Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bangkok Layover: The Quest For Wat Arun

So we met some new friends in Chiang Mai! Yay! We bonded with these Indonesian ladies over drinks during the CS meet up in one of them bars, up until the Yi Peng festivities and we happened to have the same bus going back to BKK on the same night. We instantly had people to hang out with in Bangkok! Fantastic, isn't it?


Bangkok on a fine day


We made it to the city center at around 8:00 AM. Our flight to KL that day was still at 9:00 PM so we had a lot of time to kill in the city. Fina's flight to Dhaka was at 3:00 PM. Rifa would be staying in BKK for couple more days and was checking in at a hostel that time. It was so nice of her to offer us to keep our things in her hostel before we set out on exploring the city together.

Me-Rifa-Bunny-Fina

But of course, the first thing we did was eat! We haven't had a full meal for 9 hours or so. Rifa's hostel was somewhere near the area of Lumphini Park and there were a lot of good eating options around. Well, Thailand has good food anywhere. There were no dining in options though so we found ourselves eating in the street haha.

We all came out with a plan was to see the Wat Arun. It was the only temple we weren't able to visit the last time because it was heavily flooded back in 2011. 

Democracy Monument


We just took a bus going to the historical city center. We were dropped off sooner than we expected because of the ongoing protest which is blocking some major roads in Bangkok. It was walking galore!



Majority of the protesters are scattered along this road with the Democracy Monument being the main stage of their speakers. It only makes sense as it commemorates the 1932 Siamese coup d' etat which was a major turning point in Thai history.





For me, Bangkok has never changed. It's still the same old city I visited a few years back. Whenever we ask for directions, we were being pointed to many different directions that we didn't know if we're really heading somewhere. They probably don't understand English enough and just told us to go straight even if we needed to turn somewhere haha.




It was fun walking around the city again except that it was really hot! So it was a very sweaty, skin-burning, dehydrating day for all of us.

finally!

You can imagine how happy we were when we finally found that ferry that will take us to Wat Arun!


crossing the Chao Phraya river


It just takes 5 minutes to cross over to the other side. The short boat trip costs THB 5 per way.


Wat Arun

As soon as we stepped in, we began to explore. We started from the Ordination Hall entrance. This hall has a central spire on its roof and has demon-guardians in front which is known as Yaksha.


Ordination Hall


Some parts, like the photo below were similar to those of the other temples within the Grand Palace compound.





Just like any Thai temples, there are a lot of beautifully detailed structures inside the complex.







The main attraction of Wat Arun is its porcelain sheathed central "prang". As beautiful as it may seem from a far, I did not find it stunning up close. Entrance Fee to access this temple is THB 50.




I don't exactly remember why we decided not to enter. Maybe we were so exhausted from too much walking to find the ferry terminal to get here, that we don't think we can still climb up there anymore. It is fenced so I don't have a decent photo of the central prang up close.

some piggy banks being sold outside Wat Arun
We went back to Rifa's hostel at around 3:30 PM to rest for a bit and get our stuff back. It was a tiring day! Then we looked for a place to eat afterwards. After an hour, we headed to the airport.


Don Mueang International Airport

This airport is AirAsia's hub in Bangkok and that's where our KUL flight was with. It was our first time to depart from DMK, so there will be a lot of photos to follow hehe.




We arrived just exactly as we wanted, 3 hours before our flight. I wanted to freshen up and change my clothes during the first hour.






I was happy that it was not a crowded airport. There are plenty of seats available. You can easily find a place to sleep here when you need to.



It is also very well maintained. You will see people cleaning every part of it from time to time. There's also free drinking water available.





Well-upgraded amenities are present too. The comfy seats are also a joy to rest (sleep) in.




One of the things I really liked were the comfort rooms. They were very clean and I was able to do my thing (namely cleaning up myself) without rushing.




There are several cafes and restaurants spread out in the entire airport. You can find both expensive and affordable ones.




Things are very organized and easy to find as well. All in all, I found this airport pretty awesome!





The check-in was quick, no long queues in the immigration, it is more quiet compared to other airports, very spacious, has good restaurant choices, the facilities and amenities are great and it is easily accessible from the city.


a pint of DQ ice cream is so cheap in Thailand haha! ;)

That waiting area was just for ourselves! There's even a playpen for the kids. See that behind? I secretly wished Manila airports are like this. Oops! It's no longer a secret. ;)

*****
That was how we spent our spare time in Bangkok. How about you? How do you spend your layovers?


This is concludes my Chiang Mai travel series.