Bangkok was colorful, vibrant, and delicious. At the end of a very hard two-week work trip in December, I had one extra day to explore on my own.
News Before you Go
Luckily a colleague told me before we arrived that those that speak ill of the King are immediately arrested. Good to know.
At the weekend market, I managed to buy only 3 pashminas and 2 t-shirts, perhaps because it was crowded and sweltering. The market is 35 acres and according to Wiki, it is the largest weekend market in the world. The stalls sell everything – silk, clothes, antiques, and various chotchkas. My lunch spot was selected because of copious amounts of shade it offered. I ordered pork dish that had more than 2 chilis spice rating and a Thai iced tea. Sweetened condensed milk is the secret ingredient that makes this a pink color rather than regular tea. Of course, the tea didn’t soothe my seared tongue. Coconut ice cream did the trick. The stalls shave the coconuts right there and have the milk available to drink for free.
A tuk tuk carried me from the market to Wat Pho. I was slouched in the back trying to take photos of relics in the streets. Wat Pho was one of the magnificent places I have seen in Asia. At the heart of the temple, there is a 15m by 43m reclining Budda. In Japan, it is forbidden to take photos of inside temples so it was neat they didn’t mind in Thailand. There are robes for visitors who have not dressed appropriately to visit a temple and signs that tell you that women are not allowed to touch a Buddhist monk. If you make a donation, you put it in a holder and give it to them. [Yeah, so I kept my baht.]. More interesting than the reclining Buddha was the Thai massage place within the walls. Thai massage uses some yoga and I
chickened out became impatient after waiting for 20 minutes for a foot massage. The most glorious part of the temple to me was the tile work. Spectacular.
Water Taxi Ride
I took a water taxi to the Mandarin Oriental where I hung out waiting for the sun to set. Lucky for me, the waiter told me the sun sets behind the building and I would see nothing. He was right. So after a crab salad topped papaya and some lovely wine for dinner, I water taxi’d it back up to Wat Pho so I could at least have some sunset photos from the river.
I Got Lost
I am not going to sour my memory of Thailand by recounting the two hours of being lost but suffice it to say that the Thai people are the Land of Smiles for a reason and I’m grateful.
There was so much to see and so little time to see it. I cannot wait to return.
Have you been?
*The song “One Night in Bangkok” by Murray Head is banned in Thailand. Thanks for the info, Wiki!