Adventures in Bangkok
02.07.2013 - 02.09.2013 93 °F
Some people asked us...why Thailand? Why not?
The main turn-off seems to be the crazy long flight...
but our motto for the twenty-one plus hour journey was "better than work!"
Plus we saw some amazing, if not somewhat unnerving, views on our fourteen hour flight over Canada, Alaska, and the Bering Strait to Tokyo, Japan.
We even caught an arctic sunset.
We made it to Tokyo and hopped on the last leg of our journey...wooooo!
Finally arrived in Bangkok, Thailand after our seven hour flight, exchanged our US dollars for jewel colored Thai Baht (about 30 Baht to $1), and hopped into a lovely pink taxi much like this one...except that we arrived in the dark at about 11:30pm, a full twelve hour time difference from NYC.
Our first day in Thailand we each had a nice massage for 400 Baht/hr (about $13) and met up with our tour guide Nina feeling a lot more relaxed, ready for a day of temple exploration. Can't recommend Tours with Tong enough...if you're ever in Bangkok, it's beyond worth the 1000 Baht for a 5hr tour by public transportation...that's about $30!
We hopped into a taxi and just caught the tourist boat...so excited for our first day!
Enjoying longtail boats and gorgeous scenery along the way.
And when I say we arrived at Wat Phra Kaeo, The Temple of The Emerald Buddha...
Nina took us through the temple grounds, explaining the meaning behind everything. We were told to be sure to wear shoulder-covering shirts and a knee-length skirt or pants so Sammy threw on a pair of pj pants he had with him...hence his stylin' look.
We took in the sacred sites...
Thank Buddha for the breeze!
Nina fit right in.
After wandering through the crazy scenery,
we came upon a gorgeous gold leaf covered Buddha outside of the temple,
and left our shoes to go see the Emerald Buddha himself.
We stopped upon entering the temple to deliver a traditional blessing, dipping lotus flowers into water and each delivering a drop onto the other's head...a lovely tradition.
The man himself, dressed in his winter gear despite the sweltering heat. Apparently the Emerald Buddha isn't actually made of emerald, but rather carved from a single piece of jade. There are no pictures allowed inside of the temple so this is tall man's best shot through a window.
We walked around the temple and took in the gorgeous exterior, everything has a story behind it and Nina knew all the details.
The temple is so ornate, each and every area has been thoughtfully decorated...just look at the walls behind us.
We sauntered on through the beautiful scenery around the temple...
heard the story of Rama and beyond...
and finally made our way over to the Grand Palace.
After taking in the beautiful palace grounds...
and very serious guards...
we jumped into this sweet ride called a Tuk Tuk to get to Wat Pho, The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
This room was actually built around The Reclining Buddha,
and we couldn't get over his amazingly giant and ornate toes!
...quite a back on him too.
We wandered on and found ourselves standing in front of the actual tree that THE Buddha sat under in India.
Adding to the fun it was nearly Chinese New Year...
and we stopped to pose with a very stately statue.
Ahhhh the ancient art of Thai massage as taught at Wat Pho Massage School, kop khun ka...really, thank you!
We kept exploring and strolled amenst a truly striking row of golden Buddhas...these took my breath away.
We arrived at the temple and watched a local monk ready for evening meditation, so peaceful.
A little more posing with this lovely demure statue...
and it's hands up Wat Pho! So beautiful pictures surely do it no justice.
Onward to Pak Khlong Talat, the flower market!
Women sit outside in the market and craft these ornate flower creations...
with bold beautiful colors galore.
Bangkok proved to be full of lovely little shrines everywhere.
And finally a tight boat ride home to rest up for tomorrow's adventure, rush hour even on the river.
We headed to the Chatuchak Weekend Market in the morning, one of the most famous markets in Southeast Asia for it's 5000-6000 stalls!
This is the view of the walk to the market from the Skytrain.
There are endless rows of stalls selling everything from clothing to animals...to these busty statues.
Sadly no picture of it, but we stopped into a massage stall for a nice half-hour 150 Baht ($5) foot massage under a fan...we need this in America!
Only 2 Baht to drip-dry, 5 if you want toilet paper...love it. You learn quickly to BYO...TP in Thailand!
Burning up! The heat was oppressive once it reached noontime since it is like 100% humidity in Thailand...so we did our last looking, got an amazing bronze Buddha, gathered our spoils, and headed through the crowds.
This is what heat exhaustion looks like! The only time we didn't feel so good in Thailand.
Hurry up and get the Skytrain tickets!
And finally home to cool down and rest up for the following day's trip to Kanchanaburi where it will be floating markets, tigers, and elephants...oh my.