With a full night of rest under our belts, we made our way to the hotel’s (complimentary!) breakfast buffet. If you have read previous posts on our travels than you already know that I don’t like buffets. I won’t say why I don’t like them (out of respect for your presumed love of them), but let’s just say that humans around copious amounts of food leaves me questioning food safety and quality. Anyhow…my views on buffets can be changed by extraordinary circumstances. Fortunately, the buffet at the St. Regis not only met my expectations, but exceeded them.
Much like the buffets we encountered in China, the buffet at the hotel was very over the top. With generous offerings of fresh breads, pastries, fresh juices, cereals, fruit and traditional breakfast fare, the hotel also offered a made-to-order egg station, and had a beautiful selection of Chinese, Thai and Japanese food. To boot, everything always looked perfect and fresh. It was glorious.
We met a tour guide with the East Meets West Travel Company in the hotel lobby just before 8. Together, we toured four separate sites and checked a lot of things of our “must see” list. We began the tour at the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit). This temple contains the Golden Image Buddha, which is made of solid gold and weighs approximately 5 ½ tons. While we were there, preparations were under way for the annual prayer ceremony for monks that begins at 9:00PM on NYE.
Then, we made our way to the Grand Palace. We toured the extensive grounds and tried to make sense of the impressive buildings and architecture. Talk about sensory overload!
Next, we made our way to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). There were more crowds here than all of the sights we visited.
Thanks to a great driver and light traffic, we were able to breeze our way around the sights. We did all of this before noon! Although we are devout Catholics, we really enjoyed visiting these very spiritual Buddhist sites and watching the celebration of another faith.
After our tour, we walked over to the Four Seasons and lunched at their Spice Market restaurant. Featuring Thai food, the restaurant is famous for offering an authentic foodie experience. Fortunately, the restaurant lived up to everything I’d heard. We shared Kuey Tiew Kua Gai (Wok-Fried Flat Rice Noodles with Chicken and Lettuce), Gaeng Kiew Warn Gai Rue Moo (Green Curry with Chicken in Coconut Milk) and Pad Ka-Praow Gai Rue Moo (Stir-Fried Chicken with Chili and Basil Leaves). Everything was delicious!
We took naps after lunch then hit the gym for last workouts of the year. The hotel offered several different NYE celebrations and we opted to dine at Jojo’s, an Italian restaurant, for a seven course Italian feast. We ate like royalty thanks to Chef Carlos, a native of northern Italy. Everything was delicious and the ambiance was lively and fun. We had a really great time.
Instead of joining in on the pretty rambunctious scene in the bar, we opted to retreat to our room to watch the fireworks (several different displays!). We had a great view of the fireworks and it was nice to watch it all from bed while wearing pajamas!