|We arrived back in Bangkok yesterday returning to the The Prince Palace (familiarity was good)......today we headed out to Wat Phra Keaw and The Grand Palace.....when we arrived the ticket office was presumably closed and wouldn't open again until the afternoon, so we went by Tuk Tuk to visit Wat Saket where we listened to the monks chanting......this temple was right next to the Golden Mountain Temple, but unfortunately we were unable to see it as we were not appropriately attired. We returned to the Grand Palace after a couple of shopping stops...it seems that you cannot get a Tuk Tuk in this town without being taken to somewhere that you didn't want to go. The drivers get paid a commission for dropping you off, even if you don't buy anything....it is usually better to take a meter- taxi if you can find one that is willing to negotiate a decent price.......yes negotiate....it seems meters don't matter that much here.....and then you can usually get to your destination without having the extra stops. Upon our arrival back at the Grand Palace, we had to "borrow" appropriate clothing from the tourist shop....a long skirt for Barb and long pants for me to cover our legs down to our ankles.....we were then allowed to enter the temple and palace grounds. Wat Phra Keaw or "Emerald Buddha" Temple has the same name as a temple we saw in Chiang Rai earlier and is home to the Emerald Buddha, which by the way is actually carved from a single block of jade, and which was hidden in the pagoda at the temple Wat Pa Yiuh in Chiang Rai, hundreds of years ago according to legend. Wat Pa Yiuh was later renamed Wat Phra Keaw when in the year 1434, the pagoda of the temple was struck by lightning and split open revealing the hidden Buddha. Legendary history tells us that the Emerald Buddha was sculpted in India in 234 BC and was then moved to Sri Lanka. Then Burma (now Myanmar) requested that the Buddha be brought to their country and on its journey there, it was swept ashore in Cambodia where it was moved to Angkor, Sri Ayudhaya, Lopburi and then Kampeng Phet. In 1390, King Mahabhom of Chiang Rai took the image from Kampeng Phet and hid it behind stucco in the pagoda of Wat Pa Yiuh where it remained until the pagoda was struck by lightning revealing its hidden treasure. The Emerald Buddha was then moved to Lampang for 32 years from 1436 to 1468, then to Chiang Mai in the Wat Chedi Luang where it rested for 85 years from 1468 to 1553. The Buddha was then removed to the country of Laos in Vientiene when a Laos prince, who had married a Thai princess and was living in Chiang Mai, returned to Laos to succeed his father as King and took the Emerald Buddha with him. It remained there for 225 years from 1553 to 1778 before coming back to Thailand and being placed in Bangkok at the former Wat Phrasri Ratana Sasdaram, now called Wat Phra Keaw. After viewing the many buildings of the Emerald Buddha Temple we made our way over to the area of the Grand Palace.....the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall and Aphorn Phimok Prasat Pavilon, then returned our borrowed clothes and journeyed back to the hotel......tomorrow we're off to see the floating market......