Tues 12th April

Managed to get up at 8 and the taxi was ready for us at half 8.

Into the heavy Bangkok traffic we ventured. Four lanes of traffic and still a traffic jam. Motorbikes were nipping in between the cars and tuk-tuks were driven as though they owned the road. Its strange, though, how there's an apparent lack of road rage. It's as though it's acceptable to pull out in front of people and to cut in when there's not a space. Miraculously we arrived at out first stop, a river-taxi rank, without so much as a scratch.
Then we were bombing off down the river which was full of different types of crafts. Here are some photo's from the river trip. For those of you who aren't squeamish, here are some snake photos f rom the snake farm we visited. Our next stop was the famous temple Wat Arun. A truly magnificent piece of architecture as you can see. We couldn't unfortunately see the royal barges as they were closed for the Thai New Year (Songkran).
After the river trip we were back on dry land and grabbed some lunch at the ShangriLa hotel (situated beside the river) and then rejoined the traffic jams of Bangkok. It wasn't too bad, probably because it was mid-morning. We passed through Chinatown as you can see.
Next stop was the temple of the Golden Buddha. Outside were bells which were supposed to bring you good luck if you rang them. Obviously Tim is going to win the Lottery then.
I had thought the Wat Arun was an amazing piece of architecture so I wasn't at all prepared for the Grand Palace. The buildings there were stunning. So varied and every little detail seemed perfect. Here's some pictures of what I had the good fortune to see. Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures of the Emerald Buddha which seemed to be the centrepoint of the whole Palace.
Then it was our final stop at the Temple which housed the Reclining Buddha. A 30m long statue as you can see.

Shattered and sweaty I was glad to be on my way back to the hotel. Luckily there was airconditioning in the taxi which helped in the 100 degrees heat. A shower and a nap and I was ready to hit the town again. Tim had mentioned Patpong so we got a taxi to take us there. It seemed like miles away but the taxi was only a pound. God knows how the taxi drivers make a living out here. Patpong was dominated by market stalls with one area in particular given to selling all sorts of counterfeit goods. We wandered up one street where there seemed to be a lot of go-go bars but we were to wary to experience one. No doubt it would be free to get in but a fortune to get out! Besides what would our mothers say !
We found a nice little Italian restaurant (in fact it was Thai but sold Italian food) so we headed in there. A pizza washed down with a few beers and we were revitalised. We got a taxi back to Gullivers and had a few beers while waiting for a game of pool. As I mentioned before it was winner stays on and I was on one table and Tim on another. I managed to stay of for a few games before losing to a Chinaman (I don't think he was related to Tommy who I used to work with). Tim however, kept his end up (if you'll pardon the expression) and managed to stay on undefeated until the bar shut at 1am. It was a really warm night, and our last night in Bangkok, so we treated ourselves to a taxi back to the hotel. After all it was only 50 pence!