The Grand Palace & Wat Po
Jul 29, 2005
Day two in Bangkok...
Firstly we headed into the centre of town for the first time and got the chance to see some of the more tourist related areas of Bangkok. We began by taking a look at The Grand Palace - which is a huge Buddhist temple based in the centre of the city. It's absolutely massive, with lots of peaks and spires. We walked around the whole building, taking in all of the architecture and statues, which were equally as graceful. We've never seen anything like it, and although we have very little knowledge of buddhism, we knew that we were definately somewhere of significant spiritual importance.
We knew that it was right that we followed all of the local customs, so when in the temples we took our shoes off and you must never point your feet at Buddha. We took some photos of the area and took our time to make the most of the beauty of the Palace.
From there we headed down to Wat Po, the home of the huge, world famous reclining Buddha. There are famous images / statues of Buddha that record the various stages of Buddha'a life, and it is said that he died in his reclining state. The statue that we went to see was absolutely huge and was completely covered in gold leaf. Again we took our shoes off to see this Buddha, although the photos we have sadly do not express the sheer size of this statue, which must be at least 30 - 50 metres long and about 10 - 20 metres high!
Photos soon ;-)
From there we headed down to the main backpacker area, the Khao San road. It's carnage down here. There are stalls, taxis, backpackers, cafes - everything. To be fair, although the backpackers think they're getting a good rate, we've been shown by Gareth's Dad and his girlfriend Pornphan (pronounced Porn-pan) that you can find much cheaper if you look elsewhere.
To get there we took a tuktuk - a strange 3 wheeled motorbike type contraption that gets you around and at dangerously fast speeds! These guys think its fine to cut through traffic and break various traffic rules at the drop of a hat! (Some tuktuks even have the urge to do wheelies with passengers in - never egg on a tuktuk driver!). Very exciting though... it's actually cheaper to get around by taxi - which never seems to cost more than about 65 - 80 Baht (1 pound!).
In the evening we all headed down to a very nice restuarant, where Gareth's Dad and Pornphan seemed very determined to keep feeding us spicy Thai food! It was fantastic to try all the various foods - including various fish based dishes. Some were good and others... were interesting. We've found that we're pretty much up for any Thai foods, although to be fair we still haven't got into squid or "cuttle fish flavour fish snacks". Really - isn't that just a bit too much?!!!
We'll get back to you on the squid thing ;-)
So that evening we tried a whole host of different Thai dishes, and we're finding that as time goes on we're also getting used to the chilli based meals. Although chilli is strong, it's only a short term heat, so it's not so bad - honest! Our tolerance to spicy foods is getting better every day!
From there we headed home - knackered again!
We're now getting used to Bangkok lifestyle too. We might even survive the next month!!!
Lots of love from Gareth and Helen x x x