Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep for short, is the capital of and largest city in Thailand.
We reached the Indra Regent Hotel in Pratunam at 11pm.
In order not to waste the night, we took a taxi to Patpong and walked around the night bazaar as well popped into an agogo bar for a Singha. There were both girls and transvestites taking turns to pole dance in their tiny bikinis. That’s a first for me!
Road-side stall selling authentic thai snacks in Patpong…
We also bought some thai snacks on the way back to the hotel - BBQ octopus, pig (moo in thai) liver, gizzard rolled in chicken, and chicken meat on sticks. Absolutely delicious!
With delicious food in hand, we caught a taxi back to the hotel for 50 baht.
Today, we visited Wat Benchamabopit, popular known as the Marble Temple. The temple is a blend of architectural styles and decoration; grey marble from italy, for example, was imported to sheathe the bot and pave the surrounding cloisters, while inside there are stained glass windows as well as a replica of the phra buddha chinaraj image.
Around the cloister are bronze buddhas showing every style of thai religious art. I learnt that the older buddhas have more slender physiques, and the newer ones are more muscular (they were sculptured during the war period). The position of the buddha – lying, standing, or sitting, the position of the hands, and whether the eyes are open or closed all meant different things.
A beautiful river outside the temple…
And I just had to take a picture of the temple dog :)
Next stop, Chao Phraya River where we took the boat ride round the river. It costs 800 baht for an hour trip and was a very nice experience. it’s a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of the city life.
On the road again, I managed to get some shots of Old Bangkok…
Without much ado, we headed to the Temple Of The Golden Buddha. As we made our way there, we passed through chinatown and our guide told us the story of the Golden Buddha. No one knew it was made of solid gold as it was originally cover will cement. While transporting the buddha, they dropped it and the cement broke off, and the truth was revealed.
Lunch stop in the Chula district was fantastic. We had so much food like tom yam koong, chilli crab, kang kong, and garlic rice. Yummy!
Off to the shooting range we went… we arrived at the army camp and shot 100 bullets. I only shot 7 bullets and out of which, I only hit the target twice for 8 points each. Well, at least i can now say that I’ve ever shot with a real M16 before.
Feeling a little lazy this evening and decided to talk a walk at the Pratunam street market downstairs from tthe hotel. Bought some food for a light dinner consisting of BBQ fish, intestines, pork ribs, and chicken on sticks. We also got durian for dessert which is really tasty too.
After dinner, we went to see the Calypso Cabaret at Asia Hotel. the show was different from the one i visited before as there were no sofas, just seats and round tables like in an “oprah” setup. The show was entertaining nevertheless.
We moved on to the Thai Girl Show in patpong. it’s in some ulu corner - a place run by the secret society there. apparently it’s illegal, so we couldn’t take any photos. the show runs continuously with one girl after another going on stage, dancing a little bit, stripping, and popping something out of their vagina – from ping pong balls to strings of flowers to razor blades. other than that, there was the pussy drinking water act, and the pussy shooting darts act. we left after an hour – a little disgusted.
Almost midnight and Bangkok is still alive with pubs and massage parlors. So we popped into one to get a traditional thai massage. it was good – another first for me. On the walk back to the hotel, we bought some chicken rice for supper.
Woke up earlier today to meet phillip for breakfast and headed to Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s huge! Next trip to bangkok will be for just shopping and massages. haha! there are all kinds of shops here.
A shop selling nothing but lamps and lampshades
Look at all the knick knacks and home accesories!
And here’s one selling fruits and vegetables
There’s an entire section of the market just for pets. It’s like a pasar malam with animals for sale. They even sold squirrels and porcupines.
Lunch at Bangna consisted of authentic chinese thai food for locals. The wanton noodles and satay tasted great. The cafe is set in a bus (yes, a real bus). The story behind the shop is that the guy who owns the place used to drive a bus, but wasn’t making enough money. He ended up converting his bus into a cafe. This cool idea even got him into the local newspaper.
Wanton noodles and satay - Thia Chinese style!
Afterwhich, we spent 2 hours at MBK center at Siam Square. Okay I’m not really into shopping and for those who enjoy it, MBK Center is the place to go for imitation branded clothes and accessories!
Inside the shopping complex…
I bought these two T-Shirts for less than $20 in total
We had dinner just round the corner at Somboon Seafood. the food was so-so, but the tom yam soup and cuttle fish were pretty good.
A quick rest at the hotel and off we are in a cab to Khaosan Road to check out the night life there. Khaosan Road is located in the Banglamphu neighborhood (Phra Nakhon district) and has developed over the years into probably the most profound worldwide example of a backpackers’ ghetto, with relatively cheap accommodation compared to other areas of central Bangkok.
The street is filled with make shift shops that do hair braiding, bars, and buskers. It looks like a place taken out of a western country. We found a small shop doing traditional thai massage and went on in.
The day started bright and early with us meeting up with our guide for breakfast at a coffee-shop in the outskirts of chinatown for a typical thai chinese breakfast of fishball noodles.
After breakfast, we went to see The Grand Palace, which is a complex of buildings and served as the official residence of the king of Thailand from the 18th century to the mid-20th century. After the death of King Ananda Mahidol in the Baromphiman Palace, King Bhumibol moved the official royal residence to Chitralada Palace.
The palace complex sits on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The other approaches to the palace are protected by a defensive wall of 1,900 metres in length, which encloses an area of 218,400 square metres. Further out from the wall is a canal, which was also created for defensive purposes, making the area surrounding the palace an island, known as Rattana Kosin.
Next Stop was The Chapel Of The Emerald Buddha. According to legend, the Emerald Buddha was created in India in 43 BC by Nagasena in the city of Pataliputra. The legends state that after remaining in Pataliputra for three hundred years, it was taken to Sri Lanka to save it from a civil war. In 457, King Anuruth of Burma sent a mission to Ceylon to ask for Buddhist scriptures and the Emerald Buddha, in order to support Buddhism in his country.
These requests were granted, but the ship lost its way in a storm during the return voyage and landed in Cambodia. When the Thais captured Angkor Wat (following the ravage of the bubonic plague), the Emerald Buddha went to Ayutthaya (Cambodian historians record this as a gift to the Siamese King), Kamphaeng Phet, Laos and finally Chiang Rai, where the ruler of the city hid it.