I know it seems like all I did in Bangkok is eat. That’s 90% true. For the 10% when I was not eating, I did manage to see some of the sites.
The Grand Palace is the main event. It’s grand and opulent and crowded, very very crowded. I wasn’t expecting so many large tour groups barreling through, elbowing you out of the way with a leading umbrella in hand, but there they were. I channeled my inner Buddha and practiced as much patience as I could muster as I strolled around the grounds packed with so many statues and buildings you couldn’t really capture its grandness in a single photo. Maybe that’s the point. It’s too grand for Instagram, therefore you must visit and experience IRL.
A short stroll from the Grand Palace (yes, we actually could and did walk) is Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha. Strangely no crowds here, where did they all go? Another site that is so grand you just can’t capture on a camera the magnitude of the 150ft long Buddha….but I tried.
The next day we went to one of my favorite temples, Wat Arun. With a beautiful pearly iridescent facade, it’s known to reflect magnificently at sunrise and in the evening when lit up with spotlights. We, of course , didn’t realize this until we arrived at high noon, but still loved it’s structural beauty.
Our final day in Bangkok we decided to buck the temple trend and go visit the Jim Thompson house. For those of you who don’t know, Jim Thompson was a US architect, turned OSS officer during WWII, turned covert CIA agent. After the war he fell in love with Bangkok and decided to make it his home, also falling in love with the hand weaving of silk, a long-neglected industry. He devoted himself to reviving the craft and contributed to the worldwide Thai silk trade. The home he built was constructed by combining six teak buildings representing traditional Thai architecture and were at least two centuries old before being moved to this home. In 1967 Jim Thompson disappeared while visiting Malaysia and no clues have led to understanding what happened to him. This mystery as well as the beauty of his house and silks that continue to be sold under his name made this one of the most serene and memorable places to visit.
All this touring has made me hungry….