Sawatdee Bangkok: Food, Shopping and More Temples

October 15, 2012 ASEAN Backpacking

This is the final leg of our Great Mekong Tour.  

Ho Chi Minh was fascinating. Phnom Penh was charming.  Siem Reap was captivating.

From the border, we rented a van and stopped at this place for lunch. I can say I was delighted with my first authentic Thai cuisine—a bowl of seafood noodles to help ease my nausea from the land travel.

"Melvin, our friend who organized this trip, booked us at Erawan House located on Chanasongkhram Phra-Artid Road, Pranakorn, Khaosan, Bangkok.

While the aesthetics may not compare to our previous hotel, the location more than makes up for it. The street is lined with restaurants, food stalls, souvenir shops, spas, and other tourist attractions. Moreover, it is only a 2-minute walk from Khao San Road and other Bangkok attractions.

Home in Bangkok: Erawan

Since we were all in a rush to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, we decided to grab a quick lunch here, just a few steps away from Erawan.

Here, I had my first Thai Iced Tea, which paired well with my omelette rice.

After our late start, we hurried to Chatuchak Market. While I had heard about this weekend market before, I didn't quite imagine the size and diversity of the merchandise available. This is a place where I can truly say, 'shop till you drop.

One of my shopping objectives was to buy souvenirs for my travel companions, as it was one of our tour activities.

After dinner, we had a souvenir exchange, well, after I enjoyed my Tom Yum Soup.

With temple overload in Cambodia, I persuaded my travel companions to take a brief detour from our itinerary and try something different. We opted for a river tour, and the station was just a short walk away from our hotel.

It was a relaxing cruise along the Chao Phraya River, but it lacked highlights. Unfortunately, it didn't leave a lasting impression and felt just a notch above the flooded streets in Manila.

We did get to feed fishes, but it paled in comparison to the koi feeding experience at Nuvali. Nevertheless, we made the most of it and tried very hard to enjoy the cruise.

After the tour, we concluded that walking tours of the temples were still the best option in Bangkok City. That's up next.

To Wat Pho

We almost didn't make it to Wat Pho. A dishonest taxi driver told us the temple was closed and insisted we join him on a tour of another temple. Fortunately, we didn't believe him, partly due to an advisory in our hotel lobby.

Anyway, our friends were already there when we arrived at Wat Pho.

Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple renowned as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and the traditional birthplace of Thai Massage. It is also the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok. Alongside hosting one of the largest Buddha images, at 160 feet, Wat Pho is home to one thousand Buddha images.

As mentioned, the temple is home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools. Unfortunately, we weren't able to experience the much-acclaimed Thai massage here. That, for me at least, is a reason to come back.

After touring Wat Pho, we crossed the river and visited another temple.

Also known as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun's spires are among Bangkok's popular landmarks.

After our temple hopping, we experienced Bangkok's nightlife at Khaosan Road. This small street is like a backpackers' oasis, lined with stalls offering unique finds and watering holes.

This is the place to party in Bangkok.

Khaosan was the perfect way to cap off our wonderful Mekong Tour. With a toast, we cheered and hoped for more travels together ahead.

Thank you very much, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Bangkok. A heartfelt thanks to my wonderful travel companions. Thank you, Lord!

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