Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. It is also the most populous, hot and polluted citites in the world. Nontheless it is an adventure in itself. I stayed in Bangkok for 2 days & nights during Songkran. I visited Thailand in April which is the hottest time of the year, which is why Songkran happens at this time. Although it is actually a celebration of the Thai new year. When finding a hostel in Bangkok be very careful! I tried to be as cheap as possible and ended up staying in a place with bed bugs! So disgusting! I did get a new hostel which was only about $10/night. The first thing I did when I got to my hostel was have a shower and get ready to go check out temples.
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
The first temple I wanted to visit was Wat Arun which is located right by the riverside. It is known to be one of the most beautiful temples because the design of the temple is so different from all the other Thai temples. At night it also lights up! The entrance fee is 50 Baht ($1.80).
Sidenote: When visiting Thai temples make sure you cover your shoulders and knees. If your shoulders aren't covered you can rent a scarf!
As you can see the spires are very colourful and are very intricately decorated.
Phuang Malai aka flower garland is what Thai people give as offerings or keep as good luck.
This is such a beautiful temple to takes pictures at and walk around. I also found that it was not as crowded when I went.
I think I only spent about 45 mins. The sun was blistering hot and I never wear hats! I realized what a bad idea it was after walking around this temple. As my first Thai temple experience I loved it!
After Wat Arun I walked around outside the temple where I found a palace to walk around. This palace is called Phra Racha Wang Derm (Thonburi Palace). This palace was actually the former palace of King Taksin who ruled from 1767-1782.
My favourite part of this palace were the two statues guarding the main hall. They were huge and so colourful.
There was actually a lot going on here. I saw lots of people, food being sold and water. There was also entertainment and music. I would have stayed a bit longer but I had other places I wanted to visit. The next place I planned to visit was Wat Pho. To get to Wat Pho you need to get across the river. There is a public ferry that costs only a mere 3 Baht ($0.11) and takes like 5 mins!
Once you get off the ferry you go through the ferry terminal which is filled of shops selling souvenirs. It's a great place to get postcards.
Wat Pho is a large temple complex which houses the largest collection of Buddhas. It is also one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. During the new year you will see many people praying, giving offerings and pouring water on statues of Buddha. The complex is open from 8am-3pm and costs 100 Baht ($3.80).
Phra Buddhasaiyas (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
To go inside the Temple of the Reclining Buddha you need to take off your shoes, they give you a bag to hold them in. If your shoulders are not covered they will give you a jacket to wear around you. The reclining Buddha is covered in gold and is 46 meters long. When you are walking around you will see sign saying to watch your belonging, so take it seriously!
The amount of gold in this temple is crazy you would think this was the Grand Palace.
Wat Pho's Giants
The Wat Pho Giants are located outside of Phra Mondop. The giants are used to guard the entrance from evil. The entrance is so beautiful!
While walking around I saw a lot of these sand castles. I even saw Monks building some of these castled and wondered what the story was behind them. It is actually a ritual that Buddhists do in the temples. They are called sand chedis and are built to resemble a Buddhist Temple. Pretty cool!
There were food stations everywhere in the complex. I took a break about got some pad thai for $2 and I got a free water bottle with my ticket. There was yummy food everywhere but I tried hard not to buy everything.
Phra Maha Chedis
There are four small chedis which are dedicated to the deceased kings. The chedis are considered sacred as they are remnants of the decreased kings who were highly respected. They are so beautifully crafted!
Phra Naga Prok
I didn't go inside the actual temple, I did some exploring right outside of it. I found inside the temples were way too hot so I stopped going inside.
Outside of the temple is so beautiful. There are a lot of entry ways to go through, which you should take! This is on the right side of Phra Naga Prok which is where the chedis are located.
If you keep walking through a few doorways you will see a line up of Buddhas. I can't remember how many there were but it was pretty impressive!
The windows on every temple are always encrusted in gold with a beautiful pattern.
Phra Ubosot is the ordination hall of Wat Pho. It is the holiest prayer room on temple grounds as this is where individuals are ordained. I didn't actually go inside, because I wore shoes that required buckling and unbuckling and I didn't want to do it again.
I think I spent a good two hours walking around Wat Pho. I still feel like there were places I missed, but I walked around aimlessly thinking I was going different ways around the complex. It was really tiring and humid but I loved it. After I left Wat Pho I went back to the riverside. There is a little park area and benches to sit down facing the river.
I was hoping to get another beautiful sunset like the one I saw in Krabi but didn't quite manage.
After sitting for about 30 mins I was debating whether or not to walk or take the bus to see some more things. I actually saw the bus pass me by so I went to go use the washroom. When I came out some creepy man kept starring at me. Not surprising this kinda stuff always happens to me. He came up to me and asked if he met me a few days ago, which obviously was impossible. He actually ended up helping me out, he was a tourist officer and asked where I was going so he could get me a tuk tuk for a fair price. This was one of the few times where talking with a stranger actually benefits me.
My tuk tuk driver actually took me places he thought I should see. There was a lot of traffic because there was a huge Songkran festival going on. It took like 20 mins to get through one street, there were people everywhere. I didn't really want to go to other places but I went because my tuk tuk driver suggested it.
I actually only went to Wat Intharawihan for the large Buddha statue, it wasn't on my list of things to see but my tuk tuk driver insisted that I see it. The temple was actually closed when I got there, but I went and snapped a picture anyways.
After Wat Intharawihan, we went to some Thai factory that sold scarves and suits. I wasn't interested at all by my driver told me to look, then got upset I didn't buy. Then he tried to charge me doubt the fare of what he promised the tourist police officer guy so I said i'm not paying that. Then he kicked me out and I was like cool and got another tuk tuk that got me back home for the price that was initially agreed upon. So be careful of tuk tuk drivers who will try to scam you! Usually I would just be like whatever and pay but I was so over getting scammed I said nah f*** this! Anyways, I had a great day and loved the places that I saw.
HerxTravels in pictures
HerxTravels on Twitter