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.
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
Close up of porcelain work of art.