posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008

First Day in Bangkok

After a few glimpses once arrived last night it was time to do some serious sightseeing today! Weather was nice and hot so i took advantage of a little breeze in the morning to start in earnest! Good thing is that all the main sights are almost walking distance from where I stay. I started from the main two sites in the city Wat Prah Kaew and the adjacent Royal Palace. The temple was just stunning, much more than i had ever expected with the little research i did before this trip. I it a little city of steep roofed temples, a huge stupa of gold and countless shrines. The largest one holds the famous Emerald Buddha a small statue of jade sitting high on a tall altar of gold and precious stones. The statue itself was clothed in a shiny golden garment that made it stand out in all its beauty! After one sees something so beautiful as this temple one cannot expect anything more. The palace was not as interesting compared to that. Next i moved on to the oldest temple in Bangkok, Wat Po famous for a huge statue of a reclining Buddha long 45 meters. This was also an incredible place, much more peaceful than Prah Kaew but not much less interesting. Hundreds of very large Buddha rupas are on display all around the premises and the reclining Buddha was indeed impressive. Lunch was waiting in a thai restaurant across the road. I always loved thai food and my first thai curry in thailand was as good as i would have hoped and much cheaper than i ever imagined! Very nice way to spend most of the morning. As the guide said countless people did stop me saying things like, that place is closed...the monks are having lunch you can't go now, again an old indian trick. It seems like they are all plotting agains the Thailand Tourist Board, agreed that for the day they will try their best to not let you go where you want to go. Invariably all the places were open as usual. Best trick is to say you go somewhere to meet a friend, that way seems to cut short the old trick and they give up on you!
I ended the day taking a couple of boat rides along the Chao Phraya to spot a good sunset place. Not a bad day for photos either, took already around 250 in a day!
Tomorrow one more day in Bangkok and then a night train to the northern city of Chiang Mai. Fan still holding...