Day in Bangkok, a City of Contrasts

Bangkok is an exotic place for sure. And although we enjoyed and learned from our visit, I guess it kind of left us with mixed feelings. The city has such an interesting historical background, colorful temples and delicious food. But for us, it was noisy, with too much traffic and chaos, and very hot and humid.

You see wealth in its temples, yet the streets show poverty and struggle. It is a city of contrasts.

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Tuk Tuks, a common transportation in Thailand

Our memories of Bangkok began very early in the morning on a very humid day. The city is divided by the Chao Phraya River so to be able to see all our points of interests we had to cross it. We were staying on the other side.

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Chao Phraya River
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Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn

On our way to the ferry we passed through several stalls. One of them had a variety of children t-shirts. I just couldn´t help myself and stopped to buy one for my boys. It was difficult to communicate because nobody spoke English. With only signs and a calculator, I managed and bought two Thailand t-shirts decorated with colorful elephants, very cute! My first shopping experience in Bangkok!

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Our first stop was The Golden Buddha Temple. We were curious to see the famous giant Buddha made of solid gold. There it was… five meters in height. We were told that in the past golden buddhas were disguised with stucco and plaster so that in case of an invasion they could pass unnoticed. This Buddha was discovered accidentally while being moved because it was dropped and some of its plaster fell.

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Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha

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We then went to the Temple that houses the reclining Buddha. The statue is impressively long, 45 meters! The temple is one of the largest and oldest in Bangkok. It was very busy that day. Many tourists wanting to see the very long and peculiar Buddha.

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Head of the Reclining Buddha

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Carved symbols on the feet of the Buddha

All throughout the complex you can see images of different buddhas. It is a large area, so once we were out of the room where the reclining Buddha is, it felt less crowded.

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The most important temple in Bangkok is the one inside the grounds of the Grand Palace, where the Emerald Buddha is located. You cannot take pictures of this Buddha but it is small in comparison to all the others we saw and it was dressed. Yes, the Emerald Buddha is dressed for special occasions.

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Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha
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Chakri Maha Prasat, Grand Palace

I remember being astonished by the beauty of the complex. And I also remember thinking, there is just not enough time to see all and my mind is unable absorb this much!

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Everywhere we looked, all of it was over detailed!

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By the time we finished touring the Grand Palace we were all tired so we decided to visit just one more Temple.

The Marble Temple is beautiful. The white Carara marble, which was brought from Italy, makes its golden-red multi tiered roof stand out and gives it an elegant composition.

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Wat Benja, Marble Temple

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The day came to an end for us, tired we returned to our hotel.

While there were things in Bangkok that left us in awe and we enjoyed our stay there, Dad and I agreed that for us, this city is one of those places where you only visit once.

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Bangkok at night

 

 

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