Sights, sites, pets and food

Day 53, Sunday 26 Feb 2012, Bangkok

Not my finest blog post, certainly not a post the day deserves, I really enjoyed the temple and the palace visits, but have run out of blogging steam tonight. Will let the pictures tell some of the story – so warning – lots of images in this post…

As I sat down to type this post and entered the date I realised that today is my second month anniversary of travelling – well done ME !  Five weeks ago I wasn’t sure I would make two months, but in a reasonable groove with it all now.

I had a good sleep last night for a change so up at a reasonable time, a quick breakfast and then out the door by eight for a day of playing tourist and visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, two of the key sights in Bangkok.

We took a couple of trains to the Chao Phraya river where we waited a while to get a ferry bus up river.  The river boat was pretty full with tourists though it was a good ride upstream. Saw Wat Arun out the side of the boat which I will aim to see another day. Today was supposed to be 33 degrees and sunny, so two sights today was going to be plenty.

Wat Arun

We got off the boat near Wat Pho, and were fortunate to get there early enough to miss the worst of the tourists, though the same cannot be said for the Grand Palace later in the morning…

I loved Wat Pho, if it wasn’t so hot and there wasn’t so many people I could have spent the day there wandering (and wondering) around looking at all the stone statues, the buddhas, the stuppas and the buildings, it was just very cool.

It is the largest temple in Bangkok and its key feature is the temple of the reclining Buddha, the Buddha is 46 metres long and covered in gold leaf and was spectacular.

As you would expect there were many Buddhas!

More on Wat Pho – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

After a couple of hours at Wat Pho and suffering an increasing number of tourists, we took a walk up the road through a solid line of hawker stalls to the Grand Palace.  Mike is easy to spot with the bright yellow dive bag !

The palace has a strict dress code of no shorts or open toed shoes, so it was long pants and shoes for the day. It is rigorously enforced.

The Grand Palace was started in 1782 and was the home of the Thai King and the centre of government for 150 years. The detail work, both here and at Wat Pho was extraodinary.

It was really crowded here and I kind of gave up trying to get shots without hoards of people in them.

One of the key sights of the palace is Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the emerald Buddha. The Buddha is carved from a solid block of jade and was made in the 15th century. The temple is the most sacred Buddhist site in Thailand. I am wondering if the hitting yourself on the head with a bit of wet fruit is a tourist thing…Painting the walls of the temple.

The walls of the ordination hall are covered in panels detailing Buddhist history, the murals are quite ornate.

I was trying to get a photo of this soldier and finally gave up waiting for this group of kids who individually getting a photo taken, so I shot them too.How’s my blue bandana 🙂

Mike decided to head back to the hostel and I wanted to return to the market from yesterday to see if I could pick up some more t-shirts and see the pet section as Mike heard about it last night and heard stories of snakes and baby crocodiles. We parted at the train station and I jacked into some headphones and gave my ear drums a blast of punk rock for a while. The market was more crowded than yesterday morning and a lot hotter inside as well, I was already pretty warm after the sweltering morning so it was a rather sticky hour spent wandering around the mass of stalls. SadIy I didn’t get any more t-shirts, only found a couple I liked today and nothing was in my size !  I did find the pet area, no crocs, but I did find some small snakes, and some piglets.  There were a lot of “no photo” signs, round the snakes so I grabbed a hasty and pretty bad shot.

After a couple of hours chillin in the hostel and getting a whole load of washing done and shooting a sunset, Mike and I went out for a meal at the local hawker stalls just up the road from the hostel.

 

Making my Pad Thai..

The hostel street from the Skytrain bridge.

Auckland band Kitsch have been around since the mid nineties and still gig now and then, a great pop-punk band, they deserve way more recognition than they ever got. This song 11 11 is off the great 2002 release “love songs for romantic punks”

About wheresphil

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, now living in London.
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