A Travellerspoint blog

June 2015

Grand Palace, Temples and more...

So our hotel is perfect! A little modern comfort in a great location and a great price! However we are constantly awoken at dawn by a rooster nearby....ha! Completely settled in though. I would quickly and repeatedly be reminded throughout this day how much more relaxed and quite easy it was for us to figure things out and get around on our own. Unlike some of our past trips like India and parts of Africa where I was really happy to have someone helping to navigate. We have this great app Tiposo which runs without wifi and it is so great for city walks, maps, Gps and travel tips, LOVE!

After breakfast we decide to take on the classic tourist sites of Bangkok starting with Wat Phra and the Grand Palace. Easy walk there though the humidity is thick. Four headed elephant on the way.


Well little side note before I begin with brief facts and pictures. Our taxi driver from the airport the other night made some comment about the "Chinese" tourists that would be there and to try to avoid them...right? This comment is even more hilarious to me now after the fact. As we approach the entrance to the complex which is surrounded by a huge white wall, droves and droves of huge Chinese tourist groups with flags and banners and umbrellas and selfie sticks (so many selfie sticks!!!!) are pouring into the gate. As we walk in to buy tickets groups are standing all over the place posing with banners saying things like "You Should Be Here!" and "Bangkok 2015" it was not exactly what I had imagined. I preface all of this because as you will see in the pictures below I did the almost impossible and tried to aim my camera around and away from all the crazy people EVERYWHERE and so you will not get a true sense of this experience without me first enlightening you in on this point. And just when I start to feel awkward about being a tourist in a touristy land, a person from one of these groups is hugging a statue with the words "Do not touch" written under it holding a selfies stick. Classic! There were many pictures that got retaken 5x as people would not just mistakenly walk in front of you but stand directly in front of you or whack you with an umbrella. Ha!!!! If this wasn't our first stop I may not have had the patience in the humidity but alas it was all quite humorous on one level and a cultural experience on the other.

But enough about the Chinese...he he he

Wat Kaew
Inner walls of entry are decorated with murals of Ramakian


Each entrance to Wat Phra Kaew is guarded by a pair of of enormous yaks ha,ogres or Giants from Hindu mythology



Then onto the inner compound. The most important structure is the bòht which houses the Emerald Buddha
We weren't able to go in unfortunately because they were getting ready for a cream only but the outside was still beautiful.



Posted by Kelly Rose 01:38 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)


Well we were all ready, bags checked, security cleared and then our delay that was going to cut it close in regards to our connecting flight bumped us from crossed fingers to screwed. So back through security and up the escalator to speak with the wonderful air representative who share the good news that the only way we were getting anywhere today was to uncheck out bags and make it to JFK for a 1:20 flight 14 hours straight to Tokyo. Yikes! So there went the bulkhead seats we were excited about and instead rationalized putting out the money to get us to the next airport. The one I originally looked at but was such a pain and expense to get to I had rationalized the flight path we had originally chosen as the best for the money. Well throw all those hours of planning out the window and call an uber driver to detour us through the city to save $6 bucks on an already ridiculous fare and get us to JFK. So the adventure began a little earlier than planned but thank goodness we were able to make it work an now we are here!


More from the other side of the world!

Posted by Kelly Rose 01:11 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

The forgotten entry for Mexico City

Better late then never?

Umm so this trip was in October....
It is now June 7
We leave for South East Asia June 22

So this post is more about keeping records as the story is well past it's prime. However amazing memories not the less.
So mostly pictures and subheadings methinks...

The last day we woke and had originally planned on going to the university to see huge offerendas and displays. We got to the university...

Central Library (UNAM Biblioteca Central), is the main library in the Ciudad Universitaria Campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). It holds one of the largest collections in Mexico. It is in a group of landmark buildings that make the Campus a World Heritage site.

The outside of the library building is covered with various murals, which were painted by Juan O'Gorman.

However we were sadden to find out that this year they had moved the festival displays and when we finally got to where they were the line was so long it stretched for many city blocks!!!! It would be hours before we would even get in if we waited. So instead on to plan B:

Xochimilco variously translated from the Aztec's Nahuatl language as "garden of flowers" or "place where flowers grow" — is an outlying borough of Mexico City today.

It is best known for its canals, which are left from what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico. These canals, along with artificial islands called chinampas, attract tourists and other city residents to ride on colorful gondola-like boats called “trajineras”

It is kind of touristy but still really fun. Marachi bands float by and will play on your boat

...and Chimi feeling bad made sure our boat was stocked with plenty of beer too.
It was fun to relax and dance!

A quick stop off the boat at the Isla de las Munecas - The Island of the Dolls...which personally was not impressive or really something I cared for or about but ehh...
The Legend goes : It is said that a girl was found drowned in mysterious circumstances many years ago on this island and that the dolls are possessed by her spirit. Local legend says that the dolls move their heads and arms and even opened their eyes. Some witnesses claim they had heard the dolls whispering to each other, while others who were on a boat near the island said the dolls lured them to come down to the island.

Ok Back on land and back to the Zocalo to check out more displays for the festival and some free time to explore.
¡Ay Chihuahua!


When we got back Thom decided to head into the palace to check out more murals by Diego while I walked around the square and into the church.

There was a big offerenda displaying names and pictures of deceased loved ones.

Huge constructed scuptures

This was a huge display recognizing the missing students..... (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/crisis-mexico-disappearance-forty-three)

Celebrating the culture of the native peoples of the region

Meanwhile inside the palace:








We then met up with Javier and some people from our group at a great beer spot which had lots of good Mexican beers (not just Corona!)

Javier is a home brewer as well so this was a great pick for Thom especially!

My favorite pic:

The place had an awesome view of the Zocalo
Night shot:

Next we left the beer place for a more classy drink on the 41st floor of the Torre Latino building. These pictures do no justice

So Mexico City use to be an island...now it is a sea of lights!

The best was the bathroom and the last stall in the ladies room which I used BTW...... HA! Full moon arising!

We finally headed out to another restaurant for our final meal and while this trip was short it was jam packed. I loved Mexico City and the people I met there. Our guides Chimi and Javier were great and I can't wait to go back and explore more soon especially since it is so close! There is more than Cancun people and you should definitely check it out! Ok onto South East Asia in TWO DAYS!!!!

Viva Mexico!

Posted by Kelly Rose 14:50 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

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