Visiting Some Popular Temples in Bangkok

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On day 2 in Bangkok, we visited some of the main attractions, almost all of them temples. When visiting Buddhist temples, please make sure to be dressed appropriately: legs and shoulders have to be covered. In most cases you can also rent or loan a sarong or cover up near the entrance, if you don’t mind it being worn by other people.

We took the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat with a first stop at Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn. We paid 50 Baht each to enter the site of the Buddhist temple and hoped to climb the 70 meters high central prang (spire) for a beautiful view across the Chao Phraya River. Unfortunately they were doing some work on the temple, so we were not allowed up there. All the prangs, except for 2, were surrounded by scaffolds, so the beauty of the temple was hidden.

Wat Arun Surroundings
Wat Arun Prang
Wat Arun Scaffolding

Near the same pier, at walking distance, there is also the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. They recommend visting the Grand Palace first because Wat Pho is less crowded, so more relaxing. So we started walking to the  Grand Palace and picked some freshly cut melon up at a stand at the side of the road. We were at about 200m of the entrance of the Grand Palace when some seemingly friendly guy stopped us to explain the Grand Palace was closed at the moment for praying. He told us there were other things to see nearby and offered us a Tuk Tuk to take us there. Luckily we were warned beforehand not to fall for these tricks. We politely declined and could enter the Grand Palace without any problems.

People were pushing to get their bags checked by security before buying a 500 Baht ticket. We refused a tour guide, because honestly we were just there to take a look and see what the fuss was about. All the buildings were quite stunning and we were impressed by the intricate detail on the walls. To enter Wat Phra Kaew, we had to take our shoes off (it reeked like smelly feet). It shows disrespect to point the soles of your feet to Buddha, so pay make sure to pay attention when sitting down.

Wat Phra Kaew
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Inside the Grand Palace

Next up:  Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. We were expecting a large golden Buddha laying down, but it really was enormous! Wow, it is really impressive, a 46m long (and 15m high) Buddha! There was a queue for taking a photograph at the best spot so we went for the second best spot. As we were admiring the huge golden Buddha, we heard a ringing sound. Turns out, at the other side of the Buddha, you can put a coin in 108 bowls for good luck (and helping the monks renovate and preserve Wat Pho).

Wat Pho Reclining Buddha
Outside of Wat Pho

In search for a pier where we could buy a ticket to take the Chao Phraya Express Boat back to the pier near our hostel, we crossed through China Town. There were a lot of people and a lot of stores where one can buy stuff in bulk, like toys, hair accessories and all kinds of bags and boxes.

It was a hot and exhausting day we concluded with a magnificent view over Bangkok by night at the Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower.