Bangkok Wat this and Wat that
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
March 5th, 2008 – by: jmaxiv
My preference for transport is BTS or MRT because it is cheap, fast and has AC. In this trip I stayed by the Asoke station which is the best of both worlds because there is a BTS and MRT line which improves options dramatically. I found that taxi's in BKK are cheap, but I hate getting stuck in traffic and in a taxi this will always happen guaranteed! In this tour, I wanted to go to the Grand Palace etc, and sadly the public transport does not service this area of the city.
The Grand Palace is joined to the temple grounds (Emerald Buddha). The temple is extensive and contains many buildings. I took the self-guided audio tour, but the narrator is quite horrible, both tone and content. I recommend a personal guide to get a better experience and they can answer questions too. The buildings are incredibly detailed and intricate. Entrance to most is forbidden, however the actual temple with the Emerald Buddha is open. The interior is murals on each walls telling many stories. The emerald buddha is not particularly huge, but very beautiful and covered in a gold robe and set high on very detailed and intricate shrine.
Joined to the temple grounds are Grand Palace grounds. Again the detail is amazing. The first building is a modern residential palace and is normally used for foreign heads of state to stay. The old palace is next and is currently used primarily for ceremonial occasions such as the corrination of a new monarch. Probably been a long time since it was used because the current king, his highness Bhumibol Adulyadej, was corranated in 1946. The tradition is for the new monarch to stay in the bedroom for one night. The modern palace and other buildings were closed to visitors because a member of the royal family was lying in state.
I walked to the river and boarded a river taxi to Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn. The full name is Wat Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahavihara (วั�"อรุ�"ราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร). The river taxi was only 6 baht, yes that is not a mistake, very cheap. The temple is very steep and covered in colorful tiles. It can be scaled on any of the four sides (by way of stairs), but be careful as it's very steep. I saw some very old women that I was scared for them that they would not have the strength to make the climb. My final stop was Wat Pho, the reclining buddha, but by this point my battery was dead.
I'm happy I did this tour because the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha are quite beautiful. Next trip I think I will head back to the islands for beach time.
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