Well, we are home now, we have finally recovered from our jet-lag, and we are seriously missing Thailand. Missing Thailand? Did I ever think that I would miss Thailand? I’m not completely sure. But after 3 weeks of traveling and experiencing all of the beauties of Thailand, we both feel so blessed and grateful for the opportunity.
We had been preparing and packing ourselves for this trip for weeks. The anticipation was practically killing us. So when our departure date finally rolled around, and it was time to board our plane, we were both teeming with excitement.
After 2 (very) long flights, we arrived a little before Midnight in Bangkok. And the first thing we noticed? Humidity. Definitely not something that we are used to in San Diego, but we knew it was going to be hot and humid, so we packed accordingly.
We grabbed a cab, drove into the city, checked into our hotel, and tried to get a few hours of sleep. Although between the time zone change (14 hours) and the excitement of being in Bangkok, it was a little tough to catch some zzz’s.
Before we knew it, we awoke to the sound of the Monks walking through the streets singing their morning chants. It was the perfect way for us to wake up. We got ourselves ready and headed out to conquer some of Bangkok’s “old city” stops.
We made it but only a few feet out of our hotel, and we were already drawn in by the street food. We had heard that Thailand had amazing street food, and after several airplane meals, we were ready for anything that wasn’t served on a plastic tray. We started out with this sweet and savory little taco (we think that it was coconut and carrot) and some fresh squeezed orange juice.
We finished our juice just as we arrived at the Grand Palace. It was only 8:30 in the morning, and we were both already dripping in sweat. Luckily, I was in a sundress. Okay, not luckily. I had forgotten my pashmina at the hotel, which I brought for covering my shoulders during our touring. Luckily the palace rented clothes for free. Again, not luckily. A polyester full length skirt and a men’s short sleeve shirt over my dress. Even just writing this makes my skin crawl with the intensity of the heat that I felt while wearing this (over my clothing) (for hours). I truly do not think that I have ever been hotter. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it was also 112° with 97% humidity.
Regardless of our lack of sleep, the jet-lag, the language barrier and the extreme heat, we are both the kind of travelers who always make the most of our experiences, and this was no exception. It felt so amazing to be in Thailand, and to experience such a different culture.
The Grand Palace is beautiful. After you cross through the gate, you are greeted by what seems an unending lay of ornate buildings and statues. Each building is decorated with the most intricate detail of tiny tiles, no space left unadorned.
After touring the Grand Palace, we were both ready for something that would be a little refreshing. We dropped off our rental clothes (yes, even my husband had to cover his legs), and we headed outside of the gate where we were greeted by a man selling fresh fruit. We nabbed up some baby pineapples (the best pineapples I have ever had, might I mention) to enjoy on our walk towards the famous Reclining Buddha.
After just a few minutes walk outside of the Grand Palace, we arrived at Wat Pho, home to the Reclining Buddha and the Golden Buddha.
Even in just the few hours that we had been touring around Bangkok, we already noticed how much honor and respect is given to the Buddha. The offerings that are laid before the sacred sites are almost as beautiful as the statues themselves.
the golden buddha
the reclining buddha
The Reclining Buddha is magnificent. It is so much larger than I had imagined it would be. And for me, it is so amazing to think about how they figured out how to build this in 1832. I am sure that this was both a huge logistical and financial undertaking. Unfortunately, or amazingly, it is so large that I was unable to get a picture of the complete Reclining Buddha in one shot.
After several hours of touring, the heat started to get to us. We were in need of a cool place to sit and relax a little. Luckily for us, right inside of Wat Pho is the original school for Thai massage, where you can still go to get a massage (for very cheap and in a beautifully air-conditioned room). We sat down for our foot massages, and probably both could have fallen asleep and just spent the afternoon there. It was exactly what we needed.
After relaxing for a little, the hunger started to set in. We reluctantly left the massage school and headed towards the river. We grabbed a fresh pomegranate juice right before we boarded the cross-river ferry to head towards Wang Lang Market, in search of some lunch.
Unfortunately our lunch search was not as fruitful as we had hoped (I personally would not recommend Wang Lang Market). But we were able to get a few small things, which were all very delicious (it just took quite some time to track some good options down).
After lunch, we both agreed it was time for a siesta. We headed back to our hotel with the plan to take a nap, then head out for a walk and some dinner afterwards. Well, we woke up from our “nap” around 11:30 p.m. (insert hysterical laughter), and decided it was probably in our best interest to just call it a night.
With the promise of many more exciting days ahead of us, we both quickly fell (back) asleep in anticipation of the journey that lay ahead.