Monday, January 28, 2008
Some Touristy Stuff
On my second day in Bangkok (six months ago), my officemate took me around the old quarter of the city, which has the Grand Palace as its centerpiece. However, at that time we did not have the chance to go inside its walls, instead, she brought me to Bangkok's shining malls. From then on, I've always wanted to visit the Grand Palace but had been deferring it for the longest time. When my college classmate C and her BF visited last weekend, I acted as their tour guide, a pretty ironic thing coz it was obviously my first time there as well.
On a regular weekend most of the palace complex's visitors are tourists. When we visited however, it was overflowing with black-clad Thais paying respects to the The King's sister, who died earlier this month and whose body rests in one of the buildings inside the Grand Palace. This made navigating the huge complex doubly difficult as we had to jostle with locals and tourists alike. Still it did not reduce the sense of awe that we had over the intricate details of the various temples and palaces crammed inside the walls of the complex. If anything, the Grand Palace is a testament to the creativity of the Thai people, probably motivated by their dedication to their King and religion.
(Major camwhoring ahead.)
For lunch we went al fresco in one of the street-side food stalls near the river. Scrumptious and definitely cheap!
Our next stop was the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, one of Bangkok's most-visited temples. The Reclining Buddha is the second largest Buddha in Thailand. And when I say large, I mean gigantic!
Crossing the river, we went to Wat Arun, my third time to visit the landmark.
From there, we squeezed ourselves in the Khao San Road crowd for a bit of shopping. To cap the long, exhausting day we had some relaxing Thai massage.