Thailand’s capital occupies 605.7 square miles in Chao Phraya River delta and has a population of over 8 million people. Aside of those impressive numbers, this city gave me a positive feeling. I felt very safe. Bangkok has a lot to offer to a tourist and I am aware that I will not cover even a small part, but I did see a little bit and I am going to share it.
Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace
Must see place while you are in Bangkok. Built in 1782 and for 150 years it was the home for the King of Thailand. Breathtaking architecture and detail will without a doubt astonish you. There you will find the Emerald Buddha, which is a very popular statue of the Buddha that dates back to the 14 century. Entrance fee cost is 500 baht (~$14.5). You need at least 2 hours to visit and the most important thing to remember is to dress properly, cover your knees and shoulders.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It is extremely hard to miss the stone giants which are guarding the entrance into the complex. Which contain many galleries of the Buddha and Royal Chedi. The Royal Chedi represents the first four kings of the Chakri dynasty. The Reclining Buddha is a massive 46 meter long, 15 meter tall statue which is even more impressive because it lies inside the building. It is a reminder of Buddha’s passing into nirvana. Entrance fee is 100 baht ($2.90).
The Temple of Dawn is located on the opposite side of the Chao Phraya river from the Grand Palace. The easiest way to get there is to take a boat from Tien Pier for 4 baht ($0.12). Unfortunately because of the renovation going on, I could not climb to the top of the temple. There are however many opportunities to see numerous mosaics made of broken Chinese porcelain, which were thrown away as ballast from ships. Was well worth paying the 100 baht ($2.90).
From the conversations I had with people I met there, I got the impression that this place is kind of a skip on the travel itinerary even though I cannot understand why. This temple is located in the middle of the city and from the first step I took inside, I felt like I was on a different planet. Omnipresent peace and silence overtook me. A contemplating mood that is hard to resist. The sound of bells, numerous stairs leading you to the top, where the golden Chedi is waiting to be found. With an amazing and unique view of Bangkok for which you pay only 10 baht ($0.30). Well worth it…
Undoubtedly the greatest attraction of this temple is the huge 3 meter tall gold Buddha, who weighs 5.5 tons. Also by gold I mean 83% pure gold. It is located at the end of Yaowarat Road, near Hualampong Railway Station and Chinatown. Where for some Chinatown ends and for some it begins. Entrance fee is 40 baht ($1.16).
- Always carry a lot of water and sunscreen. Do not get me started on a hat as you should always cover your head from the sun, and even though I sound like my grandma, I will stick to that advice.
- If you like your feet and you would like to use them often, wear socks. If you prefer to wear sandals, that is fine, but take socks with you. They come in very handy when temple stairs are heated by the sun to scary temperatures and there are no exceptions for wearing shoes. You must be barefoot to enter temples. Trust me, you do not want to burn your feet.
- It is a very smart to have something to cover your shoulders in your backpack as well. Some places have a few scarves hanging for those who are surprised by a different culture, but same idea, they simply will not let you enter.
- Do not rush. Let your eyes blur and thoughts wander. It is worth it, promise 🙂
- Do not be afraid to try new things, but food comes soon 🙂