Two Nights in Bangkok
“One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster…” Alex and I now really want to watch the musical “Chess” where the song “One Night in Bangkok” comes from! And I really need to learn how to play chess…
Bangkok is a very hectic city, with tons of temples and tons of traffic. It seems like rush hour is EVERY hour, with the city’s bright pink taxis at a standstill on the streets.
The morning after we arrived, Alex played golf and got a Thai massage (painful, he said) while I tried to sleep off my cold. We had lunch with friends (also visiting from Seoul) before going for a walk around Lumpini Park (famous for large monitor lizards). There were so many runners (even though it was humid and in the low 80’s)! We spotted quite a few lizards, but the larger ones tended to stay in the water- they are good swimmers! We had dinner with some Samsung folks at Isssaya Siamese Club, a fancy restaurant that once was a private home. We let Alex’s coworker (who’s from Bangkok) order. The food was good and presented beautifully.
The next morning, Alex and I left the hotel around 7 AM and took the subway (the different lines are owned by different companies, so we had to walk outside for a transfer and then pay again) to Central Pier, where we got on a ferry going up the Chao Phraya River (really interesting seeing all the HUGE hotels built on the riverfront). We first visited Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). The complex contained many smaller buildings, but the main attraction is a very large, golden Buddha lying on his side. The bottoms of his feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl (somehow Alex and I both forgot to take a picture!!).
After walking around Wat Pho, we took a cross-river boat to Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn). There were quite a few VERY steep stairs going to the top (I made it about 2/3 of the way, Alex went to the top), offering a great view of the river, but the temple itself wasn’t open to visitors. The exterior of Wat Arun is decorated with bits of colored ceramic and seashells. It’s supposed to be beautiful at dawn and dusk, but we didn’t have time to stick around. We had to quickly retrace our steps and head back to the hotel (for check out), before having lunch and heading to the airport.
While Bangkok is a very vibrant city with lots of good restaurants and temples, it was too chaotic for Alex and me. We preferred the small-town feel of ancient Chiang Mai (which we visited later on our trip).