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Thailand with Kids: Bangkok (day 2). Backstreets and temples.

At the market

At the market

We explored the Thewet markets.

At the fruit market we saw huge stacks of rambutans( a lychee type fruit), and mangosteens, my favorite South East Asian fruit. And then we saw huge spiky durians. Durians are famous throughout Asia – they are often referred to as the King of Fruits, but they are infamous too – they have the worst smell of almost anything edible. They are banned from most airplanes.

We decided to buy some – you don’t have to buy the whole fruit – rather, you can buy just a few segments, which is what we did. We would try it out later.

The market was awesome – the kids were amazed by the pink eggs on sale, and watched in horror as the fishmongers attacked their fish, blood flying everywhere.

Our next stop was Wat Arun, one of Bangkok’s famous landmarks – a magnificent temple soaring into the sky. Back on the river ferry, which we now knew well, then on to a smaller boat across the river , and finally a short walk to this famous temple. It’s fun for kids as you are allowed to climb halfway up the outside of the huge tower. Not a place for those with vertigo, it offers great views across the river to the city skyline. When we descended, we decided to eat our durian. I opened the packet and the boys almost gagged from the smell. The flesh of the durian is yellow, and soft, and the fruit has a pudding type texture. It was like no fruit we have had before, and frankly , the boys hated it. I ate most of it – but I’m not sure how much I liked it either. It had an extremely rich taste, almost like eating solid cream, and one simply can’t eat much of it.

At Wat Arun

At Wat Arun

Durian done with, we continued our exploration. Our destination was the Museum of Siam, a new museum featuring the latest in technology. The museum tells the story of Thailand from the stone age to the present day. It’s amazing. Using holograms, active hands-on exhibits, games – it engages people of all ages. The kids really enjoyed shooting the cannon during one of the many Thai wars, and they also like driving tuk tuks, or at least pretending to, being on TV, and operating a bicycle powered agricultural water system.

For lunch we popped into a tourist restaurant that we had seen the day before. It’s easy to eat in Thailand – the food is excellent, and cheap.

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