On our second day in this busy city we split up our time so that we could go back to the condo during the peak heat hours.
We were wide awake and out the door by 8:00am local time. We had six hours, sunscreen, water in our hydroflask and an unlimited ride metro card. Our mission of the day, was to visit the Wat Pho temple to see the Reclining Buddha.
In order to reach the temple, we first had to take the metro to Chatuchak Park. We read about a weekend market that takes place here so we figured it would be a good place to get some breakfast.
We were pleasantly surprised to get off the metro and find a huge park full of green grass and trees. Everything we’d seen of Bankok so far felt very tight and crammed with lots of people. It felt good to explore an area that was open and spread out.
On the other side of the park, we found these stone columns with photos on them. Each photo demonstrates a different exercise that can be done in the park using various wooden logs or equipment.
These ladies were stretching using the wooden logs. In the background a young girl works on balancing exercises on a wooden beam. We even saw someone picking up and lifting a log and doing chest press exercises with it. I enjoyed watching the locals make good use of their parks.
The weekend market was located directly next to the park. We were happy to arrive early, because we had the chance to watch the market come to life. Some stalls were still setting up and the food booths were busy making the special of the day.
We found a food vendor ready for business and a gentleman named Ken sat us down next to the stand. After taking our order, Ken proceeded to make the rice and noodle dishes. He asked his coworker to make the papaya salad.
Everything was very tasty and as we sat there eating (and sweating!) the market started to get very busy.
We wandered around the market and ended up finding a foot massage stall. We enjoyed thirty minutes of air conditioned massaging.
Before leaving the market I decided to use the potty. It was tucked away down a back corridor. Imagine my surprise when I found an entire art gallery on the way to the bathroom. All these local artists working on a variety of different artworks in a small studio.
The next part of our journey involved taking a bus. We were determined to figure out the bus system in Thailand. It was a lot harder than expected. We knew more or less which bus number would take us to the temple but the bus stops didn’t have any signs indicating if that number stopped there. We ended up finding a very nice lady who spoke a tiny bit of English. We explained where we wanted to go and she informed us of the buses that would stop at that location. She was also able to tell us how much it would cost and that you pay on board the bus.
We figured the hard part was over. However, while waiting for our bus we started watching other people get on and off busses. The busses barely come to a complete stop. You have to jump on or off as its moving and the steps are high off the ground. When the bus you’re looking for is coming, you have to start running towards it so the driver knows you want to get on. Otherwise, it will not slow down at all and you’re stuck waiting for the next one. When we finally made it on board, it felt like a huge achievement. We enjoyed driving through the city to our destination.
Once we arrived at the Wat Pho temple, many vendors outside told us that it’s holy hour and the temple was closed. They invited us to go on a tour or to eat some lunch while we waited. It’s a good thing I had read online that this is a common scam done to tourists in order to get you to buy something. When the vendors asked where we were going we kept saying “just walking.” When we arrived at the entrance to the temple it was open for business.
Super Nel had to purchase some Thai elephant design pants because the temple doesn’t allow you to wear shorts. I had brought a wrap with me to cover up my shoulders because tank tops are also not allowed.
In order to enter the area of the Reclining Buddha, you must remove your shoes. You are given a bag to place them in so you can carry them around with you.
The Buddha was glorious! He’s so big he feels larger than life.
Overall we’d had a very productive morning and we enjoyed our adventure. We were ready for a much needed air conditioned nap. So we negotiated with a tuk-tuk driver to take us back to the metro.