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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BKK 2012 - Day 1, Part 1 - Royal Palace

BKK 2012
Day 1, Part 1 - 7th September - Royal Palace


In September I visited Bangkok for a few days.

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Duty Free at Singapore's budget terminal - "中国白酒" ("Chinese Hard Liquor") and "China Cigarettes" were signed in Mandarin only. Maybe because only PRCs would buy those. But wouldn't such stuff be cheaper in China? Perhaps this targets nostalgic PRC expats who don't return home very often.

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"Female toilet shaft room". There was no "male toilet shaft room". I tried to find out what a "shaft room" was, but got a lot of gay pornography, so...

Thailand's arrival card asks foreigners their incomes. Gah.

Thailand's arrival and departure cards both have a box for sex. If you tick male on arrival and female on departure, what happens?

Transit/transfer passengers going through passport control are charged a fee of 700 Baht (S$30). Heh.

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"King Power Duty Free"
Maybe this is why people like Thailand so much - they can visit and feel like a King.

At Thai passport control, besides the usual sign about no caps and no sunglasses, there seemed to be a sign about people above 2m and under 1.2m in height. It was in Thai so I couldn't read it.

There was a large Iranian group - but most of them were no longer wearing their headscarves.

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"Drop-box"

One immigration officer was going about his duties with both ears plugged by earphones. Tsk.

There was a sign on the penalty for insulting customs officers. It happens that frequently huh.

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Travelator with point of inflection

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"Feel Great Differences with China Southern Airlines' A380"
If you can see the Great Wall from the plane, the difference is presumably that they fly dangerously close to the ground.

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China Southern door signs - note the lack of Thai

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Strange airport prohibitions - "No balloon", "Do not make loud noise"

There was no metro to the hotel, so I had to take a ferry from another stop.

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Pantene booth... playing a video?!

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Colourful boat
Note all the crap in the river. The boatman repeatedly raised and lowered the propellers to cut through all the crap.

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What looked like a gutted building. This was not the only example. Some had advertising banners draped on them, like this one did. A victim of the construction bust?

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Classy free hotel shuttle boat

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Nagas looking out on the river

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Bangkok view

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"Gent's amenity, 190 Baht"

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Thai Wanton Mee, 30 Baht. This was like the Chinese version, but with a bit of chili in the soup and with more ingredients (char siew, fishball, minced meat). It was good but had lots of MSG.

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Fish in boat

I decided to visit the Royal Palace.

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Questionable food: "French Fried", "Chicken Gorden Blue with Cheese & ham". Presumably "Tonkatsu with rice" is for the Japanese.

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Banner advertising tours. The "Amazing Dinner Program" was so amazing, it was only described in Thai.

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Pandemonium on exiting ferry stop building - one has to run the gauntlet (some of the times I passed through, I went by the side)

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Pomegranate juice - a popular drink. You need to squeeze a lot of pomegranates to get enough juice to drink. The bottles are quite small.

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"Water" is advertised in English. In Mandarin we also have Coke, Sprite and Milk Tea.

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In other parts of Asia, I'd call this "Colonial Architecture". Given that Siam was never colonised... I'm not quite sure what to call this.

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Palace - side entrance (not for the public)

There was a hawker outside the palace selling clothes. This was for people who didn't know you could get free clothes rental inside.

Entrance was 400 Baht which was very expensive. I suppose they had to pay for the upkeep of the gold, gems and the Thai monarchy.

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Palace gate

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"DO NOT TRUST WILY STRANGERS"
What does it say about a country when there's a huge sign in English outside one of its primary tourist attractions warning you about scams?

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Prohibited Outfits list

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"Im polite clothes" list
From all 3 of the preceding photos, I conclude that it's alright to show cleavage.

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The French was less broken than the English

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"Don't trust strangers who offer tuk tuks, lucky Buddhas and boat trips"

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I was amused this no smoking sign was in English and in Korean - but not in Thai. I protest the discrimination against Koreans!

It was very hot so I toyed with asking for a skirt. I saw schoolboys going in with shorts, though, so I was a victim of ageism.

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Boulevard leading in

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Golden Bell

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The Hermit Doctor (the black statue)

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Hor Phra Ratchakoramanuson and Phra Photihat Piman

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Askan-Mara

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Cloisters and Ramakien

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Phra Siratana Chedi

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Chinese Influence

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha was closed for chanting.

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Angkor Wat model, probably placed here to piss the Cambodians off

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Phra Mondop. There were a lot of bells hanging from it so it was noisy.

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French-speaking hobos

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Phra Mondhop

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Phra viharn yod

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Standing with Statues

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Statues

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"Beware of your valuable possessions. Ignore your junk"
This is an example of victim precipitation theory: if you have valuables, you will get mugged.

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Royal Pantheon


Disturbingly, there were more warnings about scams in the guidebook than for Vietnam. Luckily I didn't get cheated as much.

The guidebook said, for one attraction, that one had to wear a bra. This was quite funny.
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