Asia Thailand

The King is Dead; Long Live the King – Bangkok

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on October 13th at the age of 88. He reigned for over seventy years, making him the world’s longest-reigning monarch to that point. Thirty days of mourning was declared. I was in Vietnam at the time and concerned that my trip to Thailand would be affected.I arrived in Bangkok, barely days after the official mourning period, in subdued clothing and with respect for the situation. Once there, I challenged myself by taking the bus and metro to my hostel instead of a more expensive taxi. It was super easy and the locals were friendly and helpful.
1280px-grand_palace_bangkok_thailandI arrived in Bangkok, barely days after the official mourning period, in subdued clothing and with respect for the situation. Once there, I challenged myself by taking the bus and metro to my hostel instead of a more expensive taxi. It was super easy and the locals were friendly and helpful.
The next morning I caught the metro and a ferry to the Grand Palace. Security and dress code were pretty tight, considering the recent passing of the king. I had to show a copy of my passport just to enter the street to the palace. The local women were not allowed to enter wearing long pants, but tourists were given concession. My bag was checked at security before I entered the palace grounds. It was a really beautiful space with buildings of different styles, some blocked off to the public. There was a long line of locals, bangkok2wearing black and little black ribbons on their clothes, waiting to honor their departed monarch whose body was on display in one of the buildings. I made the ten-minute walk around the corner to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). I knew this Buddha would be big, but I wasn’t prepared. It was MASSIVE!—46 metres worth of gold leaf. ONE of its feet was possibly as tall as me. It took a while to walk down the building along side it. There were many people all trying to get their pictures taken and I had to line up for quite a while to get my own photo.
bangkok7After the palace and temple, I made my way back down the river on a shuttle boat to Asiatique, one of their famous night markets, where I had Pad Thai and bought a few souvenirs.
Lumpini Park as the sun was setting. There were HUNDREDS of people doing aerobics in the park and running around the outskirts. My friends went on a paddle boat ride in the pond and we spotted a monitor lizard heading into the water from the grassy area.
My last full day in Bangkok, I decided to check out the Golden Buddha (Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon). The 14th-century figurine weighs 5.5 and sits in the Wat Traimit temple. At one point is had been covered with stucco and painted to hide its value from potential robbers.bangkok8
I took a tuk-tuk to Kao Sahn road “Backpacker” street as it’s called. It really wasn’t worth the trip: lots of souvenirs, bars, and hostels—not much I was interested in seeing. So, I took another tuk-tuk to the closest metro station and went to Siam Centre and the MANGO TANGO Restaurant! I ordered my dinner in this cute space: mango smoothie, with fresh mango, mango pudding, mango ice cream and some sticky rice with condensed milk sauce. SO yummy! No wonder it was rated so high on Trip Advisor!

 

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