In the City of Angels
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 11 of 26 › view all entries
I've been in Bangkok 2 days and love it! I'm staying right in the hub of the tourists on KhaoSan Rd...full off restaurants, bars, street vendours selling such cheap food. I've just eaten my dinner by candle light outside under a dissused Shell petrol station !
On the last night (Wednesday) on Ko Samui, i randomly hooked up with about 6 english guys and some Aussie girls who were on a tour, had some drinks and a Shesha! Next day (Thursday) i left Ko Samui at 11.30 with our mini bus driver driving like a maniac through monsoon rain to the ferry port, 2 1/2 hours and back on the main land, another bus to somewhere?? where all us falang just got off the bus and didn't know what we were doing, then a little bus to Surat Thani train station.....i'd managed to get a first class ticket for Bangkok (1189B) all the other cheaper tickets had gone, but thank god i did, as i just needed sleep! Shared a booth with a very quiet Thai lady, as soon as the train porter had got the bed out and sheets i went to sleep! didn't look out the window once, woke up at 5 am and then arrived into Bangkok at 6am, very dissilusioned.
Got a nice guest house, tiny room for 300B but ok (at night not so good, dreadfull live band playing next door bar everynight until about 1am and then music until about 4am!). Saturday i explored, walking in the boiling heat and sun (so hot here and so many really bad smells!) down to the National Gallery (air conditioned, and interesting/impressive contemporary art) and then down to the National Museum, learned a bit about Thai history and then viewed the hundreds of bits of canons/musical instuments/puppets/mother of peal boxes etc. Walked through the Thammasat University grounds, which are right on the banks of the river Chaophraya
On Sunday i walked the streets of Bangkok for hours.......started off walking the back streets down to the Grand Palace...this is where all the tourists in Thailand have congrigated...heaving with people. Lots of shrines etc housed within grounds and large white walls surrounding the whole estate. Such amazing temples....massive gold bell, and glittering temples...too many to count! Went into the famous ? to see an emormous shining sparkling altar with an emerald buddha on top. Lots of Thai's nealing and praying. Then saw the palace itself and went into the museum to see how they have restored a lot of the temples etc and how it has gradually built up from the 1780s? On to see more sights, the giant Swing...not particularly beautiful...think it's teak and replaced in 2006, down to Democracy Monument - very ugly concrete structure. On every building and poster board there are pictures of the king - it's just incredible he's everywhere?! Then to Loha Prasat..beautiful building, about 4 tiers go to the top and get quite good views of the city. And then to the Golden Mount...got lost on the way and ended up in a sort of shanty town where there were Thai men grouped round 2 cockrels fighting with lots in cages surrounding - horrible! At the bottom of the Golden Mount it was like a fair ground, with rides and food and clothes stalls etc, made my way up the encircling steps...bells to ring for good luck on the way up. And that at the top lots of golden statues of Buddhas in there various positions, each representing a day of the week. Lots of people lighting candles, incencse sticks , praying, and signing a large role of red cloth, to bring good luck/health to their families etc. Apparently this a special time for Buddhists? celebrating something for 7 days and so they wrap the red cloth around the massive gold Chedi (large bell shapped tower) on top of the mount. The thais were walking round the Chedi clockwise- important apparently.
I took a moment for a break as felt slightly queasy when a friendly thai called Chatyua (or something) started talking to me..he offered to take me round china town, so we walked for miles to China town...absoloutley massive (apparently the largest China town in the world!)...went in around 5 chinese temples, all Buddhist but so different from the Thai ones, dirty and shabby...arrived at a famous one where around 30 Buddhist monks were chanting.
I tried to get a tuk tuk home but Chatyua said too expensive (only 50 b!) so he told me which bus to get on...an experience...only 7B but not sure where to get off!!