This week we have been here, there and everywhere!!
On Monday we headed over to the river and I took Sadie and Margaret to visit Wat Po. I know I keep going on about it but it is one of my favourite places in Bangkok and is on my “must see” list - even knowing what you are going to see never quite takes the edge of wonder off seeing the Reclining Buddha in all it's glory and it doesn’t matter how many times I say “we’re off to see the big Buddha”, no one’s ever prepared for quite how big it really is. (To find out more about Wat Pho go to the posting 'The Adventures of Tomato in Thailand - The Beginning). When we got there I was a little disappointed to find that the building is in the process of being renovated (I suppose it has to be done sometime) so was covered with scaffolding but it didn't detract from the sheer scale of the Buddha or the beauty of the grounds. We made a small donation, Thailand's temples are heavily reliant on donations for their upkeep so it's a good thing to do, and were given a bowl of coins each. The idea is that, in order to bring good luck, you drop a coin into each of the 108 prayer bowls that line the wall behind the Buddha's back - it is quite noisy but fun. We then headed over to the Oriental Hotel for lunch and to recover from the heat. That evening we went back over to Khun Dao's for a fitting - Margaret was talked into ordering another skirt. The fabric she chose is absolutely beautiful - it is antique gold with a brown pattern through it. Sadie and I were discussing the length of a skirt when Margaret turned to me, looking very concerned, and said 'Why is Dao saying that she will need to dye the fabric green? I chose it cause I really like the gold colour.....I don't want her to dye it green!!'. I burst out laughing 'Not dye green.....dry clean!!!' (Poor Margaret has been teased about it ever since!!)
Tuesday saw us up bright and early (Well, maybe not bright but definitely early) as we headed out on a trip to Ayuthaya. Moon had never been so we invited her along and the four of us headed back to the river to get the coach that would take us to the old capital. We had a lovely day, although I was slightly alarmed when Moon said 'Oh Madame....today is hot hot hot'......good grief.....if she thinks it's hot then how the hell are we going to cope!!, but we all just made sure that when we had had enough we went back and sat on the air-conditioned bus and drank lots of water. What a giggle we had at the King's Summer Palace on the way to Ayuthaya - we decided that it was far too hot to walk so we hired what can only be described as an electronic golf cart and decided that Margaret was the designated driver. The poor cart didn't go fast at the best of times but really struggled to get up any small incline - not only were we in hysterics so was everyone else when they saw us coming. We even had our own escort back to the bus - see photo
Wednesday was our pamper day. I thought it was a good idea to take it easy since we were heading out to cocktails at the British Ambassadors house that evening. We started the day with a trip to Take Care on soi 33 to have a manicure and pedicure. It is such a lovely thing to do.....very relaxing.. It takes about an hour and a half (and only costs about £7), they wash your hands and feet with a salt scrub, then apply moisturiser, wrap your hands and feet in hot towels, give you a massage and that is all before they even start cutting and shaping your nails. Sadie had never had a pedicure before and was astonished at how beautiful her feet looked at the end of the session (We will be going again before the end of the holiday). We then headed over to Tanika's for Sadie's coat fitting (It will be absolutely stunning when it's finished) and then to Lemonchello's for lunch. (It's a great restaurant on Soi 11 and I think they do the best pizza in Bangkok - not only are they thin and crispy but you get to watch the chefs throw the dough in the air before putting it in the wood oven....very cool!!). I had booked a facial for the afternoon, which is just along the road from the restaurant, so we walked up to the Ananda Spa (http://www.anandaspa.net/home.html) and had the 90 minute Ananda Facial which is described as a 'rejuvenating experience of a cleansing, toning, hydrating, moisturizing, facial massage and mask designed to purify and promote beautifully radiant skin.' Don't know about the beautifully radiant skin but it felt lovely and was definately relaxing (Woke myself up snoring - thank god I was in a room on my own!!). Although we did have an 'Only In Thailand Moment' when we were asked to remove our tops - I was thinking 'Oh my god..I wonder how Sadie and Margaret are getting on' as my wee woman explained that she massages your shoulders and neck as well (Show's what I know......I foolishly thought a facial would only involve work on the face!!). Anyway, we got home and got organised for the reception with the Ambassador ("...with these Ferrero Rocher you are really spoiling us." - actually there was not a Ferrero Rocher in sight....or any really dubious accents.....I was a bit disappointed!!!). It was a really nice evening - the house is beautiful, everyone was all dressed up and it was really nice that Sadie and Margaret got a chance to meet everyone. We had a few funny moments - the Ambassadors wife, Gwendolin Fall, gave Sadie into trouble for bringing the book 'The Cannae Sutra' into the country. (I had given a copy of it to my friends Louise and Jenny at the reception, she had spotted it, laughed her head off and then gave Sadie into bother for bringing it) and my friend Susan's husband to be, Bob, had been interviewed for TV that day and they had done something very strange to his hair which made him look a bit like a dodgy news reader (Very funny).
Thursday we all needed some well earned rest so we just puttered around the apartment doing as little as possible and on Friday we headed out to Siam Paragon for some shopping therapy before getting ourselves organised and heading out to the airport for our long weekend in Chiang Mai.