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Journals from Jan Term 2014 - NURS 398 Traditional and Modern Healthcare in SE Asia

2013-01-16 Thailand day 4!!!!

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The Royal Palace in Bangkok

 

Tuesday Jan 08, 2013
Written By: Paty Magallanes 
 
Oh my, what a day!!! It is the 4th day of our trip and we have had quite the adventure in Bangkok. Today was one of our longest and most exhausting days so far. Jerry, our guide, is like an energizer bunny. He is full of energy, never seems to get tired, and loves to show us everything there is to do in the huge city of Bangkok.
Today consisted of visiting the golden Buddha and a Chinese Buddhist temple; we had tea in Chinatown, walked through the Chinatown market, enjoyed the vegetable & flower market, had lunch in a great restaurant by the river, walked to the grand palace, visited the reclining Buddha, went on a boat ride, went on a train ride where we had an unfortunate event, went to eat at the popular "cabbages & condoms" restaurant, and FINALLY after a longggggg, exhausting, but amazing day we ended up back at our hotel. We were all very grateful to be able to take cold showers, talk to our loved ones, and jump into our beds to rest before we headed out to our next adventure. 
Yeah, wow!!! Haha! We had quite the day.... However, despite the fact that our feet were swollen, our legs were numb, we felt sticky and exhausted, and wanted a shower more than anything in the world.. We had an amazing experience!!!! 
The golden Buddha image we visited first is the largest golden Buddha image in the world! It is made of solid gold, and it is 15 feet in height and weighs approximately 5.5 tons! It is enclosed in an amazing temple that has beautiful hand-painted art inside the walls finished by an incredible red ceiling and marble floors. 
Chinatown was quite the experience. We began our journey through it by visiting a Chinese Buddhist temple. Here Jerry talked a little more about Buddhism in Thailand and Buddhism in China. We then enjoyed some refreshing traditional Chinese and Thai tea with some dessert. It was perfect for easing some of the heat on the hottest day we have had on our visit here to Thailand. The temp reached a maximum of 95 F and it was very humid!... After our refreshments we proceeded to the Chinese market, where we encountered an interesting variety of smells, objects, and trinkets. It was very different from all the other markets and we saw some pretty interesting foods being sold. The market was very packed with people and it was just sort of a long tight hallway where we had to stay close together and try to keep up with Jerry. At the end of the market we came out into the open air. Then Jerry said we were going to the veggie & flower market next and as we were waiting for the public city bus we realized we had lost Nazgul! Jerry went out to find her while the rest of us just waited together hoping she was fine. Thankfully she was and Jerry was able to find her in the lost and found section ;) we then all got on the bus, which it was perfect because we got to sit down for a bit after so much walking.
The veggie & flower market came next. To get to it we had to walk quite a bit under the scorching sun. The market was very nice, though! They had all sorts of vegetables, fruits, and flowers--it was very refreshing and it smelled amazing! Here we had some delicious "super rot" (pineapple) & some refreshing pomegranate juice. This market was a very nice place to be at in this extremely hot and sweaty day. 
After this we walked and walked and walked to a restaurant by the river. We had a quick lunch and enjoyed very delicious cold drinks. We then proceeded to the Grand Palace. 
It was breathtaking!! It had magnificent architecture. The buildings were amazingly decorated with beautiful colors and gold accents. It was like nothing we had ever seen before! The details in the walls, windows, floors, and ceiling were amazing. Here we got to see the jade Buddha, which was very well protected by all the police officers and security guards that won't allow anyone to take pictures of it. 
Thankfully, after the grand palace we were able to hop onto our vans and get a ride to the reclining Buddha and wat pho. Here we got to see the monks getting ready for chanting and we got to see A LOT of different Buddha images from all over. Jerry shared some Thai history with us as well as the differences and similarities between the different types of Buddha images. We then saw the reclining Buddha, which was HUGE. 
After the reclining Buddha we walked to the pier, where we hopped into a commuter boat that took us to the train. The boat ride was amazing! We got to see the beautiful city of Bangkok while enjoying the sunset! It was a picture perfect moment (which we got a ton of pictures of). 
We then hopped off the boat and did some more walking, up some stairs, down some stairs finally getting to the train, which is a lot like the Max back home. It was soooooo nice to finally sit down for a bit and it wasn't that crowded. But... All of a sudden a whole bunch of people rushed in and completely filled the train! To get to our destination we had to switch trains once and they were both equally crowded, unfortunately. Then, when we were getting off the second and final train we looked back and saw Professor Johansen collapse! We immediately rushed to help her up and sat her down on a bench. Everyone acted really fast and some started taking her pulse, some gave her water, while others fanned her. Then they wheelchaired her down to the medical room, where she was able to lie down and rest for a bit and get hydrated. She started to feel much better almost immediately, and thankfully Dr. Tong was with her the whole time. Drs. Tong & Johansen then told us to head to dinner so we would regain some energy. 
The cabbages & condoms restaurant was beautiful, and full of funny and creative designs made with condoms. This restaurant was designed to raise awareness and funds for AIDS prevention and AIDS victims. We had a grand feast at the restaurant and were stuffed! The restaurant also had a great little gift shop that we visited. The money raised from the shop goes to the fight against AIDS and they had a variety of very cool souvenirs for us to choose from. Then, finally, after a long and eventful day we headed back to the hotel! :D 

Ashley, Ashlyn, Kaitlyn, 
Megan, Shelby, Kelli, Sarah,
Leilani, Nazgul, Chelsea, 
Michelle, and Paty

Thailand, 2013 

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