Bangkok temple sightseeing
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 1 of 5 › view all entries
I can't believe I'm actually writing this blog nearly 6 years after the trip, I guess when you're at home on New Year's Day and all the stops are closed, there's not really much you can do, is there?! So, this trip to Thailand has all kinds of special meanings to me because it was the first trip of mine after living in the US for nearly 5 years that wasn't just to India. Rather, I went to India for 3 weeks, and my parents and I flew to Thailand for a week.
My mum handled most of the booking - we went through a travel agency who would send us minivans everyday for sightseeing. The next part was where to go, and in true touristy fashion, we chose both Bangkok and Phuket. Those were the days where we didn't have direct flights from Bengaluru to Bangkok (Thai flies daily these days), and we had to connect via Chennai.
Anyway we landed in Bangkok around 8pm on Thursday night, and the airport was a sight to behold. It's such a tourist destination, and for all kinds of people apparently. I could tell straight off that I'd see lots of Europeans - parked were jumbos of all the big European carriers, in some cases many of the same. We had to stand in line for our transit visa, and then withdraw some money and went to the passengers' welcome area more or less a good 2 hours after we landed.
Our hotel Amari Atrium seems fairly posh yet cheap. I could see tourists as well as flight attendents staying here. Infact there werre 2 sets of flight attendents (couldn't tell which airlines) checking out when we arrived. Checkin was a breeze, and this hotel is tall, tall tall. We got a room I reckon on the 16th floor - shame we didn't get any good views of the town.
Breakfast was excellent. For its price, this hotel more than just overdelivers. You have a wide range catering more to the Europeans, with b'fast items' names written in 3-4 European languages. Anyway our guide came sharp at 7am and picked us up for perhaps the most cliched and touristy visits of the first day: the temples.
Our first stop was the Golden Buddha. This was the first time I was visiting a Buddha temple as a touristy attraction, and it sure lived up to its hype. Although, I'd hate to be a local resident going to pray, as the place is swarming with tourists, and the constant click click of photos. I got some really nice snaps of Buddhist monks all dressed up in that brown coloured robes. It was colourful. I should also mention that this was the first time I was using my digital camera!
From here, next stop was the Wat Suthat Thepwararam, a royal temple of the first grade, one of six such temples in Thailand.
What impressed me most about this Wat wasn't so much the insides as it was the outside.
From here, our next stop which was a ROYAL waste of time was a Gem Factory. It's basically a bunch of boring workers supposedly "cutting stone in a precise manner", and then you're whisked off to the counters where a bunch of neatly dressed Thai ladies try to sell you the stuff. I wasn't one bit intersted. My parents marvelled at the concept, I for one couldn't wait to move on.
And finally, with our tour done, we had lunch @ KFC and headed to a market just to shop, just to get an idea of what Thai markets are all about.
Oh well, got home that night around 10pm, my first night in a "foreign place", totally totally exhausted, couldn't wait to hit the sack!