If you’ve been to Thailand or speak Thai, you’ll realize that the title of this post is a (mediocre) pun. Wat = Temple in Thai. Get it? Get it, you guys?! (Don’t respond to that question. You’ll just encourage me.)
I’m over halfway through my third and final day in Bangkok – I leave for the airport tomorrow morning – and honestly, I’m excited to get settled in Koh Pha Ngan, the island where I’ll be living for the next 6 weeks. Bangkok has been an amazing experience, but as a lifelong suburbanite, huge cities can be overwhelming, especially since I’m by myself. After only three days, I’m dying for the serenity and calm of the beach and an island of 11,000 people (versus over 6 million in Bangkok). I use the words “serenity” and “calm” loosely since Koh Pha Ngan is famous (infamous?) for it’s Full Moon Parties, which attract 50,000+ travelers each month. Liver, prepare yourself.
Anyway. I thought I’d recap Bangkok before the beauty of the next destination pushes the details of the city out of my mind. Full disclosure: I’ll probably have to write another few Bangkok posts after this one; as long at this post is going to be, it’ll only cover one of the three days. There’s just so much to write about!
So settle in, my friends. This is gonna be a long one (that’s what she said). Also, just because I know it will come up, no, I don’t have a cancerous tumor growing out of my chin. I was just rocking a truly mind-blowing zit thanks to 17 hours of recirculated airplane air. Moving on.
I started my first day bright at early (thank you, jet lag) with some temple hopping. I took a taxi over to a boat port, then took a boat over to some of Bangkok’s most famous temples.
In the insane Bangkok humidity, I couldn’t resist a bag of juicy mango. This was seriously the most fragrant, floral-y, sweet mango I’ve ever tasted (is there another #twss joke in there? maybe?).
After that breakfast, I headed to Wat Po, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Buuuut when I tried to buy a ticket I was informed I needed exact change. I ended up walking around the area until I found a street vendor who would exchange my 1000 baht note for 10 100s (1 US $ = about 31-34 baht, depending on the day). I was finally able to enter my first temple of the day…
Shoes off & shoulders covered before entering the actual temple! Also, please take note of my Toms. It’s almost like I’m a real hippie now, huh? So cool.
The reclining Buddha. He looks so relaxed. This temple has been around since the late 1700s and was once a school of sorts, teaching traditional Thai medicine, massage, and yoga.
Selfie game = strong.
How beautiful is the architecture?!
After Wat Po, I walked 10 minutes and ended up at…
The Grand Palace.
All of the temples were unexpectedly huge, but this one was on another level. So much to see! The Grand Palace housed the King of Thailand from the 1700s until the 1920s, and is still used for events. How would you like having a work meeting here?
How awesome is that around-the-sun-circle-rainbow-thing? Super awesome, that’s how.
Possibly my favorite picture of this temple. It just looks so fucking FANCY and REGAL.
I left the Grand Palace drenched in my own sweat and ready to chew my arm off, so I bought a cold water bottle and the most delicious spring rolls from a street vendor. I know they look really plain and boring and kind of lackluster, but trust me: these were fab. Less than $1 for four and drenched in a sweet Thai chili sauce… Gimmie gimmie.
I eventually made my way over to another ferry station so I could go see my last temple of the day…
AKA The Temple of Dawn, another Buddhist temple. It really was beautiful. I hiked up the steepest steps EVER (<< maybe) to get to the top and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the river.
At Wat Arun, I met some other travelers who let me tag along with them for the rest of the day/night. It was fantastic to have other English-speakers to hang out with. After Wat Arun, we took a couple tuk-tuks to an air conditioned restaurant and had drinks.
After taking another tuk-tuk home, we all reconvened at their hostel later that day for some Indian food.
The hummus was good, the naan was amazing, the samosas were to die for, the sauces were fabulous, but my entree (vegetable biryani) was lackluster. Though I was so full by the time entrees came out that I really didn’t care too much.
After dinner, we had more drinks and headed over to Khoasan Road, the backpacker’s district, which is filled with tons of foreigners, music, bars, and huge buckets of booze. Yes. Huge. Buckets. Of booze. (Thursday morning’s hangover is starting to make a lot of sense).
After Khaosan, we explored the Red Light District, which was both horrifying and enthralling. I won’t go into deets. Trust me, it’s for everyone’s good.
I made it back to my hotel after 2am and proceeded to pass the fuck out. (And then wake up for the day 4 hours later. Again, thank you jet lag.)
So there is day 1 of my Thailand adventure. Ten points if you read through the whole thing (unless you’re my mother or father, because in that case it is your job to care about everything I do).
IN THE COMMENTS:
Ever been to a temple? Where? Which one?
Ever had a bucket of booze? How’d ya feel the next day?