Grand Palace, Bangkok – Thailand

A must-see place in Bangkok!

Bangkok is not the most attractive city in the world, but you must stay at least a couple of days for a few reasons: Two of them being the nightlife and the other is to visit The Grand Palace! (Maybe that’s unfair, there is plenty to do in Bangkok!)

Travellers beware! On your way to this magnificent place, you will be stopped by many “tour guides”, claiming that the palace is closed for several reasons, and offer you trips to see a smiling Buddha or other things that don’t exist. Unless a trusted website says that the palace is closed, do not believe anyone in the street! Just ignore anyone who tries to offer you anything other than to point you towards the entrance to the palace!

Bangkok is a very hot place, but when visiting it, make sure that you are not wearing shorts. Your knees and calves must be covered at all times (don’t forget, it is a sacred place!) and normal t-shirt (no tank top or sleeveless t-shirts!). This will save you a lot of time at the entrance, they are quite strict about this!

Another rule of thumb: When entering temples to adore Buddha, sit with your feet pointing AWAY from Buddha. It is considered offensive to point your feet towards his image. One of my friends who was travelling with me almost got kicked out of Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) because of it!

An amazing place! Just don’t be fooled by con artists and get caught in cultural differences!

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And it finally happened!!!

For many years, I managed to get tickets for the for some of the world’s best gigs.. U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Simon and Garfunkel’s Reunion, David Bowie, Dylan, McCartney, Harrison, The Police… but I never managed to get tickets to the most wanted of them all… the Rolling Stones. I’ve been chasing that pot o’gold since 1997 Bridges to Babylon tour. Yes, I was a very young Rolling Stones fan. Tickets have never been the most affordable and there were not adults who were willing to take me. What could I do? Ever since then, I’ve been trying to get a hold of a ticket. Sao Paulo, Rio, Dublin, London, Madrid… even Bangkok! Never managed to get a hold of a ticket! In 2006, if I recalled correctly, they played a free concert at Copacabana Beach, where 1.5 million people attended… and I wasn’t there, because I had a fluid mechanics exam. A few times, I queued for several hours, just to find out later that the ticketmaster shop in Ireland opened their doors late. Before opening to the general public, employees were printing tickets for their friends for a profit. When they opened to the public, only the first 5 people in the queue managed to buy them. I was about the tenth in line. I thought that my destiny was to never see them live, after all, 50 and counting, they might be pushing the limit!

The search for the treasure is over! Just 5 minutes ago, I managed to buy 2 tickets for their concert! I am so happy! Rolling Stones, live at Hyde Park, here I come! (With a Bruce Springsteen bonus the week before!)