Wednesday March 8th – another relaxing day for us, once we were able to get Gary’s debit card out of the ATM! The ATM kept it yesterday, and so it sat there overnight as we were not able to contact anyone until this afternoon, but its back, and no problems with its sleep over in the machine. I finally went for my Chrysanthemum Soothing and Sweet Almond 90 minute Massage – for a bargain price of 1,200 Baht. (approx. $42. Canadian). Treated like a princess the moment I walked in the door, and offered a purple colored cold tea drink. I’m not a fan of Lemon Grass in anything, and I could tell there was some in the tea, but wanted to know what made the color. The flower from the Clitoria Ternatea plant, more commonly known as the Butterfly Pea flower, are purple flowers are shaped like a human female genitals, thus the Latin name. Its the leaves that are said to give the tea its various said qualities including memory enhancing, anti-stress, antidepressant, tranquilizing, and sedative properties. If I remember correctly, I only had a couple sips, I don’t remember if it did anything to relieve my stress of returning to the snow in a few days. Of course you fill a form before going in the back, and thank God I checked – medium pressure. All but about 10 minutes was perfect. I actually fell asleep, but then….I think she forgot I wanted only medium pressure, and she went to work on my back and I bout went through the roof. But I endured, and felt better for it in the end! I was so relaxed by the end I hated to go anywhere after that, but always things to see and do. When we left the hotel we stopped at the central train station. We saw it from our hotel room, and walked past it several times a day going from and to the hotel. This station opened in 1916, after 6 years of construction. It is just beautiful with wooden beams and stained glass everywhere. The size is large enough to accommodate over 130 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers daily. In 2004 connections were made to also provide the passage of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit subways, and is also the terminus of the Orient Express. A city always expanding to supply transportation to the millions of residence, and tourists that visit this city each year.
We continued our short tour to the Wat Traima… temple which is only a few blocks around the back of our hotel. The temple always in the centre of our sunset photos from the hotel. The main attraction at this temple is the 3m-tall, 5.5-tonne solid-gold. With todays gold prices, it is estimated to be worth over 250 million dollars! The body is about 40% pure gold, while the area between the forehead and chin is 80%! The hair, and topknot are a whooping 99% pure Gold! It is visibly different than the other statues, and gold paint ( leaf) that decorates the rest of the temple. The value of the statue was discover about 40 years ago, by accident. It was covered in a plaster, with glass decoration which masked the worth. When they attempted to move it, it dropped from the crane, and plaster broke off, and that is when they discovered the gold. The statue is now kept in a 4 story marble structure at this temple. Having walked past, and looking at the temple for several days, it was nice to go in and walk around the many buildings and artifacts. It is truly a wonderful example of the artistry of the Thai people.
Next on the agenda was to go to a sky bar for a cocktail. We headed out, with a Tuk Tuk. It didn’t take long before we realized he wasn’t sure where he was going, but he finally stopped and got directions, and delivered us to the right place, although when we finally arrived we didn’t think we were at the Bayoke Sky Tower. In any case, we got there in time for the sunset, which is what we wanted to see. It still boasts being the highest building in Bangkok, however there is one taller now. We went to the 83rd floor in the elevator, then sat and had our free cocktail, which wasn’t really free because they charge you to go up. What a spectacular view from this height. Just before the sun was going to disappear we walked up to the 84th floor, and got on the revolving observation deck that took us around the building several times. It was very windy up there, but with the heat of the day still present, it was hardly even cool. After the sun set we went back down to street level and found another Tuk Tuk to take us back to our hotel. He was an older fellow, and got us straight back without getting lost, a bonus. Had another wonderful meal along the street, and know I am going to miss the food.
Tomorrow, our last full day in Bangkok, and it’s gone much too quickly! We will embark upon the Grand Palace tomorrow, which apparently is not to be missed on a trip to Bangkok.