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Walking Shoes and Rented Pants

THAILAND | Wednesday, 29 October 2014 | Views [408] | Comments [1]

Aaron and Dina at Wat Po

Aaron and Dina at Wat Po

We are really getting to know our neighborhood!!  We are staying at the Shanghai Mansion Inn in Bangkok, which we highly recommend.  It's right in the middle of all things Chinatown, which makes it excellent in many ways.  The last two days we have put on several miles walking around the area, often in the wrong direction.  It's easy to get turned around by following interesting-looking side streets which proceed to wind around every which way.  Also, I read the map wrong.  Yesterday, we walked several kilometers to the highest tower in Thailand, the State Tower.  I had read about a great bar on the rooftop that I wanted to go check out.  Unfortunately, when we got there, there was a strict dress code that stated no open-toed shoes or shorts for men.  Bummer.  We walked back to the hotel, and got caught in a brief downpour of a thunderstorm that we waited out under an awning.  When we got back to our hotel, we intended to rest for a bit and then find dinner.  I woke up four or five hours later, still in my clothes.  So tired from the day, and the heat!! Got some much-needed sleep I guess!

Today, we walked to the Grand Palace and Wat Po.  Along the way, we are frequently greeted by cab drivers and tuk-tuk drivers who practically demand to know where we are going.  We have learned to keep walking, or risk several minutes of arguing about whether or not we really want to go to our destination, whether it is possible to walk there at all, or whether there is or is not somewhere else we clearly want to go instead.  Upon arriving to the Grand Palace area today, we were greeted by a man on the street who started to tell us some information about a tower we were admiring.  He then told us that the Grand Palace was closed until 1 PM for local residents to pray.  (Not true.)  He also told us that Wat Po was not open.  (Also not true.)  We are somewhat confused by this, as he did not offer his cab or tuk-tuk services to us for the day, thereby possibly luring us to pay him for a day's guide service.  Luckily, we knew better and stuck to our story.  He had also told us that Aaron would not be allowed in due to his wearing shorts.  We got to the Grand Palace and found out that this part, at least, was actually true.  Oh no!  We walked all this way!  But, turns out, you can RENT PANTS!!  Trip saved!!  There were a lot of people in line to rent pants.  Some women too to get items to cover shoulders and bare legs.  I had on a knee-length skirt, and was able to pass without incident.  The sarongs they gave the women were actually quite pretty, so I wouldn't have minded.  Aaron said the pants were fine, and I had to convince him to return them. 

When we arrived at Wat Po, on paying our entrance we were asked where we were from.  I am practicing responding in Thai whenever possible to use and improve the Thai language skills I have spent the last 10 months learning.  A guide nearby heard me and asked how long I have been in Bangkok to be able to speak so fluently!!  Best compliment ever!!  Thanks Khun Nung and Khun Ying!!!  Later, we heard monks chanting in the temple.  A working temple, after all.  Beautiful sounds.  Beautiful place.  And then we went to the Traditional Thai Massage school at Wat Po to get Thai massages!  One hour is about $15.  Wonderful.  I was able to converse some with my therapist in Thai, which was great because I needed to make sure she understood that my arm can pop off if put in the wrong position!!  During the massages, it started raining again pretty hard.  Our timing for the massage was pretty good to miss that!  Got some great pictures later of the temples reflected in the rain puddles.

Sights, sounds, and smells here are intoxicating.  This city is alive and wonderful.  We are loving everything.


Tags: thai massage, walking bangkok, wat po




Dina I love your travel blog. Takes be back to the time I spent there with you and Aaron. Have fun and beware of hidden zoos and snake shows!!

  Suzie G Oct 30, 2014 12:51 AM

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