We have officially arrived!
Since we arrived extremely early in the morning, we took a “nap” before starting our exploring.
No plans in mind today. Simply just trying to get the city figured out.
We are staying at an Air B n B just outside The Grand Palace, so we had some experience with a little less tourism. Which, is a good and bad thing. Depending on how you look at it.
Regardless, we headed to find the first restaurant. After 14 hours on a plane with nothing but the mush they serve as food, you would be starving, too.
Being new, we definitely didn’t take for accountability of prices. Our first meal cost us what we should spend in like 2 days on food. Oops. Lesson learned. They even charged us for the “free” towel naps they leave on your plate.
I can’t be too mad, the food was awesome.
We finally decide to commit to visiting The Grand Palace and all the surrounding areas. It seems to be where most of the history lies in Thailand, so we ventured out that way.
As soon as we arrive, I find a street vendor selling sliced mango. Of course that is my first purchase. For those of you who know me, I am obsessed with Mangoes. YUM.
We continue walking through all the chaos of buses, tourists, taxis, Tuk Tuks, and are attempting to have some sort of idea of how to get around this place.
We are approached by a local who starts telling us about all the great things you can do in the city. Including getting a boat tour.
A little skeptic, we follow him over to a Tuk Tuk driver. Tuk Tuks are a three wheel “car” that is used often in Asia. Its essentially like a taxi with no windows or doors. Our first experience was a new experience, for sure.
Our TukTuk driver parks and leads us to this dock near the back of a road. We meet another man who explains and offers a boat tour throughout the canals of Thailand. With absolutely no hesitation, we all hop into the boat and get to see the city from a completely different perspective.
We were taken through houses and buildings that literally lived on water. Most on stilts, barely staying afloat. We passed beautiful temples, floating market vendors, and broken down structures.
Every canal way was different and all had a variety of things to see. It was unlike anything you would imagine you would see in such a busy city.
Once the tour was over, we were dropped off on another dock right in the entrance of a vendor market. We went shop to shop looking at souvenirs and hand crafted elephants on display.
As we were navigating our way to the food section of the market, I noticed a boy with half a coconut filled with ice cream. This became my quest. 🙂
Walking throughout random streets in central city, we find the temple of the Reclining Buddha, known as Wat Pho.
Before heading into any and all temples in Thailand, you must remove your shoes, cover your shoulders, and make sure your knees aren’t exposed. Luckily, this location had someone passing out robes and pants for those who did not match the dress code.
Walking into the temple of the Reclining Buddha was almost scary. I think we underestimated how massive this statue actually is. He is 46 meters long and all gold. It represents Buddha during his last illness.
It was overwhelming, but beyond incredible.
We take the opportunity to walk around the surrounding temples to see how beautiful the design and construction is within all of these buildings. Florescent gold, red, blue, and silver was completely mesmerizing.
Framing the inner walls of these temples were hundreds of sitting Buddhas. All of them the exact same size and lined up perfectly.
We passed a man putting together pieces of another Buddha. He let us all add a small tile to the total construction. I guess I can say I helped a little. Sorta.
Before we were leaving, we noticed a handful of Monks hanging colorful banners on strings in front of another connecting small temple. We followed in behind them to see the inside.
We found out that these are prayer flags for throughout the temple.
We had taken hundreds of pictures and were able to see how beautiful these Buddhist temples were. Especially with the statues.
Rachael started this game of “Make that face”. So we have a few of us trying to repeat the same look as things we saw throughout Thailand.
Coming out on the opposite side of the temple, we find ourselves in another food market. That is when I saw it for the first time: COCONUT ICE CREAM.
All of us grabbed our own and enjoyed the sunshine before we headed to the next temple. And yes, it was completely worth it.
Once we were out of the Wat Pho, we grabbed another TukTuk and navigated to another large Buddha.
The Bang Khun Phrom or The Shrine at the Standing Buddha.
This Buddha stands 32 meters high and towers over the city. His big toe was bigger than I was.
Surrounding the standing Buddha were other small sections of prayer where people were lighting candles and sitting silently with their families.
After a long day of walking, it was time for us to find some food. We jumped into our last TukTuk of the day and asked him to take us somewhere with the best Pad Thai. He nodded.
We pulled up to this small restaurant with no more than about 5 tables inside, but the line was stretched into the street. Even the take-away line was bleeding down the sidewalk.
Our pad thai was served wrapped in an egg, like a hot pocket.
Unfortunately, as soon as we ate this meal, I knew I would never look at pad thai the same way again.
We ended our night and headed back to our apartment. We needed a full nights rest before we tried to take on this city for a second time.