Bangkok is a fascinating place...I only wish that I had more time to see the area. We spent yesterday trying to see as much as we could, but the intense heat made it hard to get all the sights in that I wanted to. We started at Wat Pho ("wat" means temple). It was quite the impressive place with hundreds of gold buddha statues and beautifully decorated temples. I was taken aback by the size of the famous reclining Buddha statue here which is the largest in the world. Afterwards, we toured the Grand Palace which has by far the most strict dress code in any place that we have visited...pretty much everything had to be covered except your head and they loaned you clothes if you were not decent. But, the Palace was amazing...more ornate and shiny buildings and temples. I spent some time walking around Chinatown as well as the Khao San Street, which is about as touristy as you can get.
Today we visited a floating market at Damnoen Saduak...used to be a traditional market, but it is now obviously caters to the tourists...still good for a few photos. We left from there and drove to Kanchanaburi...famous for the "Bridge over the River Kwai". The actual bridge was destroyed by Allied bombing, but there is a new bridge in its place. We rode on what is called the "Death Railway", so called because of the over 16,000 Allied P.O.W's (and many more Asians) that died while building this railway when the Japanese occupied this area druing World War II. The railway was supposed to provide an alternative supply route for the Japanese to India, but most of the railway has been torn up since the war.
Tonight we are heading out on an overnight train to Surat Thani where we will catch a bus to Ao Nang (near Krabi). Beach, here we come!