Busy Bangkok

Our first impressions of Bangkok came on the taxi ride from the metro station to our hotel. We both expected traffic to be crazy in southeast Asia, but actually experiencing it was eye opening. Thankfully we arrived in one piece and checked into the pleasant Fortville Guesthouse for a good night’s sleep. The next day we walked to the temple complex of Wat Pho. The hardest part of walking there (apart from the heat) was fending off the near constant appeals from tuk tuk drivers eager to give us a lift. We were skeptical of their advances and chose to walk instead. As our first Asian historical site, it was pretty cool. They have a huge reclining Buddha and lots of ornate temples and stupas. We wandered around until we were too hot and tired to continue.

Traffic Roundabout in Bangkok

Traffic Roundabout in Bangkok

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Those are his feet in the foreground covered in holy inscriptions.

Stone guardians at Wat Pho

Stone guardians at Wat Pho

Lots of Buddhas at Wat Pho

Lots of Buddhas at Wat Pho

Ornate tilework at Wat Pho

Ornate tilework at Wat Pho

Ornate temple at Wat Pho

Ornate temple tilework

Striking rooflines at Wat Pho

Some temples had cleaner designs

Lots of golden mirrored tiles in use

Lots of golden mirrored tiles in use

Whimsical statue at Wat Pho

Whimsical statue at Wat Pho

Another hall of Buddhas

Another hall of Buddhas

Ornately tiled stupas and bold temple roof

Ornately tiled stupas and bold temple roofs co-mingle at Wat Pho

Crowded river in Bangkok

Crowded river in Bangkok

Shacks along the river

Shacks along the river

Bangkok is somewhat of a chaotic city. For example, the power lines along the streets are a crazy jumble that makes me cringe. And every street and narrow alley is chock full of tiny shops or living spaces. It’s truly unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

Messy wiring in Bangkok

Messy wiring in Bangkok

Our street in Bangkok

Our street in Bangkok

The next day was another scorcher. We were hot and sweaty by the time we walked to the Museum of Siam. It was an ok museum detailing human history in the Thailand area.  That evening we wandered around our neighborhood and stumbled on the very touristy Khao San street. This is a hot spot for tourists which means there are a lot of locals trying to make a buck off those tourists. As we walked along we saw a busy mix of market stalls selling souvenirs, sidewalk massage parlors dispensing foot rubs, food carts selling everything from fruit to meat on a stick, travel agencies, bars blaring music, tuk tuk drivers looking for passengers, restaurant hostesses urging us to sit at their tables, and, of course, the occasional whispered invitation to a show of an adult nature. It was sensory overload and we were glad to get back to our room for another restful night.

Phrasumen Fort near our guest house

Phrasumen Fort near our guest house

Sidewalk vendors

Sidewalk vendors

Sidewalk massages

Sidewalk massages

Street food

Street food

Touristy Khao San

Touristy Khao San

Can you find Caroline?

Can you find Caroline?

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