Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Around Bangkok

This is the banner from the conference I attended at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University in Bangkok. 
This conference was 5 days long and the conference shuttled foreign participants to and from the hotel near the city center every day. I never realized how terribly awful the traffic in Bangkok is. From the Centara Grand to the university was only 4.3 miles. It always took over 45 minutes to get to the university in the morning. In the evening it took about 60 to 90 minutes to get back to the hotel. At that rate, one could actually walk faster. 

I used this calculator in a workshop and I have never seen this one before. It's called a TI-84 Pocket SE.   It's much smaller than the ones we use. 
I need to get one but they were selling them for around $180US and I thought I'd pass. I'll wait until I get to Singapore or some other country to buy it. This was a shot from the double-decker shuttle bus one of the mornings. The street was lined with people and we were not moving at all.
This palace was very near the university and earlier in the month they held a celebration for the King's 85th birthday. Apparently there were hundreds of thousands of people who attended. If you are not familiar with the Thai people, they absolutely love their king and his picture as well as the Queen's and the Crown Prince's are everywhere in the city. He is the longest reigning monarch in the world and became king when he was only 19 years old. He was born in Cambridge, MA while his father was at Harvard.
The university was celebrating a milestone anniversary this week and the campus was being prepared for the royal family to visit. So the conference arranged for a couple of tours. I chose to go to the Grand Palace even though I had been there before. It was nice to have a guide this time and we were told all kinds of stories and history of Bangkok and the royal family. This picture is one of the most famous landmarks in Thailand. 

This picture shows the Emerald Buddha which is located within a temple, but taking pictures is not allowed.  So this is the best I could get.

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