Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a bustling city with vibrant street life, delicious food, amazing temples, and the grand palace. Here in this blog I will take you on our four day three night journey to Bangkok.
Before the Pandemic began, I had planned a trip to Thailand for the summer of 2020. Obviously that didn't happen, and to console myself here is a blog detailing our trip to Bangkok and Ayutthaya.
Bangkok is the most populous city in Thailand with over 10 million residents, and is also the nation's capitol. During the Ayutthaya Kingdom, it was merely a small trading post. In the late 1700s, it was named the capital of Siam (as Thonburi and Rattanakosin). The city has been the center of modernization in the country, and the heart of the government, which is ruled by constitution but also includes monarchy and has undergone numerous military coups. Currently, democratic rights are being contested by young people who feel they do not have a voice in the government.
Ayutthaya Historical Park is an old capital of Thailand (Ayutthaya Kingdom), and was the capital of Thailand for the longest period of time from around 1351 to 1767 when it was destroyed by the Burmese, ending the empire.
Here is a map of Bangkok Below:
To be honest, the following is a blog from our trip to Thailand back when I was teaching English. The Cram School gave us one week off in the summer which did not include salary, so we headed off to Thailand.
I am by no means a Thailand expert, I am just showing photos from my vacation basically as well as out travel experience. Just 走馬看花.
We had some really cheap tickets at the time with Tiger Air that were only about 5,000 NT per person per round trip.
Also, we stayed in a super cheap hotel for about 400 NT per night. I do not know why the hotels are so much cheaper in Thaliand compared to Taiwan. A normal hotel stay in Taiwan is about 2000 NT.
The hotel included a pool that we didn't use and had free breakfast.
One of the things we had to buy there was the honey from 7-11. Real honey is a pricey commodity in Taiwan so we were happy to load our suitcase with these things, even though I'm not sure if these are actually 100% honey.
Also of course we had some sweet Mango Rice from the local market which was delicious. The rice is much more sticky than normal and is sweetened to make it a dessert.
Also we loaded up on a ton of other goods at Big C supermarket.
Asiatique Night Market
We also took the river ferry to Asiatique Night Market, which sold lots of cheap Thai themed souvenirs and clothes which we bought by the truckload.
The ferry in Thailand is really convenient and can take you to many tourist sights along the Chao Phraya River that runs through the center of the city. There is also an underground and overground subway system that makes it easy to get around the city, as well as lots of tricycle taxis.
View of Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan from the ferry which was under construction when we were there.
View of the Grand Palace from the riverfront.
Ferry getting close to shore, and a grasshopper.
The Grand Palace
Elephant statue near the Grand Palace.
The grand palace is the residence for the Kings of Thailand, and has been since the late 1700s. It was used as the royal government of Thailand until 1925, and it still in use. It is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Thailand.
Before we made it into the palace, we were stopped by a man who told us the palace was closed that day, and tried to get us to take a taxi somewhere else. We could tell he was lying and eventually we found the entrance to the Palace.
Giant grassy front lawn in front of the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The tour is 500 baht for foreigners, and you are required to wear long pants in order to visit. The tour starts with the temple of the Emerald Buddha. From Wikipedia, what is seen in the photo above is "Ho Ratchakoramanuson, Phra Photithat Phiman and Ho Ratchaphongsanuson stand at the back of the Ubosot, with the hermit in front."
One of the many shrines aroun d the Ubosot of Wat Phra Kaew.
The Ubosot of Wat Phra Kaew, or "ordination hall." Inside you can find the Emerald Buddha.
The Phra Si Rattana Chedi (พระศรีรัตนเจดีย์) which houses some relics from the Buddha, gifted to the King from Sri Lanka.
The gold colored tiles on the exterior.
Another view from the outside.
Another view of the ordinance hall.
Side view with another shrine.
View of golden doors to the shrine.
The Phra Mondop library which is full of sacred writings.
There are eight shrines like this around the complex, each one representing a former king.
Another view looking up at the library. Simply beautiful.
Closeup on the exquisite library exterior.
Window on the outside of one of the buildings.
Closeup on the ornate decroations.
Looking even closer you can see the fainted gold paint.
Another view of the ordinance building.
Tons of people around.
Looking up at the gold Chedi.
After you finish touring the Temple of the Golden Buddha, you can go on to the government halls which are a mix of eastern and western architecture. Once you leave the Emerald Buddha complex, you can't go back.
One last look at the Emerald Buddha Temple.
Chinese looking statue.
Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat (พระที่นั่งจักรีมหาปราสาท), or the throne hall for the king.
View looking closer at the main entrance.
To the left is the Phra Maha Prasat which features some of the oldest halls in the complex.
Phra Thinang Aphorn Phimok Prasat, a pavilion for the king to change clothes before intering the palace.
View of the area from the side.
Shrine near the palace.
Another view as we were leaving.
View of the back entrance.
View of the grand palace from outsite.
From the grand palace, we noticed all the taxi drivers were trying to rip us off, so we walked to the nearest market we could find.
We also got some nice Thai massages.
On the second full day, we took a train to Ayutthaya, the historic capital. The train ride there was only 15 Baht, but had no A/C and was super slow.
View from the train ride.
When we first got there we were able to immediately rent a scooter with no license required and see the sights around town. We first visited Wat Ratchaburana, it has one of the best preserved towers or prang in the city. Also there was no entrance fee.
The temple was completed in1424 to commemorate the brothers of the then king.
The central prang has been restored somewhat which is why it looks so nice.
Abandoned structure inside the complex.
You can walk up the stairs into the crypt inside the prata, where there are some intact frescos.
Steps into the tower.
View of some of the earliest frescos recorded in Thailand. Yes I did feel like Indianna Jones.
The site has undergone looters over the years, but many gold objects here were kept intact.
View from the top of the tower.
Another small stoopa on the grounds.
Looking down the wall on the grounds.
More views from Wat Ratchaburana.
I don't recommend riding the elephants. There is too much animal abuse going on there.
Wat Phanan Choeng
We also went passed Phanan Choeng temple which was closed when we were there.
Warning to visitors not to disturb the ruins.
Phra Si Sanphet temple seen from the entrance.
Model of what the complex looked like in its heyday.
Phra Si Sanphet temple
The Phra Si Sanphet temple right was the largest and most holy temple while the city still existed. Now you must pay a fee to visit, which we did not want to pay.
Another view of the Phanan Choeng temple entrance.
Phanan Choeng temple.
Wat Phu Khao Thong
Wat Phu Khao Thong is a buddhist temple that was founded in 1569, and recently restored.
More views from the temple.
We also visited a night market in Ayutthaya which was pretty good. We almost missed the last train back, and ended up having to take the more expensive but faster train for 400 baht. Even though it was more expensive, there were still tons of cockroaches on the train.
We also visited a local mall with the fountain display,
One of the stranger places we visited was Chocolate Ville, an American themed town in Ram Inthra, where our friends lived.
Some views of the town, and a lighthouse.
View from the top of the lighthouse.
After a quick visit with our friends, we took a taxi back to the airport and that we pretty much the end of our trip.
The list of places we missed is too long to mention, but we were especially sad that we missed Chatuchak Weekend Night Market, which is supposedly the biggest night market in the world. Unfortunately we did not book flights for the weekend. Hopefully we can visit it as well as the hundreds of other places we missed when the pandemic is over.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.