Continuing from the Grand Palace …
Once you are out of the Grand Palace, the next Wat or temple that will caught your attention is the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun on the other side of the Chao Phraya river, this temple is another exemplary of Khymer style architecture. If you have some time in your hand, then do visit the temple, it can be accessed only by ferry if you are on the Bangkok side of the city.
After crossing the pier for Wat Arun and going straight you will find another significant temple – Wat Pho which houses a golden reclining Buddha. Now, while going towards the Wat Pho, you may come across some strange Chinese tour agents who will persist you to go with them to visit some Chinese laughing Buddha on account that Wat Pho is closed or something like that, do not heed to them, just proceed with your plans. Wat Pho is always open for visitors.
Wat Mahathat or Temple of relics is another beautiful temple and this you will not find on average tourist itinerary, but it is worth visiting and the temple complex is very peaceful. You will definitely appreciate the spectacular golden Buddhas @ Wat Mahathat in series with intricate workmanship at the base.
Vimanmek mansion is the largest teak mansion in the world and what a superb maintenance !!! Photography is not allowed inside and if you perfectly timed your visit to Vimanmek mansion, you may enjoy some Thai cultural show which is being held at the complex daily at 10:30 am and 2:00pm in the afternoon.
Outside the Vimanmek mansion, there is a small exhibits of Royal carriages which will bring you back to the old world charm. The yellow carriage in the picture below is from Calcutta (India) built by a British company in late 1800.
One more Wat /temple and I promise you this is the last one…how can I let go off Wat Traimit near Hualamphong MRT, and it houses a 13th century Golden Buddha which is claimed as the world’s largest solid gold Buddha weighing over 5 ton !!! Impressed !!!
The murky water of Chao Phraya river flanked by luxurious hotels and resorts on its both sides, connects Bangkok with Ayutthaya, the ancient Siamese capital and an UNESCO heritage site.
Like other Asian cities, Bangkok is super congested with traffic congestion almost at every 50 m , but thanks to BTS or the sky train, life has become much easier….a smooooth ride…all the way. But BTS does not connects to the old city or the Grand Palace area. The best possible route to reach that part of the city without traffic congestion is through ferry, there are several piers across the street and near to the BTS or MRT stations too. Just choose the one near your place of stay.
Shopping and eating @ Bangkok
Well, Bangkok is definitely a shopping destination, beside the malls and other shopping complexes, a visit to Chatuchak weekend market will leaves you fascinated enough to spent your entire day there. From clothing, accessories to antiques, you will get everything here under the sun. But before entering the market, do not forget to pick up the map at the gate. It houses more than 15000 shops !!! Yeah..thats quiet a number…
Bangkok has many night market or bazaar too which remain opens till 2 am in the morning. If you are planning to visit one, then do check out the Suan lum night bazaar which is close to Lumphini park MRT (metro) station.
One more market which needs a special mention is an early morning visit to floating market at Damnoen Saduak, where locals sells fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and even fishes in boats, canoeing all the way through the congested canals.
Where to stay @ Bangkok
There are lots of places, specially Sukhumvit and Silom areas are thriving with hotels of all ranges, we stayed at Sukhumvit and absolutely loved the place. Any place of stay in the vicinity of BST stn and MRT stn makes sense as it will ease off the daily travel around the city.
Hope you have enjoyed it…will be back shortly…