My research lauds Bangkok as THE shopping heaven. My friend is a non-shopper and I am... let’s say a moderate buyer and an excessive window shopper. So shopping is not really THE Bangkok plan. Bangkok offers some more temples. So here we go: The Grand Palace Tour.
|Map of the Grand Palace and surrounding temples.|
From Sala Daeng station near our home base, we rode the train going to Saphan Taksin Station, where the Central Pier is. We followed the signs to get to the boat station. Destination: N9 Tha Chang, the jump-off point of the grand palace. A boat conductor collected fare for BHT 15.
|View from the boat|
I’ve read about some Grand Palace Tour scams and our hostel warned us of such. Some tuktuk drivers will tell you that the palace is closed, and he will take you to a special tour. True enough, when we got to the grand palace grounds, there were a bunch of touts shouting that the temple was closed. The speakers of the Palace boomed and warned us about the scammers: The Grand palace is open from Mondays to blah blah blah.
The entrance fee of the Grand Palace is BHT 400. Line was just short when we bought the tickets. The long lines were because of the clothing rental if you don’t have suitable clothes. Since the grand palace houses temples, a dress code was implemented. My fit leggings did not pass the guard’s inspection so I wrapped my ever reliable 6-year old sarong around my hips. Chaka sa pictures pero keri lang.
After being toasted by the sand dunes of Mui Ne and the temples of Siem Reap, the Bangkok leg of our Indochina trip seemed to spell rain. Gloom loomed.I'm gonna mention the weather again (I just can’t help it). It was a gloomy overcast but quite humid. Mr. Sunshine smiled from time to time so I kept my sunglasses on.
The sight that greeted us was a feast of colors and shapes.It was quite a lot to take in, in real life. Different structures in one camera click.
|Grand, even with the clouds.|
We followed the map. Sarah was very interested in learning about the temples and I was... very concerned that my camera's battery was running low. Nyehehe.
|See? Panira ang sarong. So dress properly.|
Since we started out pretty late (around 11:00am), we figured we would just finish all the palaces before having a decent meal.
|A mini Angkor Wat|
|Guesthouse for visitors|
|I like lollipop-like looking plants|
Please visit the Queen Siririt Museum. Aside from being airconditioned (harhar), the place houses the queen's clothes. Okay, we're two girls, so we found it interesting. It not just the it-is-expensive-and-the-queen-wore-it museum. It tells the story why the queen wanted a "national" traditional costume, and how she traveled to far flung villages to revive weaving and recover lost patterns. We couldn't take pictures of the clothes, but we were able to wear a traditional Thai costume. Pics were allowed then.
|At with flowers talaga. My leggings were peeping. Panira.|
A couple of blocks away from the Grand Palace Complex is Wat Pho, where the Reclining Buddha... reclines. Entrance fee is BHT 100. I guess everyone was just in a hurry to take a picture of the statue and be done with it. And probably because we saw a lot of buddhas by this time. It reminds me of the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre. Just click and go. No feelings evoked.
|Now those carvings in the foot are interesting.|
We had to take our shoes before going inside and place them in some bags provided at the entrance. I opted to carry my shoes in my bag.
By this time, we were kinda tired, hungry and sweating. And the temples were grand, but they were looking kinda “same same” compared to the Grand Palace. I think the grand palace was soooo.... breathtakingly grand that I was expecting Wat Pho to somehow top that grandeur.
So we just looked around and tried out some wushu and yoga poses. My camera’s battery died so all the pics were c/o Sarah.
|Me, trying out some yoga poses for variety|
|The purple camera case makes it to BKK. I am trying out a Buddha pose here, inspired by one of the statues.|
We made a tentative plan to go to Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn the next day or during our last day because we already lacked time. Spoiler: we didn’t get to go there. Nevertheless, the view of the temple is bea-uuuu---tifuuuul at night.
|Wat Arun at night|
|Evening boat ride back|