We woke up for our only real day in Bangkok (we fly out tomorrow) and did not have much of an agenda. This stop was really planned very late as a way station to a flight we could get back home. It was nice to have a day where we did not have a big agenda as we are all a little tired of big agendas. We had breakfast in the hotel because it was included in our $56 dollar per night rate - and sometime you really do get what you pay for :-)
we then went out for a real coffee across the street at Starbucks. We discussed plans for the day and decided we would wait out the heat of the day in the hotel and then head to see the Palace and the Reclining Buddha later in the afternoon on our way to dinner. However, after a couple of hours in the hotel I was getting restless and decided to head out to see a little more of the city. There is a huge weekend market at a place called Chatuchak and I thought it would be interesting to see. Stacie wanted to go along, but the kids were having too much fun vegging out to be bothered with venturing out into the heat of the day.
We jumped in a Taxi and were there in about 20 hair raising minutes later. The market was massive, by far the largest we have been to in Asia or on the trip for that matter. The interesting thing about this particular market was that every booth seemed to be selling unique items. In most of the other markets we have been to there are about four types of sellers - electronics, bracelets / jewelry, t-shirts, scarves, and they all sell pretty much the exact same thing. There are a few other sellers littered around with unique jewelry, but you have to search for them. In this market each booth had something completely unique. For example one booth sold nothing but chicken incubators. So it was fun to wander around and see what was around the next corner. As a bonus, the entire market was covered, so it was nice to be out of the scorching sun. We wandered around for a couple of hours and bought a few more gifts before it was time to head back home.
We took another taxi back to the hotel and took a break for a while before heading out for the evening. We got a bit of a late start so we had to choose between the reclining Buddha and the Palace and we chose Buddha. We were trying to be good visitors and got dressed up a bit which included dresses for the girls with shirts to cover their shoulders and pants for Peter and I. While this was considerate of us, it was a big mistake because we were scorching hot and nobody else was dressed up at all.
The temple with the reclining Buddha is called Wat Pho and is a very large complex of temples with the reclining buddha being the main attraction. We arrived there at 5:45 and the complex closed at 6:30, so we had to hurry around a bit, but it was really nice to be there late in the day without the throngs of crowds that are typically there.
After Wat Pho it was time for dinner. We haggled with a taxi driver right outside and finally got him down to our price with our favorite tactic of just walking away.
We had to walk down a winding maze of back streets to finally find our dinner spot, but we were glad we did. The spot was right on the water and because we had made a reservation we had a prime table overlooking the river.
In the middle of dinner this couple came by selling something that looked like squid that they would take off the rack and cook before putting it in a net and handing it up to you. We did not partake, but the table next to us did - it certainly was interesting.
After dinner we took a taxi home and crashed in order to get ready for another travel day tomorrow.