Day Twenty-Five and -Six – Of Throne Halls and other #TouristyThings

On any given day, I am really the worst patient any medical professional would ever encounter. Or, considering that I do not consult with medical professionals unless I feel very close to dying, the closest to a medical professional I would normally consult is my mother plus other members of my family if said top choice is not available.

As I have already mentioned in my previous posts, I got myself a sprained ankle while walking in the Yogyakarta airport – do not worry, no one is being sued! If there are any other professionals I consult even LESS than medical ones, it would be the legal ones – and I proceeded to self-medicate by resting. When that did not work, I proceeded to applying Tiger Balm while maintaining the self-medicated rest. Unfortunately, I am not one to listen to good advice, not even from myself!

Thus, being too bored with myself, I continued my pursuit of touristy things. In my previous entry, I mentioned going to the Grand Palace and that additional tour areas are included in the ticket. The next day, I decided to maximize the THB 500 I paid for and visited the other areas. Unfortunately, both the Vimanmek and the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall did not allow photos inside.

Vimanmek Palace – Walking inside, it felt very much like the old mansions in the Philippines, particularly those large houses made during the Spanish period. The wooden flooring felt so comfortable and familiar under your bare feet (yes, you must remove your footwear, and also stuff your things inside a locker – there will be a cop&feel check-up before entering the mansion, so don’t even think about breaking this rule!) and the strong air-condition creates a comfortable ambiance for you to really walk slowly and take everything in. While inside, I often had to backtrack as several Chinese tour groups would shove me aside so that they could take a closer look at whatever I was looking at. Seeing as most of them were senior citizens, I gave way and just let them finish their thing. It was also disconcerting to be hearing their loud tour guide giving commentaries about the display in Chinese. It would have been nice if it was in English, that way, I could get a free guided tour, hahaha!

Unfortunately, I was unable to take ANY photos of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and the Queen Sirikit Gallery of Traditional Arts, not even the outside! BUT despite the lack of photographs, the long waiting line, the very draconian security, I believe that THIS was truly the highlight among the tour sites included in the package (remember the THB 500 was also the entrance to Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha, Coin and Commemorative Memorabilia Gallery, Vimanmek Teakwood Palace, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and Queen Sirikit Gallery of Traditional Arts). Queen Sirikit, I believe, is the wife of the current monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej. In an Imeldific fashion, she strongly supported local artists by reviving traditional art forms and founding a training school for these artisans. Some of the more powerful art forms I saw were the beetle wing collage, the silk embroidery, wood carving, gold niello work, and enamel. Going into the Throne Hall, you will be given an audio device that would explain every single important piece in the gallery, 29 audio files varying from 2- to 5-minutes in length. Finally, I had the ability to block out all the voices of the Chinese tour guides shouting at the top of their lungs at the same time. I still had to jostle my way through the crowds though, but imminently worth it. Worth. It.

Then, after my trip around the city, I came back to the hostel and waited for my sister’s friend to contact me as we would be having dinner together. Don’t think that I’ve been having my meals alone either, some of my roommates at the hostel were friendly and I shared meals with them. Also, I did have that lovely brunch, and then some, with my cousin!

I will also share some of the street photography I took up until tonight, my last night in Bangkok.

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Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I fly from Thailand to Cambodia! I have already booked a city tour throughout Phnom Penh and also a tour along the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.


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