5 January 2012

Thailand - Third Wave 2012 [Day 2: Asia-Pacific Tourists]

On my first full day in Thailand, I woke up at 6:30am, to this view out of my window:


That day (Monday January 2), we went sight-seeing with all of the Asia-Pacific people. There are around 70 of us! It was a great way to tour Bangkok – with new friends, and meeting new people all throughout the day!

I will interrupt myself, and quickly explain why I was only with “Asia-Pacific people”.

Because we don’t get many (if any!) chances to meet and spent time with people from this region, our leaders decided to get everyone to come a few days before Third Wave officially started. They organized a program for us, and so from when I arrived in Thailand, I’ve been with people from the Asia-Pacific region – some of the countries are the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand (of course!), Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

It has been SO wonderful getting to know these amazing people over the last couple of days! And now, more people from all around the world are here as well! More names to remember!

So on our tour day, I was on the Tata Bus – Tata was my tour guide. She was really lovely – and SO funny!! I am finding out that the Asian people are absolutely hilarious! Love the sense of humour!

Tata

Me and Marie, who is from New Zealand. We were in the same tour group, and are in the same prayer group
These are some of the sights we saw along the way:

Markets

One of the MANY temples

This is a kind of "royal highway
We visited the Grand Palace:

The palace complex is surrounded by a HUGE wall, and we were also greeted by armed guards!

Ato, Juniper, me and Marie
There were SO many buildings in this complex. The designs and details were so, so intricate – it was really unbelieveable. The effort that they put into making these temples and buildings is just astonishing.

Amazing paintings on the wall


Replica of Angkor Wat, from Cambodia



The central temple, where the green Buddha is held

No pictures are allowed inside, so zoom must be used from outside!

Just one of the lovely houses within the palace walls



Next, we went on a River Boat Cruise. This was a lovely way to see more of Bangkok. The houses are build on stilts, on the water’s edge and right into the water. The area is really quite run-down, yet apparently the“property” along the canals is one of the most expensive places to buy!

This is what our boat looked like

Wow.

Feeding the fish! How crazy is that?!


We stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant – buffet-style. We have had SO many buffet-style meals here, it’s really ridiculous! Breakfast is buffet every morning, and we have had lunches and dinners that are buffet as well. I think I’m going to put on about 10 kilos while I’m here :-/



After lunch, we went to the Gem Gallery (I think this is what it is called). We were welcomed by beautiful ladies dressed in traditional Thai clothes, and were given a “welcome drink” – a glass of soft drink! We watched a 4-minute video (made only with pictures – pretty funny!) that told us that Thailand is one of the world’s leading producers of fine jewellery.


Then we walked through the jewellery workshop and saw people making jewellery, and then on into the HUGE jewellery display sales room and the souvenir shop. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of these areas.

To finish the day, we ate dinner together...
My table-mates ;-)

Rice and prawns with egg. SO GOOD!

...followed by a meeting, with a group prayer-time...

...and then we finished by an icebreaker game. A number is called, and everyone has to get in groups of that number – anyone who doesn’t have a group is knocked out of the game… And so it continues! Guess who was in the winning team???

I’ll give you one guess!

Me!

=D

I never win games like these, so I truly basked in the glory ;-)



I am having such an amazing time here! It is truly a blessed and privileged experience. My notebook has many more pages FULL!!!



This is what I look like most of the time!

:-)

Thinking of you every.single.day.
You are loved!!!
~Rachel
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