We have just returned to our hotel in Pattaya after about three days and two nights in Bangkok. I must say I am exhausted but found myself very intrigued with the city. Upon entering Bangkok I first saw it as most any other city I know, say Atlanta for example. It was a little industrial with plenty of shopping and buildings galore. However as we got deeper and deeper in the city its true colors emerged. You see, Bangkok is a wonderful mashup of lush tropical plants and gardens mixed with worn, seedy looking architecture. The city is a labyrinth of streets and alleyways with people, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, taxis, etc. whizzing back and forth throughout in a dizzying manner. On ever corner you will find street vendors with every food or product available for purchase. A familiar 7-11 minimart is seen dotted down each street almost every mile. The city is whirling with energy. I honestly don’t believe I could ever really drive in Bangkok if I lived there and would feel more comfortable taking public transit. The roads are just insane! Once we checked into our hotel were able to relax and settle in a little in preparation of the days activities to follow the next morning.
After a good night’s rest we gathered our things and set out for a “Klong Tour” of the waterways of Bangkok. We got into the longboat right next to a giant temple called Wat Arun or, “Temple of the Dawn”. All of us hopped in and journeyed our way through the weaving and winding waterways of this city. This boat ride provided a wonderful vantage point of daily life for many locals. They could be seen doing the days laundry or even swimming and playing in the canal. There were large lizards, bearded dragons I believe, sun bathing on the sides of the waterways. Our boat driver stopped off at one point to allow us to toss bread into the water which brought hundreds of large fish to the surface. Once this tour returned back to Wat Arun, we walked around taking in the sights. Lush beautiful gardens surround this huge ornate temple. We walked around a smaller temple next to Wat Arun which was surrounded with golden buddhas. Dazzling colors and ornate crafting of this temple was impressive. The smells of incense and sounds of traditional music could be heard. We did not completely enter the temple as we were not dressed appropriately. Women and men must cover their knees and elbows when entering and we arrived with shorts and t-shirts. I must say this experience was amazing and I look forward to the many more we will see soon!