So, we are here for our one night in Bangkok. Hoping to tour the Royal Palace, but on October 13th, after we had booked our flights and itinerary, the King of Thailand, his majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, passed away. Beginning a two week burial process and closures at all the royal properties. Although we didn't get to experience the palace, we got to experience a country in mourning (feeling a little out of place with all of our light coloured clothes while the country is wearing black), a very large military presence everywhere in Bangkok (19km perimeter around the palace), and military processions.
Our first day we did a lot of wandering, getting our bearings... headed to Khao San Road to see the madness. Had a wonderful dinner and Cole had a Scorpion for dessert.
Despite the closures, we did however in our 2 days in Bangkok manage to arrive on a plane, enter the city in a taxi, travel to get our train tickets by Tuk Tuk, (I am really impressed by how well Cole knows these streets... sooo many days looking at google maps have really paid off)... we planned to walk back from the train station only to get into a Tuk Tuk that was far too insistent for Cole to ignore, who took us to a pier that we couldn't leave, that ended up with us paying too much money for a slow boat tour of the canals to a Floatling Market (not a floating market... really it wasn't floating). Ha... but we did find a woman in the Floatling (spelt correctly) market who made really good Pad Thai for 25 baht. And it was a really nice private boat ride and a relaxing way to spend the early afternoon. And I got to use my first squatty potty!
After our trip on the river we wandered into the flower market. It is overwhelming... Sooo many vendors and flowers and vegetables! More marigolds than I ever thought I'd see in one place... presumably because of the death of the king? But maybe its always like that. So much to look at and smell (the cilantro and dill and hot peppers are incredibly fragrant in bulk).
Then we went looking for a late lunch, its Sunday and also the last day of the funeral rites of the king. So we found a place open right near the palace, and on the TV we could watch the last of the ceremonies taking place. The streets were lined with people trying to be near the ceremony.
Tired and overheating we headed back to the hotel for an air conditioned nap, when we headed back out for dinner we got to witness the last of the processions heading through the streets and the military presence marching away behind it. Sights, smells, an ambush and living history. A good couple of days in Bangkok.