A Tourist in Bangkok

On December 14th, after a few hours rest in Mae Sot (following an intense 3 day road trip), I caught an overnight bus to Bangkok. I only slept an hour or so maybe, and arrived in Bangkok at 430am. I was at Soi 1 Guesthouse (a really good hostel in Bangkok, not actually a guesthouse, if you’re ever looking for one) by 5am, and sleeping on the couch in the lounge within a few minutes. I got up after 8 and set out to be a tourist and do some Christmas shopping, so I caught my “bus” which is actually a boat and, after disembarking, promptly got lost.

I’ve been to Bangkok a number of times, so I wasn’t reeeally lost. It was just that the map didn’t really match reality (which, it turns out, is actually true when I look at the real life map in Google Earth), but I found my way nonetheless.

I briefly checked out Wat Ratchanatdaram, and one of the little pagodas nearby.

I then walked past the Democracy Monument

…and around the Royal Grounds, and past the Grand Palace. A neat window along the way:

After quite some time and a fair bit of sweat, I arrived at Wat Po (pronounced, and sometimes spelled, Wat Pho). This place is definitely worth seeing, even for those who are as templed-out as I am. It was really impressive, and well worth the 50 baht (CAD$1.75) it cost to get in.

There are a number of buildings on the temple grounds, one of which houses one of the largest reclining Buddhas in the world. It felt smaller than the big cement reclining Buddha near Mae Sot.

There are “guards” at many of the entrances and gates within the complex:

And neat little windows sometimes:

There’s a fair bit of maintenance / renewal work going on as well:

These photos don’t even come close to illustrating how ornate, bright, and detailed the buildings are.

After Wat Po, I did some shopping and a lot of walking (getting lost again, but eventually finding my way as usual), then caught the boat back to the hostel. This is my bus stop, where I get on and off the canal boat in the split second between the boat pulling up and pulling away. The first time I took this boat in November, I missed the first one because I wasn’t fast enough jumping on to the edge and climbing down into it.

After two days of shopping and chilling at the hostel, I caught a taxi to the recently reopened Suvarnabhumi Airport and took off to Taipei. I spent 6 hours in the Taipei airport, which luckily was nearly deserted and thus very quiet, then took off again to Vancouver to surprise my family and friends for Christmas. The flight from Bangkok was my 99th flight of my life, and the flight to Vancouver was my 100th! Yep, I have an Excel spreadsheet that lists all the flights I’ve ever taken. I’m a nerd like that.