Day 240 – Bling Bling Bangkok

Posted: July 28, 2011 by minimal in Asia, Travel
Tags: , , , ,

After 4 weeks in China, we welcomed the change of arriving in a different country, and our last country on this journey. We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on the late afternoon and took a cab straight to our CouchSurfing host. Our first impression of Thailand was that people are extremely friendly and the taxis actually have working seatbelts 😀

Our host was having a small birthday gathering with some other CSers and friends, we were happy to join in even though we were quite tired. Thai food was cooked, something we had been really looking forward to try (real Thai food that is, after years of eating Thai food home in Sweden). Two of the same dish was cooked, a spicy version and a mild one (for us non-Thai guests). It turned out that our version was quite spicy for us, and the person who cut the chilli fruits spent the rest of the evening with her fingers in a bowl because they burned so badly.

The next day we went to a travel agency and got our combo night-train, bus and boat tickets that would eventually take us to the beautiful Ko Phangan beaches, but until then we had one day to tour the capital. We left our big bags at the travel agency and headed out. A couple of blocks from a subway station we found this beautiful temple. So far, from all the Buddhist temples we have seen, the Thai ones seem to be the most colourful. Oh, and do you notice that the sky is blue? It felt refreshing after weeks of hazy and cloudy skies in China.

For lunch Johan got finally to taste his favourite Thai dish, Tom Yum Goong, although the verdict was that it was not more spicy than the Swedish version he had eaten at home, still delicious.

We headed to the river to catch one of the famous river boats. The river is quite busy and both locals and tourists hustle on the boats. We got of after a couple of stops to take a closer look at some of the sights.

After visiting many different Buddhas throughout our trip we thought that one more couldn’t hurt so we headed to visit The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. We had read very little about Bangkok before arriving so we had no expectations of what we would see here. The Reclining Buddha took our breath away. Not only is it huge, it is also quite beautiful and well preserved.

Wat Pho, or Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan which is the temple’s real name, is a huge complex of about 800,000 square meters. We spent a whole afternoon walking around and discovering all its corners.

The temple is quite impressive, not only is it one of the oldest, it contains over 1,000 Buddha images and every little detail is beautiful.

After our stay at a Buddhist temple in South Korea, I find there is something very soothing about monks chanting.

What happened after the temple we have no proof of, on our way back to the travel agency it started to rain, a lot! By the time we arrived we were completely soaked, there was no inch of us dry. We changed our clothes, got our tickets and headed for the train. The structure of the train car surprised us, it seemed like a transformer. The table was removable and the two seats were restructured into a bottom bed and from the top another bed was folded down. At the end we slept quite comfortable.

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