Day 3, exploring the temples and the train that wasn’t.
The next day we reluctantly got up and even though tired, headed back out on the sky train to the boat, once off the sky train we had our first tropical storm. It.was.mental. the crashing thunder and the forked lightning over the river was an amazing spectacle. I just can’t believe they have this on an almost daily basis! After a long wait for the boat due to the storm we ended up at Maharaj dock again, this time we got milk and jelly drinks which tasted immense.
We headed to the grand palace to see what the number one attraction in Bangkok was like. We didn’t make it. With the rain still pouring we saw crowds and crowds of people, some barefoot, stood in the entrance of the palace with water past their ankles flowing past.
The palace had flooded! We even saw catfish in the streams of water running down past the pavement. Tuk tuk drivers frantically shouting to their colleagues to slow down before they hit them.
With this discovery we headed to Wat Pho, past a man with a giant snake offering it to people to hold, I was tempted but didn’t have the guts to do it. So we headed into the temple.
It was incredible, very peaceful and hardly any tourists there. The only time you noticed them was looking at the Reclining Buddha which was huge and very beautiful. I wish I had spent the 20 baht and put 108 coins in 108 bowls along the wall. After that we explored more of the temple checking out the stone giants, crocodile pond and made it to the gold Buddha where, as novices to Buddhism we went in and copied the man next to us. Praying for peace love and prosperity for all. Hopefully Buddha was listening but I feel what happened later in the day wasn’t a good sign.
After wandering around the temple a bit more and making friends with some cats we headed out to be told the grand palace was now closed for the day. So we went to a small shop for food where it was just us 3 and we chose from a selection. Liam had chicken and Asian cabbage which tasted a bit like the sea, I had spicy pork and a Thai noodle soup and Leia had chicken and ginger which was super spicy! It was all delicious and came to only 170b which is like £3.20!! After this we went looking for the forensic museum. (which we still haven’t found) So we headed back and on the way got fantastic coconut ice cream with peanuts served in half a fresh coconut! For 40b!! (Like, 80p for 3 scoops) sooooo good. Picked our bags up and headed for the 8pm night train to Nong Khai. We arrived at hua lamphong station after negotiating the busy rush hour through sky train and the underground and sweating profusely. To be told the train was fully booked. Oops! This is where our carefree attitude of just see what happens gets us. This just meant we got to spend longer in Bangkok, so we quickly booked a nearby hotel, ‘Urban House’ and headed there. At this point I think all the travelling had caught up with us and we were ready to relax. So we got to the hotel at around 7:45 only to see a sign saying the staff would be back at 9!
This is when our packing light really came to the fore. I can’t imagine dragging around a 60L backpack after all this trekking around. So we wandered back to the nearest place with air con and got burgers! To be fair they were amazing burgers for the equivalent of a fiver. Leia even said they were the best she ever had! After this we stocked up on water and honey lemon ice tea, checked into the hotel which was again super friendly and bedded down for the night. Ending up in Bangkok for another night was actually a great experience even if we did just relax.