Day 3: September 7th, 2012
In the afternoon, we took the local express boat to Pier #8 and walked the long away around the Grand Palace to the entrance. Every TukTuk we passed along the way either told us that the Palace was closed to tourists for a ceremony or that we were dressed inappropriately and wouldn’t be let in. These are both popular scams by TukTuk drivers in hopes that they can drive you elsewhere for a hefty fee. We ignored them all and kept walking. Of course the Palace was open AND we were allowed in - but not without changing first.
Palaces and Wats in Thailand (and Cambodia thus far) require appropriate clothing - no bare shoulders, pants must go below the knee, and no tight clothing. Both Meredith and I were dressed fine (in our opinion), but we were told to change by a guard. Luckily, the Palace rents sarongs for 200B and sells them for 40B. While waiting in line to rent skirts, a nice lady came up and offered to give us the skirt she bought but didn’t want to keep. I used that and Meredith rented a stylish red skirt. After wrapping ourselves with the rectangular fabric with long strings on either end, we were allowed to purchase 400B tickets and enter the Grand Palace.
There were many buildings around the Palace grounds and all were ornately decorated.
The royal guards were much more personable than those in London, UK. They smiled for photos and motioned around. The only reason I didn’t like the Palace was that it was hot and my skirt made it hard to walk. I had to shimmy along and hiked it up when using stairs.
It was now late afternoon and the sun was scorchingly hot in the sky. Also, we had yet to eat anything. Therefore, we left the Grand Palace and headed for a coffee shop across the street. The large iced cappuchhino with whipped cream was perfect!
We had a few remaining random places to visit in the city so we booked a TukTuk to the Giant Swing (boring, skip it) and Golden Mountain (amazing cityscape views). Like our previous TukTuk ride, we stopped at a fashion store so the driver could get gas or money. We had to sit and look at dress designs that could be custom made while a nice man brought over fabric samples. We flipped for 5 minutes, said we were just looking, and left. He tried hard to sell us, but we stayed firm and walked out. Back in the TukTuk, we headed to our final destination for the night: Khao San Rd!