bus and off to the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings on the river bank. It has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. The king, his court and his royal government were based in the grounds of the palace until 1925. The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX - they are all called Rama), currently resides at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. One can say for certain that the Grand Palace is large and it is impressive. A history of the Grand Palace can be found here

After the Palace, it was a walk down to the river and aboard a boat to take us round the canals of Bangkok. The city has fewer canals than in the past, but still large numbers of people live on the canal banks in houses that are only accessible by boat

Most of Bangkok is modern and one has to dig a bit to find the past. Most tourists probably spend most of their time "shopping" once they have visited the Palace and the canals, but for us it was back to the ship and and early night to prepare ourselves for an early start the next day for Angkor Wat

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On to Angkor Wat

Cruise Hanoi to Singapore on Orion II