Thursday 11 October 2012.
Highlights: Royal Temple of Wat Po, Canal Ride, Farewelling group members.
After our quick showers we headed off for a short tour of Bangkok feeling a little under the weather, some more than others. A local bus ride with a wooden floor introduced us to this city as I was thrown around standing up with only two roof poles to save me from disaster. Even at 9.30 am the weather was oppressive.
Just before the start of the canal ride we said goodbye to Maria who was leaving us early. Catherine decided not to undertake the canal boat ride due to her motion sickness. Just before boarding we saw a man bathing in the canal, a full (nude) body wash for the public to see 😦
The boat ride was very bumpy which surprised me. We got to feed fish outside some temples, they stay in tat area as you can not fish in front of temples, they ate the bread like piranhas. A lady visited us on her floating boat/stall selling to our boat, this highlighted the water based nature of Bangkok.
The boat took us a little out of Bangkok so we went though a couple of ‘locks’ which is always interesting, but this time a little boring waiting in the heat. We got to see poor and rich houses that use the canal daily.
Our ride ended at near the Royal Temple of Wat Po. After nearly falling into the canal when exiting I was happy to be on dry land again. The temple is stunning, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about it previously. The reclining Buddha a particular highlight for me.
Late lunch in an air conditioned cafe was very welcomed. Afterwards a few of us planned to do some shopping in the local markets but some rain but that idea to bed quickly and instead we returned to our hotel and our finally available rooms. Funnily enough Sarah, Sue, Ray and myself ended up back just in time to say goodbye again to Maria.
We organised an early dinner to farewell Joanna who had a 8.30 pm pickup and have our final group dinner. Cat gave a thank you speech which Joanna responded on behalf of the group and present our tip thanking Cat for an enjoyable tour.
We then transferred back to the hotel bar and recalled tour highlights over drinks. Laurence informed me that West Ham were playing Southampton on Saturday 20 October and Ray is trying to organise seats together, could be a great future event for my London visit.
There were a few tears when Joanna left. Tonight we also lost Yasmin who left at 11 pm and Laurence and Kirsty at 3 am. I’m planning on saying goodbye at those times.