South East Asia 2017 - Day 6: Bangkok

 

10 August 2017, showers, mainly fine, 32°

I was up early again and walked a few hundred meters to the King Taksin Bridge to shoot the sunrise and some photos of the traffic.  I met a man from Australia also shooting ( see, I am not the only one ). He was near the end of his 4 weeks in Cambodia and Thailand.  I took a few shots then wandered back to the hotel at 6:30 in time for breakfast.

We left the hotel again at 8 and walked to the Sathon Ferry terminal ( just under the King Taksin Bridge ) and caught an orange flag ferry at 8:30 heading up river ( B14 ea ).  These boats are like buses and run every 15 minutes or so, making various stops along the river.  It was interesting to see the new buildings on the river ( mostly western hotels and malls ) which contrasted with the street we caught the bus on on day 4, which runs parallel to the river ( about 100m away ) but has no new buildings at all.

We got off the ferry at Chang Pier and walked along the road ( with the crowds ) to the entrance to the Grand Palace complex.  I had to zip the legs onto my shorts to be able to enter ( as it is a temple as well ) and Liz had to cover her shoulders.  We watched lots of people ( do they not read guidebooks? ) realising that they were under-dressed and having to buy trousers and tops from the local stalls ( at double the normal prices ).

We walked into the Grand Palace complex then through to the ticket booth ( B500 each ) at 9am, then walked through the scanners and gates and into the Wat Phra Kaew temple.  Wow, what an overload of sights for us to take in as our first temple.  We spent about 20 minutes just shooting in and around the entry area and then we moved on through the rest of the temple complex.  

The detail on the buildings and statues is amazing, but I guess we won't be as easily impressed by the end of our trip after we have seen hundreds of temples.

We walked through the rest of temple then out into the Grand Palace grounds itself, past the Grand Palace itself and then back out to the main entry and back to the street at 11am.  Time for a drink and pastry at a local cafe.

Next we walked back towards the river then south past the Grand Palace walls to Wat Pho.  We went in and paid for our ticket ( B100 ea ) and walked into the building containing the Reclining Buddha ( 15m high and 45m long in all his golden glory ) then around the complex ( there are over 100 buildings in Way Pho ), with lots of stupa, pagoda, Buddha and people ( and a few cats as well ).

We almost converted to Buddism when we went into the Ordination Hall and sat on the floor, the air was so nice and cool, we nearly didn't want to leave.

We left Wat Pho by the east gate, then we had to walk back to the other side where we had entered from to get back to the boat pier.  Once we arrived there we found it was closed for all ferries except the cross river ferry to Wat Arun, so we caught that one ( B3.50ea) then the orange flag ferry back to Saphon Pier, and then walked to Robinson's Mall at 1pm for some Starbucks lunch ( it is so hard to resist... ) and cold drinks.  We grabbed some  more groceries and headed back to the hotel.

We headed out again at 5pm, walked to the Saphon Pier and caught the free shuttle boat to Asiatique, a large 'market' further down river.  This looks like a 'made for tourists' type of market, not a local market.  We wandered around through the t shirt shops, trinket sellers and food stalls, then grabbed some unexciting dinner at the food court area.  We walked back to the river side and caught the shuttle boat back to Saphon in the dark and back to the hotel at 7:45pm.

Started to pack our bags ready for a big travel day tomorrow to Myanmar, country No 3.