Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted anything in about a week. I’m currently in Phuket after a 3 day stay on Ko Phi Phi island, but since I’m way behind on posting I’ll talk more about that part of the trip in my next post. First I need to update you on my last 3 days in Bangkok. Let me start by saying that 5 days in Bangkok is more than I intended when planning my trip, and if you ever get a chance to visit you’ll discover that after 3 days you’re ready to move on to somewhere new.
Waking up on day three, I felt invigorated from the day before. I had made plans to meet up with my friend David, who is currently getting his Masters and teaching English in Bangkok, at about 10 am. He had to come to my hostel to get me, since I’m hopeless at directions and navigation. It wasn’t long before we caught a cab and headed into central Bangkok on our way to MBK, which is a giant shopping mall to put all shopping malls in America to shame. I needed a cell phone as mine doesn’t work abroad, so David figured the electronics emporium that makes up an entire floor in MBK would be a good place to start. When he thought the prices were too high we headed on to another mall a few blocks away. David explained that in this section of Bangkok malls are like Starbucks in New York City, and they were. We passed at least 6 malls on the way to the one where I eventually purchased a no thrills phone for 500 baht or $17, and we headed back out into central Bangkok where David gave me a tour of the area. After a lunch consisting of omelets and beer, David dropped me off on Khao San Road and we said our goodbyes. I went up to my hostel room with the intention of taking a nap before dinner and drinks, and woke up the next morning.
On day four I ate some breakfast, and ended up paying another 250 baht for an extra night.. I still have no idea what I was thinking, but what’s done is done. From the hostel I made my way on foot to Wat Pho or the Reclining Buddha. The entrance fee was 100 baht and included a free bottle of water at a little stand. Like Wat Phra Kaew, this temple was crowded, so I joined the mob, took off my shoes, and made my way into the large temple that houses the Reclining Buddha. This is quite possibly the largest Buddha I will see in Thailand and is so large that I’m sure the temple had to be built around her. I had to be very patient to take photos, as there were a lot of people crammed into the walking space, but ultimately I got a few good shots. The complex surrounding the temple that houses the Reclining Buddha is very extensive and was just as cool to wander around as the Buddha was to see. I was relieved when the crowds of people disappeared just past the temple exit, and had a blast walking around the complex, sometimes without a person in sight.
From Wat Pho I caught my first Tuk Tuk to Wat Saket or the Golden Mount. Luckily there was no entrance fee, and to be honest I’m not sure I would have felt fulfilled at the end of my visit if I had paid. It’s a simple building with stairs circling the outside that lead to a large shrine at the top. The main attraction seems to be all the bells lining the walkway. It’s customary for people to ring them on their way down, so it can get rather loud when you’re near a set. I made my way up the top, snapping pictures of the bells I passed and the view from each level of stairs as I went. The shrine was crowded, so I respectfully got out of the way and went back outside. After a few minutes I headed back down and caught another Tuk Tuk back to Khao San Road. I maybe spent a total of 15 to 20 minutes here before I had seen and experienced everything Wat Saket had to offer. Back at Khao San Road I got some noodles and orange juice to eat and eventually headed back up to my room.
I hate that I even have a day five of Bangkok to talk about. Not only did I have nothing left to see, but it ended up being a pretty bad day. I woke up and packed, then Skyped with my parents and aunt who was in town visiting them and then checked out of my room and ate some fried rice and chicken in the hostel restaurant. I made the mistake of pouring the spicy broth and peppers they had given me into my food, so a little over an hour later I had an upset stomach and ended up spending the entire day waiting in the hostel for 6 to roll around so I could catch my bus to Ko Phi Phi. Just before six, I stopped in a 7-Eleven for some crackers and water, and ended up buying a pair of cloth pants on my way to the meeting spot. Despite how cute my pants are, you should trust me when I say this is not an experience I want to relive or share with anyone so no more is going to be said about day five.
Day 3 Total: 760 baht or $26 for a cell phone, taxi, food and drinks
Day 4 Total: 615 baht or $21 for 1 temple, 2 Tuk Tuks, food and drinks
Day 5 Total: 1375 baht or $45.59 for 1 bus ticket, 1 taxi ride, pants, food and drinks