Here's the the second installment of our short Bangkok trip!
Like a scene out of the streets of Manila, this is the usual amount of road traffic from day to night in Bangkok. So aside from the physical appearance of the general population and tropical weather similarities (Don't forget high rate of corruption too, as mentioned by our tour guide), traffic congestion is one of the problems we share with them.
But don't let that get you down. With a knowledgeable tour guide (or a reliable map) and efficient bus or tuktuk driver, you're bound to reach your destination in one piece and relatively on time. A word of caution though. Don't let your tuktuk or taxi drivers bring you to "tourist spots" or "gem exhibits" as these are mostly scams to fool you into buying items at exorbitant prices. And remember to haggle a set price before riding, so you don't get surprised when they charge you 200 bhat instead of the usual 20 for a 5-minute ride.
Our first stop of the day: Wat Arun, better known as the "Temple of Dawn." Kind of sounds like a title for an Indiana Jones movie, right?
After this picturesque photostop, we headed to another temple, Wat Traimit, also known as the "Temple of the Golden Buddha." It houses the giant solid-gold Buddha, standing 10 feet high and weighing over 5 tons. was told that during a tumultuous time in the past, the Thais covered this buddha with cement to hide it from greedy eyes and it was only in the recent past that they discovered its true golden form underneath all the concrete. Imagine that. :)
|Photo from www.arrakeen.ch|
Lunch was another epic fail and we were all starting to get frustrated by the lack of good food and failed expectations. I guess this is mainly because we were part of a group tour, where taste and quality usually isn't made a priority over accessibility and price. While group tours usually provide the most time-efficient itineraries and convenience of being picked up to and from tourist spots, you really don't have much choice as to where and what you eat and are also constrained by the time limits imposed on you. I'm not quite decided as to whether I prefer being an independent tourist or part of a group tour.
What awaited us during the evening was the Chao Praya Princess dinner cruise from River City mall.
The food was much better than the previous buffets we've had, but they served more Western dishes that Asian and I haven't had a memorable authentic Thai meal yet. I know I sound like I whine too much about the food, but I'm a foodie and what I eat greatly affects my mood and there wasn't anything noteworthy to share. All that being said, the experience dining on the top-deck of the boat while enjoying the cool breeze and the lovely nightscape was wonderful.
These three "ladyboys," as transgendered people are mostly referred to in Thailand, ad-libbed to Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Gloria Gaynor while sashaying in a long evening gown and super-short sexy dresses. They're tall, modelesque and super confident onstage. I can't help but be envious of their mile-long legs!
On top of great entertainment, we also had these structural wonders to appreciate as we cruised passed them.
Overall, the day ended in a high note as we got to explore and experience these landmarks that Bangkok, Thailand is famous for. The best part is being able to share all these memories with two of my most favorite people in the world.
Check back for the third installment of our trip, which may or may not include an elephant and a bunch of crocodiles! ;)
The Belated Bloomer