Our first day in Bangkok I still felt quite ill, just tired and unable to swallow or hear properly. But we pushed on and went to Jim Thompsons house which was like an oasis of clean, freshness in the centre of dirty, busy Bangkok. We had a tour from a Thai girl which was interesting, just explaining a few things in the house and garden. The house was really cool, it was all made of teak and was made up of three traditional Thai houses which Jim stuck together to make the one. It was decorated really nicely and had a lot of things from his silk business, like wooden presses for making patterns on the silk. The garden was nice too, and there were loads of pots full of fish dotted about. Ooh and a tortoise, I love tortoises. We went into the shop and bought a load of really nice silk things with pretty patterns on. After that we got our taxi back to the hotel and went back to the room and then the pool. But just as we got up there a woman came running out to get people out of the pool saying that thunder and lightening was coming, and right enough a giant black cloud was looming and it was a bit windy. But it was still rediculously hot and humid. So we sat outside for a while and it seemed to pass after a while and eventually got a bit sunny so we stayed out a while. That evening we went a taxi quest to find a restaurant which apparently offered a proper teak house experiance, sitting on the floor, triangular cushions, thai food etc, so we searched and searched, the taxi driver having no idea where he was going (this was a reoccurring experiance with Bangkok taxi drivers...) until eventually we drove past it and luckily I spotted the sign just in time. We were taken through and no sign of the pretty room where the picture in the guidebook had been taken. Much to our dismay we were sat down at a table! with chairs! although we did get a bit of Thai culture as we had a fork and spoon. They eat by pushing food onto the spoon with the fork. Anyway, we got given this giant tome to flick through, each page with a photo of a different meal. All 3 gazzilion of them. Anyway, the meal was nice, and we got a taxi home, although once back I started to regret having ignored the instructions on the throat ulcer website and the spicy thai food seemed to be swelling my glands up so my throat was very tight and uncomfortable. But going to Thailand and not eating Thai food just would not have been right. Oh I forgot to mention, on the way home the taxi driver couldn't find our hotel, they are actually useless.
The next day we got picked up by a shuttle bus and were taken on a tour of the Grand Palace. Possibly THE most lavish thing I've seen in my life. Theres a lot of temples, all with blue, orange, green tiles while every inch of the walls on the outside is covered in gold leaf, different colours of glass, tile or mirror. There was also one temple which contains the cremated remains of the first buddha which was pretty cool. I can't try to even do justice to it all, just staggering. We went inside one of the temples and saw the emerald buddha, which is actually made of jade. They thought when it got cut out of concrete (for protection during some kind of war) that it was emerald and the name stuck. Its only about 40cm tall but mounted on this giant pedestal of decoration in the temple making it rise above you. Once we'd finished there we were taken to a government run gem jewellery place. So in we went and I got a jade bracelet and we bought my dad a sting-ray wallet (quite a novelty!) amoung other things before leaving and being taken back to the hotel. I went straight for a nap being exhausted while my mum went up to the pool to catch some rays. That evening we ate in at the pretty fab buffet at the hotel, it had everything, including all the thai food which I really wanted but as I didn't want to suffocate myself I avoided.