A crazy first day
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 5 of 23 › view all entries
We awoke early the next morning full of vip and vigor ready to tackle Bangkok and its sites. And we did. Jeff and I have decided that we have amassed some intensely good karma, which is unfolding on this trip. Fantastic flights, finding bugs immediately and then..... striking gold! We had left our hotel and had walked maybe 5 blocks when we had stopped at a corner to cross a street (which is an unbelievably hazardous undertaking). A Thai women next to us said hello and asked us where we were from. We said America and immediately tensed up waiting for her to try to sell us something. But she didn't! After making fun of us for being the shortest Americans she'd ever seen (ouch!) she asked if we knew that it was a big buddha day and there was a tourist promotion going on.
First stop was the sitting buddha temple. We walked into the complex and right into another Thai guy. Same thing- he asked where we were from and told us he was the English teacher at the next door school. He made sure that we knew about the tourist promotion and then took us into the temple and showed us how to look like we knew what we were doing.
The Golden Mount! It was an incredible shrine on top of a man-made(?) hill that had this huge golden chedi on top and overlooked the entire city. There were bells and chimes and gongs everywhere to ring (to get the buddha's attention?) You have to wakl through a jungle-like path to get up there with hidden shrines and tubs of water lillies and frogs, as well as two dogs in a very awkward position (lets just say I thought that one dog's tail was stuck inside the other dog!!!)
On to the next place- another "promotion" who knows if this actually was, but oh well, we decided that going with the flow had been pretty good to us so far.
Next we were getting a bit hungry, so we asked our tuk tuk driver to find us a place to eat. He stopped at a little roadside stand he said was very good. While we were waiting for our shrimp and veggie stirfry (so-so) we saw another cart with pieces of meat on skewers. One was a huge squid marinated in some sauce. We jumped at it. He barbecued it over some coals, cut it up and put it in a bag filled with some chopped peppers.
Next up: Standing buddha. A 45 foot golden buddha. Gorgeous, lots of monks, stray dogs and cats and flower stands to buy garlands to put at the Buddha's feet (since it was a holiday). Finally off to the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. There are no words to describe how incredibly beautiful and ornate all of the temples were. It was a photographers dream.
Exhausted we limped back to the hotel, tired, yet not tired enough to have a beer and a dip in the pool since we've been covered in sweat every minute of every day. Nothing like 100 degrees with 100% humidity. We go up to our room to get changed back into clothes for dinner, and fall asleep (at 7pm) and we woke up at 5:30 this morning. I guess that's where our jet lag was hiding!!!
All in all incredible first day!