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24-Dec-2002
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The Bangkok Tour!


Each UK Contingent have enjoyed a fabulous sight seeing tour of Bangkok. Here is an account of that day by Colin S (Staines District) who is part of Surrey 1 Contingent (with additions in red from the UK Contingent Ebulletin):

"As if our trip so far wasn't hard enough already we had to get up at 6:00am so that we could board the coach at 7:40am."

"The site of 30 coaches lined up along the main drive way in the Ambassador City Hotel was quite amazing, but with 35 tour guides, coach drivers and various members of the Contingent Support Team helping the process, the Units set off on time."

"When we reached the coach it had what could only be described as a 'a Julian Clary' style interior, there was a purple leather ceiling and pink curtains! As we set off Jason (one of our leaders also known as Bungle) put on his Jambo mix CD and before long he was giving us his own unique version of Bohemian Rhapsody. The combination of the interior and our attempts at karaoke gave rise to us rewording We All Live in a Yellow Submarine (The Beatles) to We All Live in Bungles Pink & Purple Bus."

"We were aided through the traffic with a Police escort, which we have been told only normally happens for the Royal Family, so we were very privileged in deed (it also meant that we were able to progress much faster through the rush hour traffic)."

Jon, Rob, Mike and James taking in the sites!
Surrey 2 enjoy the spectacle of the Grand Palace

"Two and a half hours later we arrived in Bangkok. Our first stop was a visit to the Reclining Buddha, which filled an entire room. This was amazing as the warm gold glow from the Buddha shone on the intricate paintings and artwork inside the temple. We then walked a short distance to the 'Grand Palace'. We were now all feeling the heat but on entering the main part of the palace the view was breathtaking, everywhere there was gold buildings and oriental architecture. They were stunningly beautiful and we were given the chance to have a good look around. I must have gone through 2 films at least that day. One of the buildings contained the Emerald Buddha. The building was very quiet and peaceful and according to the palace staff it is the Kings duty to change the decorations inside three times a year.

Leaving the palace we headed off through what can only be described as a quirky market, definitely real life Thai. This led us to a boat which took us on a great trip to the Klongs. This gave us an interesting view of Bangkok showing tall city buildings next to small poor river dwellings, but they all flew the Thai flag."

"With 30 Units or 1200 UK Scouts and Guides out and about in matching scarves and hats, quite an impression was made."

Frances gets in on the act!
Surrey 2 leaders blend in with the crowd!

Dinner in the evening was taken at the Royal Dragon Restaurant, apparently the largest restaurant in Asia. So large, the waiters were on roller blades to get about. There was also a waiter on a zip wire who flew across the open air restaurant with a banner to welcome the UK Scouts. The food was different to anything we had ever had before, including fried squid and a whole fish with pineapple.

What had been the longest day of the trip so far was not only tiring but the best day since we arrived in Thailand. We were all exhausted but excited at the prospect of Christmas day being even better, we were not disappointed."