Trip Start Sep 23, 2004
77Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
My first mistake was getting a tuk tuk (sort of a robin reliant cross bred with a motorbike....). I thought it would be a cheap way of getting around (which it was in the end) as the driver said he'd take me to places for about 2 hours for 20 bhat (about 30p). As they were all temples which sounded quite nice but were too far apart to bother visiting on my own I said ok. I knew the catch- the driver gets petrol money by taking you to a shop that tries to sell you jewellery. I said ok- but I wouldn't spend more than a couple of minutes there
Anyway, went to Wat Pho first- big Buddhist temple. It's got lots of really ornate pagodas where the ashes of the kings are kept, and a huge reclining buddha whi is so huge they built him in situ and then constructed the building around him, and covered him in gold leaf. I can't remember exactly how long it is- i think it's something like 25 metres. Bit gaudy for my taste but the architecture was amazing.
Next port of call was the royal palace- I certainly saved the best til last. It was stunning, decorated with really intricate mosaics. Lots were ceramic, which were beautiful colours, and some were glass and gold leaf which refleceted the light so much that they were almost blinding at times! The designs were very ornate, and so big it was absolutely awesome! I spent ages there, wandering around. The insides of alot of the buildings were decorated with scenes from Thai mythology, again they were really detailed- huge landscapes filled with people, demons and gods. I saw the emerald buddha too, which isn't actually emerald, and was a lot smaller than most of the others I've seen, but was probably my favourite (he was surrounded by gold disciples and seemed very serene and elegant in the middle of all the glitter).
I got a bus back to the hotel (a proper local one too!) when I worked out that the bus numbers on the bus stops bear no relation to the buses that actually go past (maybe they aren't bus numbers.... anyway, I feel like I'm now a proper traveller!- even worked out my stop and found Kao San road!).