So Siam area was done. Time to move to Bangkok's historic center, Rattanakosin Island. We also want to check out the night scene at the very busy and "touristy" Khao San Road (KSR). From BTS Chitlom (Yellow Line), we went off at Asok Station for the Blue Line interchange in Sukhumvit. Then from there, we got off to Hua Lamphong station and took a bus going to the Khao San area.
|i wish our trains are uncrowded like this|
When we reached Hua Lamphong, we saw a mini-restaurant (read: carinderia) in the side street. The food display outside was interesting and we haven't eaten anything yet, so we decided to have our brunch there. I have a separate entry for all the Thai food that we tried. :)
|a restaurant near Hua Lamphong|
|Chinatown was one of the most flood affected area in BKK|
When we were all set at the guesthouse, off we went to tour The Grand Palace. It was just a short bus ride from KSR. We were there in 10 minutes. We can actually just walk but we're pressed for time. We paid the THB 350 entrance fee and beau changed into a long pants before we explore the palace grounds.
|Wat Phra Kaew from the Outer Court|
|me and the golden stupa|
|Phra Thinang Charki Maha Prasat|
|some parts have on going renovations|
We took a lot of photos inside the palace. Everywhere you look is incredibly photo-worthy. I can't imagine how did they manage to do such magnificent architecture and flamboyant structure.
When we got out the palace, there are street food vendors outside the gates so we sampled a few of those. It was actually pricey. Maybe because they're located in a tourist spot where unsuspecting foreigners will buy just anything when they're hungry. We moved on to Wat Pho after having some street snack.
|The Reclining Buddha|
Adjacent to the Grand Palace is Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It houses a massive golden buddha which is lying in the side, hence the name. This is also the place where the traditional Thai massage started as they say.
It also houses numerous Buddha statues like these. According to my research, this one is an Enlightenment Buddha which signifies insight, purity of character and self mastery.
|a lovely spot inside Wat Pho temple complex|
I also enjoyed checking out Wat Pho. It was equally delightful. The reclining Buddha was the largest Buddha I've ever seen.
Our next stop should be Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. It is in Thonburi which was on the other side of the river. The only way to reach it from the Bangkok side is through a ferry which was not working that time because of the flood. :( Check out the photo below, Chao Phraya almost overflowed if the raining did not stop. The jetty railings were almost if not completely submerged.
|Wat Arun from a distance :(|
We just looked at it from the riverside. Aww... another place we hadn't explored because of the flood. They say this one is different from the rest of the temples there because you can actually climb up and see a fantastic view of Bangkok from the top. Maybe next time.
We continued our tour after passing by the river and catching a glimpse of the Wat Arun. The sun was already setting so we have to make the most of our time to see some more attractions. We were leaving for Cambodia the next day. We passed by a couple more Wats but they were flooded. We went on until we reached the Democracy Monument. It is a commemoration of the Siamese Revolution in 1932.
This is actually located in the middle of a highway. So be careful when crossing to get there haha. The vehicles can be very fast.
We passed by some street food vendors again and sampled their local delicacies. Another yummy experience. Then we walked again until we found that giant red swing.
|The Giant Swing|
The Giant Swing is located just in front of another temple Wat Suthat. Since it's already late, we could no longer explore the temple so we just took photos with the swing. Can you imagine getting a bag of coins from there? They said there was a ceremony like that being done in the past. I imagine doing it like reverse bungee than climbing it up like palo sebo. Haha!
It got darker every minute so we decided to walk back "home". We freshened up and got ready for a night-out in the wild Khao San Road. It was our last day in Thailand anyway.
The whole flooding situation has affected our original itinerary. Aside from those flooded temples in Bangkok, we were unable to shop in Chatuchak Market and temple-hop in Ayutthaya. Both were heavily flooded and closed to tourists. We decided to just spend another day in Cambodia.