Herb and I had now been in Bangkok for a full five days, but had yet to spend even a minute on any “proper” tourism. Bangkok’s fabulous nightlife is just far too addicting.
But after finally taking it easy enough on Tuesday to awake while the clock still said “AM,” we figured it was the perfect day to knock off a few of the big city’s must-see sights.
First stop was an obligatory stroll through the Grand Palace…
…and attached Wat Phra Kaew.
The complexes were as spectacular as you might expect, though we still flew through fairly quickly – in addition to having a lot of ground to cover it was about 50 million degrees out that day, so every second in the sun seemed to last an eternity 😉
Next we headed towards Wat Pho, stopping at a sizzling street market along the way. Perfect opportunity to grab some random delicious snacks for our first meal of the day.
Unfortunately, one of them turned out to contain fish – to which Herb is allergic – so our casual stroll soon transformed into a panicked run as we searched helplessly for some ice he could use to bring down the swelling (before his throat sealed up…never a fun sensation).
Luckily it worked, and being the trooper that he is, only minutes later he was once again ready to go.
Giant reclining Buddha: scratched off the list.
Our fourth planned sight was Wat Arun, a very different-looking ruin located just across the river.
Boat fare across: about 10 cents.
It was a fun climb to the viewing platform, providing a great overview of the river and Bangkok skyline,
As well as the interesting encounter of the day: A solo female traveler from Moscow who was determined to sneak around back and climb *all the way* to the top of the tower. Was it just an excuse to talk to us? I’m not sure, but despite our egging her on, she never did go for the gold 😉
Then, although the weekend floating market would unfortunately not be in effect, we decided to take advantage of our remaining sunlight hours on a surprisingly cheap hour-long tour of Bangkok’s backwater canals.
Apparently Bangkok used to be a Venice-like canal-based city, and although it far outgrew its old flowing roads, many of them do continue to function just as they did hundreds of years ago.
As a result, the watertaxi routes really are quite convenient. There’s a route map and official stops, just like the bus system on land. Sometimes going by boat can even be more efficient – and as luck would have it, our tour concluded at a stop just meters away from the nearest BTS station where it was a quick 10-minute ride back home.
We arrived somewhere around 6pm – just enough time for dinner and a shower before heading out.
…What, did you think we’d be staying in on a Wednesday? 😉