Turning a Google Street View car into a makeshift schooner to sail down the Amazon is one thing, but outright floods in places that cars are supposed to go is another obstacle altogether. However, one of the Thailand's worst natural disasters in history wasn't enough to stop the Google Street View team from traveling throughout the country to capture new Google Maps imagery. From the Lat Long Blog:
After six short months, it is with great pleasure that imagery of greater Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket is now available on Google Maps. We hope that locals in these areas find the panoramic views helpful for finding their way around their cities, discovering new restaurants and shops, and promoting their businesses online. Tourists can also get a preview of Thailand when planning vacations, figuring out travel logistics about the exact places to visit, or simply looking for more examples of the country’s hidden beauty.
So let us go then, you and I, to the outside of Bangkok's Grand Palace. While the elegance of the palace itself should unquestionably be observed, more peculiar is what's happening in the street outside of the palace: you can see where the Google Street View car nearly mowed over a pair of jaywalking pedestrians (actually, the people survived the near-hit - once you advance the Street View, you can turn around and see that the duo are still walking in the middle of the street). Honestly, if the Google Street View trip down Thanon Na Phra Lan is any indication of the haphazard traffic in Bangkok, then I hope I never have to drive there.
Here you can see the highly ornate Buddhist temple, Wat Arun, named after the Indian God of Dawn. Founded in the 1800s and later that century restored by King Rama II, the monastery has many aspects of mythology built into its structure and, if you zoom in a bit, you'll see that each level of the temple is supported by rows of monkeys and dragons.
A little over five hundred miles south of Bangkok, the Google Street View car took a drive along the coast of the Paem Phrom Thep peninsula on the island of Phuket. Given how beautiful the timing was on Google Maps' visit to the coast, one starts to wonder if they've developed an app to control the position of the sun because the panoramas on the Street View here are enthralling.
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So yeah, thanks again, Google Maps and Street View, for making my wunderlust for amazing places even more intense.