Tag Archives: Bangkok

Wats and the Pad Thai to end them all

I spent the rest of my few days in Bangkok largely on my feet, something I wasn’t too mad about at all. Had my super sexy walking shoes for that matter. I was probably getting to my destinations faster given the traffic situation in Bangkok anyways.

Decided to head towards Wat Pho, formally known as Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn (say that ten times), home to The Reclining Buddha, and referred to by Andrew as “Wat Pho you going there?”

It was about a 4 km walk from my hostel, about 3 of which followed a road flanked by hundreds of tiny shops selling anything and everything.
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The beginning of the road
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Passed by an arts and crafts shop that would have put Michael’s to shame. Ten year old Jasmine would have loved this; not going to lie, 22 year old Jasmine was pretty fascinated.
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Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collections…complete? (Shameless Little Mermaid joke for those that are confused)
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Reached Wat Pho!
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Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn- The Great Pagodas of Four Kings (two of which are pictured.) These four pagodas were built to honor the first four monarchs of the Chakri Dynasty.
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Buddha Images Gallery – these are bronze cast statues that are from various eras.
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Phra Buddha Maravichai – a representation of Buddha attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
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Someone looks displeased that I’m being a creepy tourist…Sorry!!
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Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn – the main Buddha image in The Ordination Hall; the Buddha is depicted in the posture of concentration.
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Khao Mor – beautiful rock garden that is a model of the Northern mountainous region of Thailand. It is said that King Rama III had rocks transported from the Grand Palace to be reassembled in Wat Pho.
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Taking a picture of monks taking a selfie
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Phra Buddha Saiyas – The Reclining Buddha! 46 meters in length (nearly 140 feet) and 3 meters high (9 feet.)
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I clearly didnt know how to portray via photography how insanely massive this depiction was, so you can take my word for it. It was HUGE.
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The soles of the Buddha depiction – inlaid with mother-of-pearl designs-are about 75% of this attraction. Unfortunately, my timing was not the best.
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The back of yo hea…
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TIL
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On my way to the Grand Palace and my phone died. Conveniently left my backup battery at the hostel…whoops. 4km walk back!
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Creativity at its finest
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Oh durian. One day I will muster enough courage to try you, even though you smell like i’m licking the inside of a trash can filled with fruit and garlic…
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I saw this and almost screamed. There’s something disconcerting about walking across a bridge and a large komodo dragon popping up alongside you. Being the brave being that I am, I ran, turned around, and then took a picture. Doesn’t do its size any justice, this one was easily 5 or 6 feet long.
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Next stop, Wat Arun! Got lazy and didnt feel like waiting for people to move to take a picture…
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More views..
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Cat taking shelter in the heat
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Seems like my timing is just all around shoddy. Welp.
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Took a long boat down the Chao Phra river to cool down.
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They’re everywhere..
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Houses along the river
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Calm water…right?
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BUT WAIT! Catfish!
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The Bangkok skyline?
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I love finding new fruits..Hi Momordica!
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Snack time!

For dinner, I decided to check out Thip Samai. It has won several awards for having the “best Pad Thai” in Bangkok so I decided why not? Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
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Awards
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Thai food is all about customization. At nearly every restaurant, you will find a condiment/seasoning set comprised of sugar, chilis in vinegar, crushed red pepper, and fish sauce. Sweet, spicy, and sour. Oh Thai food, you make my taste buds SO happy.

The Thip Samai guys hard at work
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Behold! The masterpiece. The pad thai gets its orange hue from the dried shrimp oil it is fried in, not only adding color, but flavor as well. Its perfectly packaged inside a delicate omelette as opposed to having the egg scrambled in along with the noodles.
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A closer look. Huge, juicy, perfectly-cooked shrimp. If you ever find yourself in Bangkok, order the “Supreme Pad Thai” at Thip Samai.

Completely full and beyond happy, I made my way over to the Hua Lamphong train station and hopped on my A/C sleeper car to Chiang Mai. Highly recommend.
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My stay for the night, onwards!

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Eating my way through Bangkok

Bangkok was…interesting. I didn’t dislike the city while I was there by any means; it was the retrospective comparison to every other place in Thailand I visited thereafter that made me feel glad I didn’t spend so much of my time in Bangkok itself.

