Yesterday was an exhausting day. Thanks to the too many beers and white russians the night prior, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a bad hangover. Nate was up, too, jetlagging. We chatted for a bit before forcing ourselves to sleep until 7 or so. Some water and veggie fried rice was just what my stomach needed.
We saw a pretty amazing side to Bangkok. After getting our daily massage (I’m off to get mine once I push “Post” on this blog), we rented a longboat and took a canal tour for an hour. It was really, REALLY cool. Took us through the canals of Bangkok, which gives you a lot of insight to how Thai people live, both the wealthy and the poor. I took a lot of pictures.
Once the boat tour was over, we decided to walk, and headed to the Royal (Grand) Palace. Nate had shorts on, and I had a tank top and leggings on, and we were told as we were walking in that our clothes weren’t acceptable to enter the palace/temples. We were among a good 100+ people who didn’t get the memo before getting dressed for the day, either. I had a shawl, so I was able to tie it around my waist as a makeshift skirt. I had to rent a shirt, which was all wet with sweat once I put it on. (SOOOOO gross!) Nate had to rent some pants, circa MC Hammer. I think I had about five layers on at this point, making an already sweltering atmosphere all the more unbearable. Anyhoo…
The Grand Palace was unbelievable. Mosaic tiles, gilded paint — an impressive religious monument to say the least. Took A LOT of pictures, which I’m sad to say, won’t do the beauty of what we saw much justice. But it was very, VERY beautiful. One of its main draws is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was made of jade and gold and was very beautiful. Both Nate and I were surprised at how small it is, given the dramatic history of it. People-watching inside the temple was pretty cool, too.
After the Grand Palace, we went to another temple, which on the map looked like a short walk, but definitely wasn’t. We went there to see the “Reclining Buddha.” When we finally got there to see it, we were surprised at how GIANT this Buddha was. Was completely gold, and was about a football field long, and a good 50 feet tall. The entire time, you could hear this clinking, which was people making payments into these metal bowls. Sounded pretty cool.
We then headed to Wat Arun via ferry, which was just across the river. Very different from the other temples, but it was just as beautiful. The temples are completely massive, and I’m blown away at all the mosaic tiles on these things. I can only imagine how much time it took to build, let alone preserve the things! You could climb up this temple, and it was a near vertical climb. Despite his fear of heights, Nate made it up to the second level. I went up to the third level, and definitely felt a lump in my throat. It was windy and I started getting vertigo, so I just headed down right away. Buddhist monks were praying and chanting over a loudspeaker, which was very soothing. An overall beautiful experience.
At this point, we were completely wiped out and in dire need of sustenance and air conditioning, so we decided to take a tuk tuk back to our neighborhood. Our dogs were barking, so we got foot massages and then grabbed some dinner — pad thai and a daiquiri for me, pad thai and a margarita for him. The only thing I’ve found disappointing about the food is it isn’t very spicy. I love me some spicy food, so I’ve been surprised. I can add chili oil and other things to kick up the heat, but I was excited to have my taste buds ignited on fire. Oh well…
On our way back to our hotel, we grabbed a couple beers and water at 7-11 (they’re EVERYWHERE here) and then went back to our hotel. I passed out for a good hour and a half and then realized it was our last night in Bangkok, so I woke up Nate and pretty much demanded we go walking around for a little bit. He reluctantly agreed. 😉 As we walked around, the the tuk tuk drivers were funny. Each one we passed said “Ping Pong,” which of course made us chuckle. They get paid a commission to bring us to the red light district and watch a ping pong show. (Your own reasoning should get to to know what this means. I will not elaborate more.) We politely declined and eventually made our way back to our hotel and passed out in our very cold room.
I’m on my way to get a massage and then will head back to the hotel. Will give just enough time to get our things together before our ride picks us up and brings us to the airport. We’ll be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in just a few hours. The next few days are going to be A LOT of fun.
More to share soon! Other than the heat, I’m absolutely enjoying myself. It’s quite an experience.