Photos: Bangkok

As the last leg of our time in South East Asia, we spent three days in Bangkok. My friends who has travelled extensively in Bangkok raves about this city and I went in thinking that I would love it just as much as them. Sadly, I didn’t (you can find my rant at the end of the post), but with that being said, there are aspects about the city that my sister and I enjoyed.

We wanted to visit the usual tourist attractions so we headed to the Ko Ratanakosin and Thonburi neighbourhood. Known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, our first stop was Wat Phra Kaew. The blinged-out structures covered in gold and multi-colour mosaics is mesmerising and the sheer size of some of the buildings are impressive. With a strict dress code, be sure to have something to cover your arms and legs. The Grand Palace is next door, but most of the buildings are closed for tourists.

20140807-215134-78694834.jpg

20140807-215135-78695020.jpg

20140807-215155-78715249.jpg

We then made our way to Wat Pho which is about 5 minutes walk from Wat Phra Kaew. It’s an easy walk, any tuktuk drivers who tries to tell you otherwise are merely trying to scam you. Wat Pho is the oldest and largest war in Bangkok and is home to the longest Reclining Buddha which measures 46m long and 15m high! Wat Pho is also the national headquarters for the teaching of traditional Thai medicine (including Thai massage). Our feet were so tired from all walking, we decided to try their foot massage in the massage pavilions located inside the complex. Air-conditioned room + intense foot massage + refreshing cold tea = BLISS! Such an inexpensive Thai massage and I highly recommend it!

20140807-215216-78736835.jpg

20140807-215216-78736639.jpg

The half hour foot massage meant that we had replenished our energy to move to our next destination, Wat Arun. We took a cross-river ferry from Tha Tien which only cost 3 Baht and took a stroll around the area as well as climbed up Wat Arun. Known as the Temple of Dawn, it is one of the few Buddha temples that visitors can climb. It’s a shame that we didn’t stay long enough to admire the sunset from the temple because of dinner reservations.

20140807-215217-78737514.jpg

20140807-215217-78737024.jpg

20140807-215217-78737671.jpg

That was about all the sightseeing that we did in Bangkok and this was all done in one day. We experienced the chaotic night life that is Khao Sarn Road and found a busy rooftop bar where we socialised with cocktails while we listened to the live music. We wanted to have drinks at the Banyan Tree Hotel’s Moon Bar but because of the rainy weather, the bar was closed. Instead, we opted for expensive cocktail in Latitude which was also part of the same building.

20140807-215217-78737884.jpg

So, you might be thinking, the place seems nice enough, I wonder what’s so bad about it?! Well, on our first full day in Bangkok, people were trying to scam/con us, left right and centre. We had a taxi driver who kept trying to get us to take a ferry tour to our destination because it was “cheaper” and when we declined over and over again, he refused to switch on the meter and then just dropped us off at a random location where it was even harder to get a taxi. Another one pretended to be lost and circled the block over and over again and some tried to charge us a flat rate which was three times the normal price! We encountered locals who hung around the gates of tourist attractions and told any tourists who walked pass that it was closed (when it was clearly open) and tried to get us to hop on to tuktuks so we could see another sight. Store owners who tried to overcharge us after negotiating the price and some ‘in-your-face’ sellers who desperately wants you to buy their laughing gas or tickets to a ping-pong show.

It was because of these bad encounters that we opted to stay in the hotel for the last day and a half where we enjoyed the inexpensive spa. Massages and facials, bliss! We did venture out when it was time for dinner and Gaggan proved to be a phenomenal dining experience!

I don’t think I will be going back to Bangkok any time soon :(

Advertisements

3 Comments

Add yours →

  1. Bangkok looks beautiful! Wow, they seem really ruthless.. Good on you for pampering yourselves on the last day and a half, and can thus leave blissfully relaxed :)

  2. I can see why you feel this way about Bangkok. I have been to Bangkok many times and the people do not change. It is hustle, bustle, cons and hard sells are just how business is conducted. Always bargain. It’s part of the culture.

    On the good side, the locals we met mean absolutely no menace. We encountered no one that wanted to take our money, they wanted us to give it to them. Does that make sense? Once they realised they were not getting money from us, they moved on.

    Unfortunately, the local drivers are paid in money or petrol to take you to certain places. If you do not want to go to these places, you have to insist that they take you to your chosen destination, or find another driver. It’s best to have a plan and a good reason why your tuk tuk or taxi driver cannot possibly take you on a tour or the long way to your destination. We say that we are already late to meet someone at our destination. A white lie, but one that gets us to a place quickly, no detours.

  3. Yes. I think it is because that my friends raved about it so much, that my expectations were too high. The good thing is, apart from the cons and rude taxi drivers, we managed to stay pretty safe. Nothing stolen and no harm done :)

    I guess I expected too much, maybe the first part of the trip went too well!

Please leave your $0.02 here:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: