We were preparing to go to the Grand Palace for some sight-seeing and less than 5 mins into the cab ride, we were kick-out by the taxi driver because we refused to go along with his scam. Here are two of the common ones:
1. the driver will show you a coupon and say he will drive you to a place where he can get a “government chop” and get 5 litres of free petrol. But the place is more than likely gift shops where you’ll probably be made to purchase products.
2. the driver will tell you grand palace is not open and offer a tour of the rest of the temples at a low cost. But actually the temples he brings you to visit are not well-known.
From my experience, look for taxis where the drivers are wearing their uniforms (blue button-up). Also, drivers in pink taxis are more honest when quoting a price to an area. Maybe say 150 – 250 baht (depending on distance) compared to others who will quote 400 baht (regardless of distance) and give the common excuse of traffic jams -.-. Anyway, we ended up riding a tuk-tuk to grand palace. If you don’t fancy wearing a long pants/jeans/skirt there, you can just buy a sarong or a pants from the stalls outside the temple. It’ll cost about 100-200 baht. When I say long, I mean bottoms that will reach your ankles and no leggings/tights since they are considered sexy. The guards there didn’t check the footwear of those entering though they are VERY PARTICULAR about you covering up your legs.
We reached the temple at about 9 and it was practically sprawling with troops and troops of tourist invading the area. This picture don’t really show the extent of troop invasion because I waited a while for the crowd to disperse.
Tickets into the temple costs 500 baht (S$20) which was rather expensive. Once I entered the temple grounds, I was awed and pretty much blinded by the number of golden structures in the area. Also, the glare from the sun was not really helping matters and it took awhile for me to “regain” my sight.
The details of the structures there are really impressive.
Here’s a picture of the temple grounds.
If you can notice the highest building with the blue roof top on the top left hand side of the picture, it’s where the emerald buddha is located. I didn’t manage to see the buddha cause there were simply to many people in front of me and it was too difficult to squeeze to the front.
According to the map, this is the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall. Now, only the reception areas of the hall are used to mainly receive foreign ambassadors and to hold state banquets.
Next, we walk 700 metres from the Grand Palace to Wat Pho, one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok. Information from wikipedia: Before the temple was constructed, the area was the site where traditional Thai medicine was taught. With plaques inscribed with medical texts on the temple grounds, UNESCO awarded the temple with the Memory of the World Programme. Haha, cool.
And here’s the reclining buddha ^^ It’s really long though 0.0
After you pass the buddha, you can buy a container of 180 (I think) coins from a stall within the building. Then, you drop 1 coin into each of these containers for luck.
At the end of the temple journey, I was pretty much sweating like siao since we had to cover-up our legs. And when I removed the sarong, I was like ah~ so cooling and free. Lololol.
Next, we went to Terminal 21 for some lunch and shopping. While clothes here are slightly pricier than platinum mall, I still managed to find pretty good deals (maybe same price or 100 baht more) for better quality clothes. If you don’t want to shop here, I think you should still visit the place since they are a lot of opportunities for photography. If you’re not into photography, you can still come here to visit their toilets. Since the toilets at different levels are based on different country themes and they offer a pretty good city view. Haha.
We wanted to head back to the hotel to bathe before meeting the friend of my auntie for dinner. Unfortunately, we were stuck in a traffic jam for a long time and our way through Pratunam market was block due to a fire break-out. It’s quite weird how people will rush to the fire with their phones out to take pictures instead of moving to safety. I only saw one person rushing with a fire extinguisher. I suppose the people there are quite used to these incidents. We ended up walking to Ban Khun Mae restaurant (near Siam Square) for dinner. Super love their chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and the sauce that came with it. Thais really do make one of the best sauces 🙂
When you have the chance, you should really try the roselle tea, iced chinese apricot juice tea and fresh coconut. These drinks are really refreshing and light 😊