Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The After Effects and rest of Bangkok

By day 3, we were pretty much aware of how to be on guard at Bangkok. We realized the best to do is take a taxi and negotiate on the fare upfront or use the public transport. The bus fares are expensive; so the best and comfortable way was taxi. Though most places were in the vicinity of Khao San, it still mattered to know the place.

Khao San was kind of the center of places; it was just 2 km away from the banks of Chao Praya river. The river is the lifeline of the city; its an important waterway and clustered around it are the financial centers. Beautiful and legendary temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun are on the banks of Chao Praya. The famous long tailed boats and floating markets are worth the visit.

And so we decided to walk to places closer after having our lessons learnt. But it turned out that the habit continued thereafter to every place we visited. Got our exercise and experienced the place up close which we couldnt have otherwise.One mode of transport we missed was the metro rail and the rail journey but there were no plans to visit the financial districts of Bangkok.

Oh yeah one thing we often take for granted is food. We claim to try new cuisines and enjoy the food but in reality its one hell of a challenge. Relishing a simple kadak chai was a luxury, yeah we did find an Indian restaurant to get our daily dose of chai. It was good after a long hard day to unwind with a cup of hot masala chai and pakodis before we guzzled on beers.

The staff in most Indian restaurants; we learnt later, were from Myanmar. They speak good Hindi and watched every evening South Indian movies. One claimed how much they liked the dance and fight sequences :) Well, India is going far off places.

The Amulet market near the Chao Praya river. - People scrounge for Buddhist and other amulets in the market all along the street along Chao Praya. There are wide range of amulets being sold by hundreds of vendors. People search for sacred ones that could probably bring them good luck and there are amulets for all reasons - prosperity, family, child, so on. Its nice to see people search among the endless trays of amulets for the perfect one.

The Buddhist image at Wat Pho - one of the oldest learning centers. This is the oldest and largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. Its 46 mts long and 15 mts high and represents Buddha attaining nirvana. The temple of Wat Pho is a learning center for Thai traditional massage and one could be treated here.

The feet of the Buddha - 3 mts long. Inlaid with mother of pearl, it displays 108 different Buddhist symbols.

In front of the statue are 108 collection bowls in which you can drop a coin each for good luck.  

Colorful chedis

Vimanmek Mansion - former royal palace. Its the largest teak palace in the world. The palace is a museum displaying the royal household's items, clothes, weapons and other things of interest. Photography is prohibited inside, and visitors are expected to dress appropriately.

The Abhishek Throne Hall - now a museum in the Dusit palace complex.

Ananta Samakhom Throne hall - a former reception hall in the Dusit palace complex. It now serves as a museum mainly displaying the royal school of silk and craft's paintings and weaving.

The Chao Praya River and the skylines of Bangkok

Settlements and homes along the river.

Floating markets. It was noon and hence the vendors were less. I have heard that the market bustles with activity in the early morning.

The Bangkok signature long tailed boat criss crossing the river; convenient way to travel

The temple of Dawn - Wat Arun along the river.

The central prang which is Khmer style. The tower is encrusted with bits of broken porcelain and seashells which had been used earlier as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.

The climb is narrow and steep to the balcony of the tower. The view is worth

View of the Grand Palace and the Chang Pier

The climb

Close up of porcelain work of art.

One more


  1. Nice post Bindu! great pics. :-)

    Surprised to see indian movie industry's impact in thailand! a security guard of san pedro sula's airport knew vadivelu, 'cause his daughter likes to watch his comedies. unbelievable!

    1. Thank you. Gautam, you remember the flight we missed at San Jose and the Holiday Inn we were put up in while returning from Costa Rica? That hotel had a souvenir store remember? I went there to buy some stuff and the girl in the store struck up a conversation with me. When she figured out I was from India, she said she watched all those serials and movies; with sub titles. She likes them a lot she said, I was shocked :)

  2. Great pics, B! The porcelain art work is beautiful. Looking at the magnificent buildings I wonder about the creativity that humans have! Instead of a plain geometrical or square construction, look at the amount of effort that has gone into building these monuments! Just think of the imagination, the passion and perseverance to bring their dreams to reality! Humbling...

    1. Balan,

      Thank you so much. I was surprised by their dedication to stick bits and pieces of porcelain on the entire structure and make beautiful creations out of it.

  3. You , perhaps saved me the cost of travelling to Bangkok as your episodes of the travel served as an armchair journey for me.

    The pictures are looking better gradually( I confess I'm nobody to talk about photography).

    Street corner pics looks more like any place in India. And as ever the Pagoda architecture of south east Asia looks a lot romantic and a pleasance from the concrete vulgarity we have more now.

    One thing I noticed from travels and wonder if you agree, we Indians are very poor in safeguarding and relishing our heritage sites and land marks from the old.Rather cruelly and stupidly indifferent.

    1. Anil,

      Thank you. Oh! I upgraded my lens too, maybe thats why?
      The place is close to India, but cleaner.

      I so agree with you Anil, we are poor in safeguarding our heritage buildings. I mean, I have seen buildings in the US which are hardly 100 years old and they are heritage. We have buildings that existed 1000s of years old than the Sistine Chapel. But our treatment towards them are appalling

  4. Wow, magnificant architecture! The porcelain art work is too good. You have been really travelling a lot. Envy,envy!

    1. :) Yup! Haha hope I can travel somewhere this year too

  5. You covered most of the 'to do' list in Bangkok! Hope you managed to see the Weekend Market too:)

    1. I didnt stay for the weekend Rahul. Since I have read the weekend markets have become a touristy issue. I wanted the authentic experience and hence got them at Chiang Mai and other places :)

  6. That Vimanmek Mansion looks great and to think that that the complete thing is made of Teak !!
    Oh yes Bollywood is going places :-)

  7. Lovely pictures,Bindu.
    108 is considered very lucky in Thailand

    1. Thanks sir. 108 is auspicious to Hindus as well isnt it?

  8. Lucky you! Loved the pics too.


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