Homer's Travels: Southeast Asia 2023 - Days Four And Five - Bangkok, Thailand

Friday, October 20, 2023

Southeast Asia 2023 - Days Four And Five - Bangkok, Thailand

UPDATED 12-03-2023: Added photos.

Day Four (Monday)

The Emerald (jade) Buddha.
Our tour finally started with a tour around Bangkok.  First stop was the Grand Palace and the temples used by the king.  The complex is pretty magnificent.  Thai Buddhist temples are intricate and colorful.  They are a mix of Buddhist and Hindu which is something I didn't expect.  On the way back to the van we stopped in an alley where vendors sell amulets and charms.  We purchased several little clay tablet featuring Buddha and other deities.

Next on the itinerary was the temple of the reclining Buddha. This temple features sitting, standing, reclining, and walking Buddha statues.  We witnessed a blessing ceremony with chanting monks.

The reclining Buddha itself was huge and pretty spectacular.  It's so big it is hard to take in.

It was time for lunch so we stopped at a restaurant on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. We enjoyed some Thai food as we watched boats go by on the river.

A truck engine on a long tail boat.
After lunch we boarded a long boat to explore the canals of Bangkok. The long boats (or long-tail boats) use truck motors and propellers on long shafts.  A large group of long boats crammed into a lock that lets you move from the river to the canals.

Once we left the lock we traveled through the canals to see homes and businesses built over the canal on stilts.  We stopped at a cafe and artists house which had a very hippy vibe to it.  We fed the catfish which were abundant in the canals.  Along with the fish we saw a water monitor lizard.  The thing was huge.  Its belly was big so it was probably digesting a fish or possibly a bird.

Wat Arun.
The last stop of the long boat was Wat Arun, a very large Buddhist temple and stupa.  The place was crowded with women of all ages dressed in the traditional costume of their favorite soap opera star.  The Soap opera takes place at the temple.  Walking around the stupa was difficult as we constantly had to avoid photobombing some selfie taking fangirl in a shiny silk dress she had rented nearby.  I think this was my first true superfan encounter.

That night we ate a meal at the Italian place in the hotel.  It was not very good which is strange since the other two meals we had there were pretty good.

Day Five (Tuesday)

This would turn out to be a very strange day.  We had only one activity scheduled, a cooking class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School next door to our hotel.  I was not looking forward to it as I don't like cooking and I don't like fussy food.

Two of the teachers first took the students on the Metro to a nearby food market.  There they explained different foods and ingredients that we would be using when we prepared four different dishes.  The market was extremely hot and humid.  By the time we were heading back to the Metro station the Wife was overheating.  When she overheats she passes out.  Fortunately she caught it before it got too far.  One of the teachers bought her water and she was very patient as we slowly made our way back to the school.  There the wife made the decision not to participate in the class since standing in a kitchen for three to four hours was not a good idea for her.  We made our way back to the hotel.

A water monitor lizard chillin'.
We headed to the pool as that was probably the fastest way to cool the Wife down and it worked though the lightheadedness would persist into the afternoon.

Later on when she was feeling better we took a taxi to the MBK Center which is also known as the knockoff market.  We bought some souvenirs, including magnets, and the Wife bought three 'high end' purses and a winter coat.  The winter coat, a Canada Goose brand, can go as high as $1,500 but she got hers for $100.  There was a hole in one pocket but the vendor fixed it on the spot for free (he had a sewing machine in his stall).

The next day we will be leaving Bangkok going into the countryside to see more cool stuff.

Phota can be found in my 2023 Thailand Google Photos album.

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