I planned for a full-day layover in Bangkok, Thailand on my way to Burma in November 2019. I was so impressed on a visit there some 20 years ago that I just had to return to see, at least, The Grand Palace and adjacent Wat Pho. Both retained all of their beauty and charm for me over the years. They were built on Rattanakosin Island on the west side of Bangkok.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace was the residence of the kings of Siam (later, Thailand) from 1782 until 1925. It would have been, therefore, the site of the 1956 film "The King and I," starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. The total area of the complex is just under a square mile, much of it filled with dazzling structures. Several buildings are covered in gold leaf pounded on with hammers. Good thing Dorothy didn't accompany me the first time I went, as she loved gold and would probably have tried to peel off a lot of the gold from the buildings for more rings for her fingers and bracelets for her arms.
Wat Pho, immediately to the south of The Grand Palace, is a Buddhist temple. Its origins are unknown, but it was significantly expanded in the late 1600s. Its buildings seemed more ornate than those of the palace, with more carvings and bizarre heads with grotesque faces.
The Grand Palace and Wat Pho of Bangkok are well-entrenched on my Favorite 50 Man-made Places I have visited. Disneyworld seems miniscule to the stunning structures the Thais (and Siamese) created so many hundreds of years ago. I have to wonder if the Disney efforts will even last one hundred years. Thirty years ago I already noticed deterioration of buildings in The Magic Kingdom. Then, too, I think of Milwaukee's Bradley Center lasting a mere quarter century. Poof! Not so in Bangkok.