Down Early, Up Earlier

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Grand Palace
We had a good night sleep regardless of dropping down at about 2am in the end, and we had to be up to meet our personal guide at 8am. We found her on the forums, her name was Nok (pronounced like "Knock" but without the 'k' on the end, as she told us on the last day we had her, and to think we had been calling her "Nok" how it sounds.... nevermind!)

It was some relief that she spoke fantastic English. The hotel staff, although good, did struggle a bit at times. Nok had studied in Australia for 2 years which made it quite easy to understand her. If anyone is interested - I would highly reccommend her services, she is an independant guide, who will show you around the city of Bangkok (or anywhere else you like as long as you pay her travel expenses - which is by far worth it!!).
Nathan - Grand Palace
She is not a trained guide, so even though she can take you around the city she doesn't know indepth information that a trained guide would, but for $20 NZD per day we didn't expect her to. She also stressed that if her services were for the entire day (for example, we wanted to go back to the hotel at 2pm and she asked if we wanted her to come back later to show us around at night). She was fantastic.

But anyway... getting back to it ;)

We met Nok and we went and saw the Grand Palace (a must), Wat Po, Wat Arun and then to finish off we went to the shopping mall MBK.

Wat Po (The reclining Buddha) - Awesome. Pictures don't really do much for the temples to be honest. Even though some of them just look fancinating, they look so much more when you're standing right there.
Marble Temple - a personal favourite!
They also had some sort of holy water outside with these flowers (?) that you could bless yourself with by dipping them in water and then kind of donging it on your head. Of course, we didn't pass this opportinity to be blessed up ;) The sound of some kind of music was all around also, and we realised on the other side it was people dropping coins into the many tin containers there for good luck. So again, we had to do this!

Grand Palace and Wat Pakew Well... what can I say? A definite must. Go early though, this was our first stop and we didn need to wait a bit to get in, but it was worth it for sure. LOTS of Chinese tourists. To be honest and ignorant I never used to be able to tell the difference between other Asian nationalities but I surely can now. Nok told us that the Thai's had to restrict the temples sights in someways as the Chinese tourists are very disrespectful and touch everything.
The Palace itself is large, and so beautiful and glittering. Nok told us a few stories about some of the buildings, and I had read some in the Lonely Planet and online before we came here. Everything is glass mosaics. It so beautiful and serene.

Wat Arun We then went to Wat Arun which across the river (which is so disgusting with rubbish in it). We had to run through these markets with dried fish (smelt really horrible) and it was rather exciting... I think Nok told us to run through because of the smell, but either way - we were all running through these markets! We hen got to the small ticket office to get on a boat to the other side. I can't remember how much it was, but it was a very very small fare, and we didn't have small change so if you're going, take something small as they can't break notes! This was out first day and that's all we had, so Nok paid and we just paid her back.
Grand Palace
Wat Arun is OLD. It's pretty obvious and you can't go in or anything, but we did walk up and around it. Still something I think you should see if going to Bangkok just because of the ride over aswell as the different contrasts in Wats they have.

MBK HUGE! 7 storeys. Not really what I would call a typical mall, especially anything above the first floor! We did get a little lost at times, but it was nice to have a look around. Most prices seem set, and everything is more or less set out as a huge market.

Verdict for the Day: Seriously, get a guide for your first few days here. I think it's really worth it. Especially for youngins such as ourselves who were uneasy about the overpopulated city and how to get around. We used taxis as they are usually all metered rather than Tuk Tuks who actually we found charge more. On average we paid about 40-50 BHT per ride and the most we paid was about 120 BHT but that was a LONG ride and we were often stuck in traffic, and I would say we were in that taxi for at least 45 mins!
arlene0725 says:
I was lucky enough for my 2nd time in Thailand my friend, Arty (she's thai) was able to show me around. Bangkok in the eyes of a LOCAL.
Posted on: May 22, 2008
travelman727 says:
Great review! Your blog makes me even more determined to travel to Thailand ASAP :-D
Posted on: Mar 05, 2007
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Grand Palace
Grand Palace
Nathan - Grand Palace
Nathan - Grand Palace
Marble Temple - a personal favouri…
Marble Temple - a personal favour…
Grand Palace
Grand Palace
Grand Palace
Grand Palace
photo by: halilee