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Whispering tales of Magic

Walking in Bangkok

THAILAND | Saturday, 29 October 2011 | Views [793]


So after yesterday’s disaster at getting up and moving I did much better today and was up and out for 9.30. I was determined to find my way around but soon realised the tourist map I had was very simplified and had lots of streets missing from it, but it did have all the main roads and all the big attractions.

Firstly I had to find some water purification tablets, so I asked at reception where the nearest chemist was. I was quite horrified to find out it was just across the street and I had actually walked past it many times already, but in fairness it was buried behind a street cart, a clothes stall and sunglasses stall.

So off I trotted, but they did not have any, so asked where the next chemist was and she said try Koh San Road, now this confused me because I thought that was where I was! So down to the end of the street, turn left, then left again, even I can remember instructions like that, and then the tourist Mecca of Bangkok was revealed, including those all time favourites like KFC, McDonalds and Burgerking. Some things were not so usual like massage with happing endings, ping pong shows and lady boy show, but I just kept my head down and kept walking!

Surrounded by lots of western tourists all looking rough from travelling too long, Thai girls in skirts far too short and heels far too high and Thai boys whizzing about on mopeds it was pretty manic, but I managed to locate the chemist (this one hidden behind an earring store, shoe store, a tuk tuk and two taxis) and got myself sorted, so where to now?

So now I knew where I was and could locate that on the map I had a fighting chance of orienteering about Bangkok and I headed off to find the Mountain Temple.

On the way I visited an art gallery, saw several monuments and astounded the local Tuk Tuk drivers by insisting that I was ok walking. I also very quickly worked out that the zebra crossing don’t work in the same way as back home, but luckily I realised this before getting run over.

After following the signposts on the main road, I took a right turn down a quieter side street. Now the mountain temple gets its name because that’s what it looks like it. I could see the top of it looming over the trees, but could not work out how to get in at the bottom. Eventually I saw a sign down the back of an alley, I paused, was this some trick to lure me down and then take everything I had? Surely not? And then a lot of laughing, tourists emerged through the gate and I thought phew! Its gonna be ok!

Thai people like steps.

Lots and lots of steps.

And then a few more for good measure.

But then when a temple is called the Golden Mountain I suppose you should expect that.

I climbed up, and up, and up and eventually reached the top, the views over Bangkok were amazing. Lots of golden Buddha and lots of tourists!

One of the problems with wondering round on your own is you don’t what you are looking at. I saw bells, but did not know what they were for, I saw incense sticks and flowers but did not know why and hundreds of Buddha, some gold, some black, stone, jade and wood in various poses. But more about that later.

But whatever it was i looking at, it was all pretty amazing, and very different to anything I’ve ever seen before.




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