Beautiful Bangkok

Usually when I travel for work (ahem, the “day job”) I don’t bring my camera along because frankly, the inside of conference rooms just aren’t all that interesting.  But when work took me on a longer trip to Thailand of course I absolutely needed to bring my camera!  Thanks to my colleague Jackie who lined up tours of Bangkok for those of us staying through the weekend, we were able to experience beautiful palaces, temple ruins and bustling markets.
Our meetings were held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok (I know, fancy right?).  The hotel was gorgeous right down to the simplest details, like these floating lotus flowers on a veranda.

We booked our excursions through Tours by Tong and our tour guide, Pook (pronounced “Poke”) was excellent.  She was so knowledgable (we later found out that she’s a secondary school teacher on weekdays) and had a great sense of humor.

I’ll definitely need to come back to fill in more specifics on the locations we visited.  I have tickets and brochures to jog my memory.  For now, I can tell you that the first stop was one of the Royal Palaces.  These flowers were hanging outside a shrine near the entrance.

Royal Palace

This is where our van was parked, right outside the palace.  I was struck by the contrast between this simple fruit stand and the opulence we had just left.

Next we visited the Buddha.

A small temple in a room just outside of the Buddha’s room

Another temple

A much older temple.  After having visited the last one, it is easy to imagine a time when all of these Buddhas were also in tact and draped in yellow.

When you just look at the ruins it’s tough to imagine how tropical this area actually is.  I had to stop from time to time to capture some of this surrounding lushness.

Elephant traffic jam