We only had two nights in Bangkok before heading to London so there was not enough time to get out of the city and see more of Thailand. We stayed in an amazing hotel in a great location and had a wonderful time exploring. Raj’s sister, Su, had given us the number of a friend of hers near Bangkok who wanted to show us around for a few hours, so we were fortunate enough to have a wonderful tour guide. Mon took us to the Grand Palace (houses the Thai King, Parliament as well as the Emerald Buddha, among many other things), which we likely would have skipped had we been on our own because we had seen SO many palaces/temples and were feeling very done with the typical tourist sites. However, Bangkok’s most famous palace was absolutely stunning and we were very glad to have seen it. Each building had lovely architecture and beautiful detail. The heat that day was stifling so we spent a few hours inside before heading out to an early dinner at the waterfront – we went to a restaurant that we never would have found on our own, yet was a very nice local seafood restaurant with great views, and also a collection of strange amphibians (which they don’t eat). We even got to see how they make dumplings. Later we went to a night bazaar and spent an hour or so checking out the millions of options. We picked up a few souvenirs but didn’t have time to work our way through the incredible maze and finish up.
Our last day in Bangkok, and technically our last day of the adventure portion of our trip (because London is all about family), we decided it was about time to finish up our souvenir shopping. After months of worrying about baggage restrictions, we were ready to weigh our bags down because we only had international flights left. We spent hours weaving through the overwhelming traffic in the horrible humidity and crowded markets picking up item after item. It was such a relief to finally buy things for family and friends that we had been seeing over and over again in Asia but unable to pack. While we were out shopping we also got the chance to get some street food for a snack; we played it safe and bought a bag of fresh sliced mango and a chilled coconut to drink and it turned out to be the perfect refreshment for getting us through! Later that night we packed up all our goodies into our bags that suddenly felt much heavier and took off for the airport for our midnight flight to London!!!