Our second day in Bangkok took us to the Grand Palace. The whole place had been cordoned off because the body of the late King of Thailand was lying in state in one of the stately buildings in the Grand Palace complex. Thus, security was very tight as we had to move shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists and the local Thais to move past the security checkpoint. All the Thais were donned in black whereas we tourists had been advised to wear dark colours. Thus, it was very surreal to see the locals moving everywhere in the Thai capital in black clothes, even in shopping malls in the city, as if this was a common, everyday thing to do.
Everybody's trying to go through the security checkpoint. We were requested to show our passports to the Police before we were allowed through.
But once through, we found wide open spaces since the roads around the Grand Palace had been closed off to traffic.
The ceremonial guards taking a rest before their turns to stand motionless at the various entrances.
I think that I did the best impression among the five of us!
Novice monks studying in the Grand Palace
In the evening, we were taken on a dinner cruise on board the Chao Phraya Princess. This was the pier at the River City shopping mall.
Hundreds of other tourists waiting for the cruise ships to arrive. There were at least five that belonged to the same company.
Abundant food, but needless to say, we enjoyed the scenery more than the food...
...such as this, which is the Grand Palace at night.
On the third day of our stay in Bangkok, we were left well alone by the tour guide, it being a free-and-easy day. My fellow Old Frees who had been to Bangkok before jumped right in to a shopping frenzy while others, like my wife and I, were only beginning to discover what Bangkok had to offer in terms of shopping. We were advised to go to the Platinum fashion mall where the latest and cheapest clothes were being sold but for us to even go there, we had to pass through - and be detained for about three hours at - their 24-hour open-air weekend market. We thought it was already heaven to shop here for clothes.
Our ultimate destination, the Platinum fashion mall. This is, of course, a paradise for women. Men will also find plentiful of new clothes in this mall. The problem with shopping here is that almost all of the shops do not have a fitting room and thus, shoppers have to take a risk with their purchases. The only consolation is that the clothes are cheap.
Our final destination in Bangkok was to go up to the top deck of the 88-storey Baiyoke Sky Hotel where we saw a 360-degree panaramic view of the city. After that, onwards to their Rooftop Bar for a round of drinks. Cheers!