Monday meant temple day! We had sooo much to do, and hit the
road underground first thing. We made our way to one of the central train stations where it would be best to catch a taxi. I had a questionable bathroom experience here – I’ll save you from the details, but suffice to say, I felt violated and dirty afterwards.
But that didn’t matter because I CAUGHT MY FIRST TAXI! Whoop! A lovely soul, who was even willing to put his meter on for us! We made our way to the Grand Palace, and were met by massive queues – we weren’t expecting much else. I had had way too much water to drink because of the heat and felt so ill because of this, but I soldiered on (although I was quite the grump pot).
We walked around the massive grounds that the Grand Palace is situated in. The detail of the buildings is so intricate, it was incredible to see.
My favourite part from the grounds was seeing Wat Prakaew – The Emerald Buddha. Contrary to popular belief, he is not made of emerald, but jasper. He’s only 72cm tall – a lot smaller than I was anticipating. In fact, he looks tiny. Nonetheless, he was breathtaking. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace in the room, and I sat on the floor staring at him for ages. Ross eventually got impatient and told me he was going outside, when I realized we had been there for quite a while. It was phenomenal, and one of the best experiences I’ve had. We were not allowed to take photos inside, but I managed to grab this zoomed-in photo from outside.
We then walked around some more, and looked at lots of artwork, different thrones that the King uses, and finally came upon the Grand Palace itself.
We couldn’t go inside, but I made sure to take a photo with one of the guards outside, and make the most of the situation. Again, it was sooo hot, so we were tired of it after not too long, and made our way to the next destination: The Leaning Buddha of Wat Pho.
Wat Pho is just around the corner from the Grand Palace, so we walked there. This was not as touristy as the Grand Palace and the queues were not nearly as long. This was something I just HAD to see, after researching the different activities in Bangkok, this was one thing that really stood out to me.
The Leaning Buddha of Wat Pho is 15m high and 43m long. He is HUGE. Behind him, people drop coins in bowls as it is believed to bring good fortune. These donations also keep the temple in the immaculate condition it is in. This was probably my favourite buddha of all. You can’t comprehend how big he is – and we just managed to get all of him in one picture.
After seeing the buddha, we sat in the shade and drank some more water, preparing ourselves for another expedition – Wat Arun or ‘The Temple of Dawn’ which was also something I just had to witness in person, based on what I had heard about it.
I was most nervous about getting there, because it meant we had to catch a ferry, and use the khlongs and water system to get to it. Luckily, there were other tourists making their way there and they helped us out. We hopped on a little ferry and it was a freaking free for all. There were damn boats EVERYWHERE. There doesn’t seem to be much direction or control, everyone just does what they want and moves where they want and it just works.
We got across to the temple, had a quick colddrink (sitting next to a monk on his iPad), before we joined the massive queues to climb the temple.
You can’t climb right to the top of the temple – you can get to about midway on it, and it was extremely busy, so we couldn’t truly enjoy the view. It was also undergoing renovations, so that was a pity. It was still something to tick off the bucket list. It is an extremely steep climb, and I had a minor freak out going down the stairs. Either way, it was a phenomenal sight.
We then decided to be brave and used the waterways to get back to a skytrain station so that we could make our way home (in rush hour traffic, might I add – bad idea). We did it though! It was pretty exciting, and it was an amazing way to see the city – I kind of wish we only used the waterways the whole time.
We got back to our hotel, and went and had a swim in the rooftop pool, Ross then had a nap (nothing new there) while I read. We were both pretty tired after the day, and we were going to have a quiet night in but then we reminded each other, ‘Helloooo, how many times in our lives can we say WE’RE IN BANGKOK?!’ We just couldn’t stay in, and quickly made our way back to the centre of the city.
We found a cute sushi restaurant, had LOTS of yummy sushi and then discovered a sweet little Christmas-themed night market.
They had live entertainment, cute clothes, and little bits and bobs – pretty much everything you could think of. We spent ages in the market, it was such a nice surprise.
One of the great things about Bangkok is that we could spend the whole night out, and we still had safe public transport to take us back to the hotel late in the evening. I ticked off lots of bucket list stuff in the course of the day.