Today is a busy day. I am off to see all the temples of Bangkok (or as many as I can see in a day).
First I need to find the boats to get there. It was a while ago but I remember taking the BTS train and getting off at the Saphan Taksin station. It is a short walk to Sathon pier. Online instructions say that you have to take two different boats to get to Wat Arun but I only recall taking one (it was over 6 months ago though).
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
I soon arrive at Wat Arun, a royal temple dedicated to the 2nd reign of the Chakkri Dynasty. The crowds are constant, as usual in South East Asia, but I try to take my time and enjoy the sight.
I head back to the pier to take the boat to the Wat Phra and Palace. I believed my boat ticket to be a full day ticket but instead I had to buy another ticket to continue my trip. It is confusing to know when your boat arrives. Every time a boat arrives I ask the guide at the dock and they do not seem to happy I ask. Eventually my boat arrives and I am able to board.
Getting off the boat at the ferry terminal there are lots of people selling you things. I walk on by and act like I know where I am going even though I do not. Looking occasionally down at my map I head in the correct direction toward the Palace.
I enter the Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and it is crowded as well. Lots of interesting and ornate buildings to see in the complex. The temple itself is entered with shoes off. I believe it also no photos inside. It will start to rain soon so I don’t take my time while my shoes are waiting outside.
Also near the complex is the Palace. There isn’t as much to see in this area but the buildings have ornate roof decor.
It rains almost every day here during rain season in Bangkok. Not the whole day but sometimes like 2 or more hours. I mostly use that as an opportunity for downtime to recover from the times I am so damn hot. Luckily I finish the visit of the grand palace right as the rain began. I enter a food store/restaurant to await the rain. I order a soft drink and a snack and luckily find a little bench to sit on. Unfortunately the rain is so bad that water starts leaking in all over the bay window awning. Everyone in this area has to move because the leaking gets so bad. I find another place to sit for a while. Fortunately the staff did not seem to mind us all waiting out the rain in their store.
One thing you will find in south east asia is that are various types of Buddha statues: laughing Buddha, meditation Buddha, reclining Buddha, protection Buddha, etc.
Near the Grand Palace is a very large reclining Buddha and that is where I go after the rain stops.
I don’t take much time to visit the Buddha but I do make time to visit the massage school to receive the best massage ever. You can get cheaper in Bangkok but it is still super cheap by USA prices. It is a long wait but worth the wait. I choose the hour Thai massage. You change into pants and a kimono and lay down on big beds that you share with other customers. It isn’t exactly intimate but if you can let it go for an hour it is worth it. It is relaxing as well as awkward with someone crawling all over you while a stranger lies next to you and has a masseuse crawling all over them. Additionally they cracked my back (Some people are weird about that. I guess tell them ahead of time if you don’t want a back crack. It was my fist time and I guess I’m not broken still but if I would have been asked I would have said no.). I am glad I booked the massage (As my friend says “I did it for the story”).
After massage is over the temples are closing so I make my way back to the boats to head back to my hostel. I catch a glimpse of a luxury mall off the river. Certainly a place I probably won’t visit during my travels.