Bangkok 2/3

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
Trip End May 02, 2013

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Where I stayed
Sawasdee House
What I did
Khao San Road, Wat Saket / Golden Mount, Grand Palace

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another $75 all-in flight landed us back in the City of Angels refreshed and ready to see more of what it has to offer. The Airport Rail Link followed by a $3 taxi had Sylvia setting foot on the famous Khao San Road (Bangkok's backpacker central) for the first time. Since we hadn’t pre-booked anything, finding a place to stay was our top priority.  As usual our first few choices were full, but there are so many hostels within such a small area that it didn’t take too long.  We opted for a tight double room with AC and private bathroom for 850 baht (~$28) per night.  Street pad thai and fruit shakes were next on the agenda.

Feeling reenergized we decided to walk in the midday heat to Wat Saket / Golden Mount.  This temple sits atop what used to be the highest point in Bangkok before the skyscrapers went up, and still provides 360 degree views of the city from a spiral staircase.  The 10 baht admission made it the best value in town.

Later on we explored the streets around the Khao San Road area and picked a roti place recommended by Lonely Planet for dinner.  It did not meet our expectations as the dishes were tiny and lukewarm.  All the walking made Jason unable to resist the temptation of a street-side foot massage.  It was fantastic!

The next morning we had bread, jam and oranges for breakfast in our room before setting out for the Grand Palace.  After the scariest street-crossing yet we arrived amid the throngs of tourist buses and lined up for 400 baht (ouch!) tickets.  This site did impress though.  The huge grounds consist of the previous royal residence, throne halls, government offices and the main attraction – The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew).  Magnificent murals adorned with gold leaf depicting the Ramakian fairy tale line the outer walls.  Within the temple, sitting high above and surrounded by gold Buddha statues and other ornamentation, the Emerald Buddha (made of jade) is actually quite small for one who draws such a crowd.  The King himself changes its costume to coincide with the three Thai seasons (Summer, Rainy, Winter).

Our afternoon plans to visit Dusit Palace Park were held off by a violent storm.  Luckily, we were high and dry in our room, researching our trip to Cambodia scheduled to commence the following day.  One last bite of Bangkok street food for dinner before we leave Thailand at the crack of dawn.
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felix on

oh no -- lonely planet food recos always failed us too! but hope you guys had a good banana roti from a street stall, they're amazing!

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