I’m sure some people absolutely love Bangkok, more power to them. Between Khao San Road and a few other famed attractions, I felt that my couple of days in Bangkok were just, if not more than enough to run around the city. I largely stuck to my go-to method of enjoying any new location: exploration via FOOD!

Touched down in Bangkok late evening and took the metro as close as I could get to my hostel.

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A peaceful moment in Bangkok traffic ft. my finger. Pro-photographer move there Jasmine.

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More evening views

I was running out of sunlight, so I dropped into the nearest restaurant I could find for dinner.

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SO I know this looks horrible. Every shot I took looked like a different plate of up-chuck. (It’s yellow curry with crab meat.) I tried. Looks aside, the curry was absolutely delicious; it definitely got me excited for the rest of my time eating through Thailand. Not only that, at 110 bhat (roughly 3 dollars), I thought it was quite the steal. Little did I know that I could get the same plate for well under half the price elsewhere. Oh well! Ignorance is bliss, I was a happy camper.

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Closed out with a dim sum dessert. (Yeah yeah eat Thai food in Thailand) Couldn’t help myself. The dim sum place I frequent at home NEVER has the thousand layer cake so I jumped at the opportunity. Soft bao-like dough layered with salted egg yolk custard. Heaven!

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Got to my hostel and promptly passed out. Not bad!

The next morning, I set out bright and early to do some exploring: read eating. Learned quite quickly that this was no small town in Myanmar. Rather, Bangkok was the epitome of a ‘tourist-city.’ For every local I saw, there were five backpack-toting, map-weilding, Birkenstock-wearing tourists looking absolutely bewildered at the street signs written in Thai. (I was one of the latter beauties.)

And for every tourist, there was a tuk-tuk or cab driver waiting to scam them. Yet another harsh reality. Cab drivers often tried to quote prices up to five times higher than what it would normally cost, to which I’d have to reply, ‘Pae paeng! Meter ka?’ (Loosely translates into: so expensive! Meter please?) The drivers would often grumble and then turn on the meter; lo and behold, it would often read a fraction of the quoted price at the destination.

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Scam man. I would advise to generally avoid tuk-tuks as there are no meters to accurately guage the pricing. I asked this driver to take me to the train station so I could buy tickets to Chiang Mai, to which he initially agreed. Halfway through the trip, he told me the train station was closed at the time and that he would take me to a nearby tourist center to buy tickets. These drivers often get paid commissions on the tourists they bring, so watch out.. SCAM! I hopped out and walked the rest of the 4 km to the stations, but not before the tuk tuk driver tried to charge me 150 baht. We settled for 40, though I’m pretty sure the actual fare was closer to 20. Now, paying 5 dollars as opposed to 50 cents for a cab really isn’t the end of the world, I guess it was just the constant scamming that got to me. After a couple of different encounters, I decided to take the bus thereafter.

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Woo! First time on a local bus in Thailand. The fares ranged anywhere from eight to thirteen baht depending on the quality of the bus, which I loved. However, buses were often late or strayed from the indicated route a surprising number of times. Either way, it was a relief to not have to argue with a taxi driver over one or two dollars.

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Traffic was crazy in Bangkok. It was actually faster than both bus and taxi to walk most of the time. I just had to be extremely mindful; traffic signals seemed to be taken as more of a light suggestion than anything.

Some pictures from my aimless wandering on Day 1:

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Braised pork legs and…eggs? Interesting.

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Tom Yum soup with shrimp! Perfect balance of spicy and sour.

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Sticky rice and mango station!

Waiting for my delicious creation..

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The masterpiece. Sticky rice soaked in coconut milk with a side of perfectly ripened mango, and topped with salty fried mung beans/sesame seeds. So SO good.

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I love seeing is how different countries put their own twists on franchise businesses. In addition to the typical vanilla and chocolate in Thailand, popular flavors included passion fruit, papaya, durian, and dragon fruit.

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Motorcycle taxis

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Street eats!

I started lagging on taking pictures at this point..

Ran around Khao San Road for a bit later that evening as it was not a long distance from where I was staying. Khao San Road was exactly what people described it to be. Neon lights, blaring music, an endless supply of bars and drunk tourists alike, and good-but-not-great street food. It was fun to witness the festivities and whatnot, but I retreated to my hostel once the scene started to get a bit tiresome.

Round 2 tomorrow!

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