We stopped twice in Bangkok. Once at our arrival from India, before Cambodia, and the second time as our last stop in Thailand after Ko Phangan. We stayed several days there but feel like there is still many things to see there (and I'm not even talking about all the temples).
After several months of traveling we've realized that we like to discover big cities by wandering around semi randomly. It's not a very effective way to visit a place but it's a great way to discover great neighborhoods or fun alleys. For example our first day there we just started to walk in the general direction of chinatown. We ran into a beautiful temple before following the river.
As we kept walking we were going through small alleys when it started raining. It was quite pitiful out there, but it was awesome at the same time.
Later we joined a couple of friends from San Francisco for dinner who happened to be in Bangkok at the same time! We sampled the local street food and visited chinatown at night. (there is something about the undecipherable neon signs...).
On our second visit, we got lost again and discovered a really cool series of markets and street vendors while walking around the city palace. There were a ton of people selling images of Buddha, in small sculptures, pendants, amulets and more. As we continued walking it became a more traditional market that we just wandered around. It was plain awesome.
|People come and look at those with magnifying glasses, searching for the perfect one|
|Buddha in the making|
We got to the palace a little too late and didn't have the chance to visit it, but it looked beautiful from the outside.
The reason we were too late was because we spent too much time visiting the giant lying (as in sleeping, not telling a fib) Buddha and the surrounding temples. When they decided to build a huge Buddha they don't do it halfway. This Buddha is truly impressive. It's almost a little sad that it's housed within a building just big enough to contain it because it makes it hard to get a picture of the thing that gives it justice. It's definitely worth the visit though.
The temples around are also very colorful and mix different styles. There is a chinese influence that we had not seen in other places. There are definitely many opportunities to take photos there and get carried away.
|"You shall not pass!" - Lord of the Rings|
|This dog stole Fonzie's hair-do|
Another reason we didn't see everything is because I got some suits made while in Bangkok, at a place recommended by a friend (as it happens, several american presidents had suits made there too). I only own one suit, and it's my wedding suit, so it could't hurt to get a couple more. We had to go there 3 times for the fitting so it ended up reducing our sightseeing time, but we used that opportunity to walk around the big shopping neighborhood as well. We even saw the queen while there (of Thailand that is) as she was coming to visit a beautiful orchid collection. I wanted to take a photo but nobody was taking any so I got the hint and thought better of it (good thing too because we checked afterwards and it's very bad manners). The orchid collection was pretty impressive and we even saw the cousins of a very cool one we had at home.
As I said, we've seen a lot by just walking around, but there's also a lot we haven't covered. Bangkok is an easy city to visit and like, there's enough to keep you busy, and we didn't even go out partying! By the way, if you're going there, we've stayed at a really awesome inexpensive place that we recommend (in fact it may very well be our favorite place of the whole trip) so don't hesitate to hit us up.
|View from a rooftop bar|
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