Exploring the Grand Palace in Bangkok

It’s the gold that gets to you. There’s so much of it and on a sunny day it’s almost blinding.

Tale of Hanuman - gold reliefEntering the gates of the Grand Palace complex in crazy, colourful, feisty, noisy, smoggy, intriguing, hot-wired Bangkok, should be to enter an oasis of calm. But as the number one tourist destination in Thailand, of course it’s nothing of the sort. And yet, and yet, if you choose your time (ie first thing in the morning, last thing in the afternoon, on a non-public day and off season, it is possible.  I visited some years ago in hot, humid late March, at the end of the high season.  There were lots of tourists milling about, being herded from place to place, but it was still posible to find a few quieter nooks away from the main sites.

 Pimanchaisri door gate within Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand - by ScorpianPK

Pimanchaisri door gate within Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand – by ScorpianPK

The architecture is gloriously OTT, all intricate detailing, pointy curliques, delicate windows and shiny surfaces.  I loved every inch of it. Continue reading

The unique charm of Vietnam’s capital Hanoi

Vietnam junks - IndusTours

With so much to see and do in Vietnam, it’s hard to know where to start. Take your pick from the idyllic beauty of Halong Bay, bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the rugged mountains in the north or the Imperial city of Hue on the banks of the Perfume River. Guest Blogger, Lynne Gray, traveller and founder of That’s PR, shares her impressions of Hanoi, an old French Colonial city with a unique charm and history.  Continue reading