The second day in Bangkok was our big, touristy sight-seeing day so get ready for lots of temples and amazing photos! Unfortunately, this was also the day it rained all day. August is the front-end of rainy season in Thailand, so we had cloud cover and drizzle on and off the whole time we were in Bangkok, but this day was by far the rainiest.
For our sight-seeing adventure, we decided to hit up public transportation again, since many of the gorgeous temples and palaces are right along the ferry line. Our first stop was the King's Palace - the King's Palace was built in the 1700's by King Rama I when he decided to move the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok, and it is basically a giant complex of buildings and temples that are intricately decorated and full of gorgeous details.
I wore pants under my dress for the very purpose of avoiding offending people and having to wear this skirt-thing... apparently Lulu Wunder Unders do not count as pants. Still had to wear the skirt.
The colors were just amazing
Guards at the King's Palace
That is honestly just a small sample of the pictures I took at the King's palace - there were so many beautiful details it was hard to even know where to look next! After the King's Palace we were hungry so we ducked into a little noodle stall for lunch. There were a bunch of locals eating there so we figured it must be a good bet! This soup might not look like anything special but it was quite excellent :) I love that we always got a selection of different chiles and spices, so you can flavor your soup however you want - it is a very individualized eating experience.
Next we went to Wat Pho - also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (you'll see why), is one of the oldest and largets wats in Bangkok. Prior to building the temple, the site functioned as a center of education for traditional Thai medecine, and the statues were built to show yoga positions - my kind of place! The Wat was built in the 1700's (arond the same time as the King's Palace) and contains over 1,000 buddha images.
Pretty pleased with myself after ringing the gong near the entrance of Wat Pho
The huge reclining buddha statue - one of the largest buddha images in Bangkok
Big buddha's feet are inlaid with mother of pearl designs
...smaller buddha near big buddha's left leg
When we walked out of Wat Pho was when it really started coming down - literally pouring. We had planned on going to one more Wat (Wat Arun) right afterwards, so we decided to just wait out the rain.
...it was very wet.
We sought refuge in a smaller section of the temple where we found this large seated buddha. Out of respect, you are never supposed to sit with your feet facing the buddha - but a lot of tourists didn't know this and were very confused by security guards constantly telling them to "sit politely!"
The rain didn't really let up, but we decided to ferry over to Wat Arun anyways, and grabbed some grilled bananas at the stand pictured above on our way over. The grilled bananas were one of my favorite things in Bangkok (I know I say that about...basically every food I ate in Bangkok...but it's always true) - tiny bananas grilled for a crispy outside and soft inside, and very slightly salted.
Wat Arun is another buddhist temple, and was built shortly after Wat Pho and the King's Palace. Apparently it was named the "Temple of Dawn" because of the way the light reflects off of the central tower...but with all the rain we kind of missed that effect.
No sass allowed at Wat Arun!... or maybe it's no shorts allowed. Possibly both.
From far away the whole wat looks very grey, but up close you can see there is actually a multitude of subtle colors
... and then I spotted these stairs to the top of the tower. Because I'm never one to turn down a challenge, even if it is an imaginary challenge in my head posed by an inanimate object, I immediately decided I must climb them. In the pouring rain with no umbrella. But clearly I was not alone:
...and the view was pretty great, even though a lot of it was blocked by cloud cover
...yet somehow, I had failed to think through the fact that once I climbed up the ridiculously steep, wet and slippery stairs, I would then have to climb down them. The steps were probably 4x as tall as they were wide, making for a very slow, backwards descent.
Completely drenched, contemplating the wisdom of my decision
For dinner we hit up a favorite restaurant of Ben's - Cabbages and Condoms! Don't let the slightly offensive name fool you - this restaurant is fantastic and (mostly) totally appropriate. Cabbages and Condoms is actually founded by the Population and Community Development Association, an NGO that is active in promoting family planning and preventing the spread of AIDS in Thailand.
...wait what is this place called??!
... thumbs up for safety!
Ben enjoys a very manly looking beverage
Partially consumed Penang Curry... mmmmm....
On the way home I stopped to pick up dessert!....
...a Moon Cake!
Moon Cakes are served in Asia during the mid-autumn festival, which is one of the most important Chinese festivals. They come in a variety of flavors but are usually very sweet and dense, and often have an egg yolk in the center to symbolize the full moon (yes, sounds weird I know...). I tried moon cakes for the first time in Singapore four years ago, and I actually quite like them - they are kind of similar to Japanese mochi, which I also enjoy, but they are really dense and rich so it's best to just eat them in small pieces. This cake was flavored with lotus seed and it was maybe my favorite mooncake ever. Very delicate and sweet.
...that's all for Bangkok day 2! Stay tuned!!