Monday, March 12

Today we saw the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and flew to Bombay (Mumbai).

First, here's a Thai Auto-Rickshaw, also known as a Tuk-Tuk.  They're nicer in Bangkok than Bombay.

This is on the drive to the Grand Palace, they looked like a large set of hands embracing the city, or maybe some angels?

This is the palace grounds.  The elephant in the scaffolding in the traffic circle has had its head disassembled for repair.

This is the grounds from the main entrance.  Some very neat buildings.  According to the tour guide the grounds were built around 1740.

One of the large figures, probably 20 feet tall.

A shrine?  they were burning incense and praying in front of it.

This large golden object appears to be completely covered in real gold.  I'm not sure what it is - I'll do that research and update this when I get a chance.

The place was crowded with schoolchildren coming to see this very historic and revered site.

Here I am with the thousands of schoolkids filing past.

Another perspective on the large gold bell-looking structure.

Here's your intrepid reporters enjoying the 87 degree sun.

Bob's not enjoying it quite so much.

Here is a model of one of the most famous Wats, Angkor which is located somewhere else in Thailand.

The buildings are enormously ornate with very complex designs all over them.

This was a wall more than 100' long covered in paintings that I presume depict historic events in Thailand.  Note that my picture of Bob is better than Bob's picture of me.  Thanks...

This is the line to see the most revered and celebrated object, the Emerald Buddha, which is actually made of jade, but it is very large for a single piece of jade, several feet tall, and they built an enormous shrine around it.  Of course no pictures are permitted, but I bought a poster of the room for about a buck. You had to take your shoes off to see it.

The changing of the guard.

We thought this combination cart-motorcycle was neat and practical.

A Thai Coke.

Many well-known businesses operate in Thailand.

At the airport we wanted something small and Bob wanted to see how the hamburgers were, since we are not likely to get one in India.  He said the burger was the best he's had in a long time, and the apple and cherry pies were the deep-fried style that McDonald's used to have but got rid of many years ago. They were amazing.

We had Thai Singha beer before getting on our Indian Airlines flight.  It was very good.

My final picture is that of a big milestone - this is the point where our plane crossed the east coast of India from Bangkok, and with that, completed the segment of my journey so that I had then been completely around the world at least once.  What a long, strange trip it's been.  And more to come.

We arrived in Bombay and the driver took us to the wrong Sheraton.  We got him back about 20 minutes later and we got settled in for our office visits.  More later.