Checked in to a guest house just off Khao San Road – the Mecca for backpackers here. Certainly a vibrant place to start off my travels with crowds of people in every direction you look sampling the markets, street food or bars there are on offer. Couldn’t walk for more than 10 seconds without being offered a massage, I’d give it 30 seconds per offer of a tailor made suite, and maybe around a minute between being toted BBQ’d scorpions. The latter I eventually gave into…though can’t help but wonder where they find them – or the giant, hairy legged spiders. Hopefully not crawling around the hostels in the area… Also on the menu were frogs (taste like chicken), crickets (spiky legs get caught in your teeth) and maggots (just no) to accompany the burnt, crunchy scorpions.
My only impression of Bangkok prior to this trip came from ‘The Hangover 2’, so as crazy as times were here it was nice to go off and see the calmer and more peaceful sides to the city. A boat cruise down the Chao Phraya river took me river dragon spotting and gave a much more rounded view of the city.
Stopping off at a few temples is a must to embrace the Thai culture. Being hit over the head by a Monk and splashed numerous times with his indoctrinated water was both funny and fascinating in equal measures, and the good luck blessed upon me seems to have stuck is far.
Wat Pho temple is one of the more revered in Bangkok and stands as one of the temples of top rank in Thai culture. It is home to the remains of former Thai Kings (and their royal families) and is famous for the 43m long, 15m high, gold plated statue of Reclining Buddha. A very impressive idol. Not being one from a Buddhist (or at all religious) background, and having seen the wooden shacks that outline the river and poorer areas of the city, I couldn’t help but think whether all the money donated to the religious causes could have a greater effect on the community than such a shrine, but such is the Buddhist way. They find peace and happiness with whatever they may own.
The Baiyoke Tower is the tallest building in Bangkok and gives an impressive view out over the city – by night for me but would have liked to see it in the day too. A bit more street food and a hungover cookery class brought my Bangkok experience to an all to early end, but will return soon.
PS. For whatever reason I didn’t have my camera with me all too much over these few days which is a regret..
View from Baiyoke Skytower at night
Wat Pho – the Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho – shrines to former kings
Wat Pho – line of Meditating Buddhas