SE Asia Trip Series (Day 7): Bangkok Temple Tour + Night Market
02.27.09 — A visit to the Grand Palace was included in our to-do list. Our plan is to go there right after we transfer our things to Lub’d.
We found a note posted in our room door. There was a scheduled pest control exercise that afternoon. Fortunately, it wasn’t started yet when we arrived at the hostel. As soon as we finished fixing our things in our rooms, we headed out to begin our temple tour.
Mosquitoes as pets? Ridiculous.
There are plenty of options on getting to the Grand Palace. There are ordinary buses which pass through the area but the easiest way to get there is by the express boat at the Chao Praya River. To get to the nearest pier from Silom, we can ride the BTS at Sala Daeng Station or Chong Nonsi Station(which are both 10-min walk from Lub’d) then alight at Taksin Station. Taking the BTS would cost us about 20-25 baht each + a 10 minute walk under the scorching heat so we decided to take the cab to the pier.
We told to the taxi our destination and that we plan to visit the Grand Palace. On our way, he told us we cannot make it to the Grand Palace as it closes at around 3pm. He offered to take us to the other temples instead. Nuninuninuni… but we still insisted that he take us to the pier.
After about 15 minutes, the cab driver made a turn to what seemed like a parking lot at the back of a hotel. He stopped in front of a small hut and motioned to us that we have reached our destination. (is this a pier?) We were expecting to see large crowds and a ticketing booth. Though unconvinced, we alighted the cab and I handed him the fare. The trip by the way only cost 50 baht.
We walked towards this small hut and saw two small boats docked on the river side and no ferry boat in sight. A tourist couple came before us and I heard that they were being offered a tour for 1000 baht. After the couple agreed on the tour, I saw one of the staff handed a tip to the cab driver who brought the couple there. (there’s something fishy in here) So I asked the lady staff how much would it cost for the four of us and she replied 1500 baht. I knew at that moment that we were fooled by the cab driver. This was not the passenger pier. So I dragged my friends away from the hut then walked out of the parking lot. We saw our cab driver, still waiting there probably expecting for a tip. We walked past bystanders and asked them for directions to the pier. They told us to turn right on the main road. We walked a little further and voila! there's the Chao Praya Express!
The hut and the two boats I mentioned above
Holy Rosary Church
Tha Chang is the closest pier to the Grand Palace. We passed by a market with stalls selling food, souvenirs and other trinkets.
Street Food at Tha Chiang Market
Manong driver was not lying when he said that the Grand Palace closes at 3pm. It was almost 4pm when we got there so we’re super super late. Youch. Well that only gave us a reason to go back to Bangkok. Haha.
Though we failed to get inside the Grand Palace, we still got one more place to visit – the Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is near the opposite end of the Grand Palace so we walked for another 5 minutes.
Luckily, Wat Pho is open until 6pm so we had the chance to see the reclining Buddha.
Visitors must pay 50 baht to enter the complex. There were still lots of tourists when we arrived including a group of about 30 Filipinos. We decided to have a look around before checking out the Reclining Buddha.
One of the main four Chedis
A small golden buddha
Tourists are required to removed their footwear before entering the temple.
The Reclining Buddha
After touring the Wat Pho, we decided to go back to Silom. Bangkok being known for its notorious traffic condition especially during rush hour, we we’re refused by cabs. And so we decided to take the boat again.
Fortunately, there’s another pier nearby so we didn’t need to go back to Tha Chang. At the Tha Tien pier, there are boats which cross to Wat Arun for only 3 baht.
The boat back to Sathorn was crowded so we weren’t able to get seats. I opted to stay at the back to avoid being sandwiched by other tourists and to have a good view of the Wat Arun.
I was busy taking pictures that I didn’t realize I was standing next to a monk. I secretly took a picture of him.
The Chao Praya River
At Patpong Night Market…
We planned to go to Patpong night market and go back to Suan Lum Night Bazaar again. We took the BTS Skytrain.
Inside the train
We alighted at Chong Nonsi Station. I know, I know we’re in the wrong station. We should have alighted at Sala Daeng which is closer to Patpong.
We made our way to Silom Road then stopped by United Center to look for some snacks. There’s an ice cream kiosk at the ground floor where your ice cream is created the way you want it. For 80 baht, you can get two scoops of “personalized” ice cream.
At Patpong Night Market…
Patpong is not only known for its night market but for the rows of strip clubs with flashing bright neon signs in the area. By 7pm, the clubs were starting to open and people kept on approaching us and showing us menus of erotic shows! P**** Ping Pong, anyone? Yikes.
Just like in Temple Street in HK, there’s not much to look forward to in their night market unless you’re there for the “shows”. I just bought a shirt then we decided to leave the place.
One of the bigger clubs. So vulgar!
We passed by one of the clubs whose doors are half-opened and we saw a pole dancer on top of a table in a 2 pc bikini. Waaaah!
We had a quick dinner at KFC, then headed to Suan Lum for the second time and shopped until midnight.