A new day and a new mood....

Bangkok Travel Blog

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All the monks eating lunch during the national holiday.

I woke up in a much more positive mood.  The sun was shining so after breakfest I headed off to walk to the Grand Palace.  Its not too far from the hotel. About 15 to 20 minute walk.  As i got nearer I realised it wasn't a normal day. Everywhere was really busy and there were large tents up all along the streets serving food. Most of them were full of Monks. It turns out it was a public holiday and was a day when new monks enter the temples for the first time or something like that. I didnt quite get the full story.

Upon arrival some guy tried the usual scam of telling me I was at the wrong entrance and he would take me to the correct entrance and buy my ticket.  I didnt get annoyed about it but had a bit of a laugh. He was telling me that westerners were not allowed in where I was going.

Approaching the Grand Palace and Wat Phra kaeo.
It was so silly as everybody walking in past me was a westerner.

Anyway I went in and paid the correct price. I really enjoyed looking around but was quite lonely and really missing my girlfriend. It would have been nice to have someone to share the experience with.  The only other disappointment was that tourists weren't allowed into see the golden Buddha, as only the monks were allowed in there that day. I wasnt that bothered as I had seen so many buddhas already.

After leaving I started to walk aroung to Wat Po. As I stopped for a drink, I was then told that it was closed to tourists and only monks allowed in today.  Now I have read about this trick and was ready for it.  But this guy was wearing the uniform of the tourist police/helper.  I also read that you could trust them but I was still on my guard.

  He started telling me about the Big Buddha and the White Buddha.  So far it was ok and no mention of the tailor trick so I was sort of thinking he might be right.  Then he came out with it. If you go to big Buddha there is a government building with a tailor in!! Ahhhhh.  Anyway I didn't know what to do. I was hot so I decided to take a tuk tuk to the other places but no tailors. Then none of the drivers would take me unless i stopped at a tailor, or paid a much higher price for the fare. 

Finally I found one who would take me around for a while for 50 baht. He was a really nice guy but he did start nagging me about a tailor. I was getting annoyed with him going on about it so I said we could stop quickly but I was not buying anything.  He was so happy as they get fuel vouchers if they take tourists in.

. I read on TB that it really doesnt have to be a hassle to stop and it really helps the drivers out with the fuel.  We stopped, I went in, walked around the shop and walked out. It took less than 2 minutes. It was no problem so if the same happens don't think its so bad.  We all have enough money so it doesn't hurt to help the driver.  I only did it though because I liked the driver.

In the end it worked out great. He took me to a couple of quiet temples with vitually nobody there and explained everything to me about traditions and the religion. Much better than all the crowds at the tourist hotspots.

After this I left him at the Big Buddha and then went for a long walk down by the river and then back to the hotel.  That night I made my plans for getting to Koh Tao the next day.  I was going to take the train but it was fully booked as everyone was heading down for the full moon party.  Only 3rd class and was not in the mood for that so I decided to fly.  Only about £70 to Koh Samui then the ferry to Koh Tao.  I thought it was worth every penny. 

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my driver
my driver
Big Buddha
Big Buddha
Bangkok
photo by: Deats