Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 15 - Phuket

After two crazy busy days in Bangkok, we were excited to spend a few days and get some rest and relaxation in Phuket.  Our first stop was the pool.  We were reading and napping and were startled by a lot of noise behind us.  We turned around and found an elephant within feet of us.  It was a kid still, about 5 years old, but an elephant!

This elephant was particularly fond of giving hugs and kisses.  These kisses were very slobbery!  As you can see Darren was a bit surprised to get his elephant hug.

After a day in the sun, we were ready for a good Thai meal.  We scoured the beachfront restaurants for a good meal and settled on a place with this beautiful view.

After ordering some fresh, as in they asked if I wanted to select the fish, seafood, I got the surprise of my life.  Darren proposed!!! I was not expecting it at all and had a hard time picking my chin up off the table! Of course this was the one day the whole trip I had forgotten my camera so I had to resort to my cell phone camera for these pictures celebratory.

Right after Darren proposed, an elephant walked right in front of us on the beach.  A symbol of good luck in the Thai culture.

And after dinner, I had to take one more picture, just in case the cell phone pictures didn't turn out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 14 - Ayutthaya - Part 2

Our next stop was Wat Na Phra Mane with a large seated Buddha.  I, however, was far more impressed by the ceiling inside.
Our last stop before heading back to Bangkok was Wat Lokaya Sutharam which is now a temple in ruins.  It used to hold the world's 2nd largest reclining Buddha.  The building is not completely gone but the Buddha is still there.

We took a bus up to Ayutthaya but were able to take a boat back down to Bangkok.  We got to see a lot of sites along the river which included this neat bridge.

And a great view of Wat Arun that we visited the previous day.

The boat actually dropped us off right across the river from our hotel.  And since we were opposite from most of downtown our views were great.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 14 - Ayutthaya - Part 1

Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before Bangkok.  Our first stop there was the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace.  The grounds were much smaller than the grounds of the Chinese summer palace we visited but just as beautiful.

Some of the other buildings on the grounds.

While walking around we walked past this guy.  He was about 5 feet long and walked like a snake.

This is the Sages' Lookout.  I had to borrow a sari to visit the grounds so I was "respectfully" dressed.

Our next stop was the Ayutthaya Historical Park which included the Wat Mahathat which is now in ruins.

Many of the towers are leaning due to the ground sinking but it quite good shape for being about 700 years old!


The temple has two large Buddha statutes that have survived all of these years.

One of the most famous Buddha's is this one where tree roots have grown around its head.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 13 - Bangkok - Part 3

The last two posts all occurred even before lunch! It was a busy day!  After lunch our first stop was the Marble Temple created with leftover marble from building the Parliament building.  I can't imagine having so much leftover to build another building!


We didn't get to see much of the temple because the Monks were having a gathering inside.

Our last stop of the day was the Vinanmek Mansion.  It is a house where Rama IV lived for 6 years.   The house is made entirely out of teak. It had the first indoor shower in Thailand and even survived a bomb hit during WWII.


 Pictures not taken by me. Borrowed from here and here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sights of Seville

A page showing some of Seville's famous sights and from our night watching Flamenco dancing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The hottest day of our trip topping out over 113 degrees.  These ruins were amazing.  So glad I got to go back and appreciate them more as an adult.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 13 - Bangkok - Part 2

After visiting Bangkok's most famous landmark we ventured to Wat Pho.  The four largest towers represent four of Thailand's kings, Rama IV, V, VI and VII.

This temple houses a gigantic statue of a reclining Buddha that is 50 feet tall and 151 feet long.  They actually created the statue and then built the temple around the Buddha. 

Buddha's feet are covered in golf leaf and inlaid mother of pearl. 

And Buddha's head sits on these huge pillows.

Also within the temple are 384 smaller statutes of Buddha. 

Our next stop was the Grand Palace, the former home of Rama IV.

Inside is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The Buddha was actually not made out of Emerald, but of Jade.

I was pretty disappointed by the size of this Buddha after the large ones we had seen.  He is one of the smallest Buddha's but the most revered in all of Thailand.