Bangkok – Temples, Markets, and the King

Flying to Bangkok marked the beginning of the Asia trip! After a few days of jet lag, we were ready to explore the fascinating capital of Thailand!

My biggest recommendation for travellers – get off of Khao San Road and explore the real city! For those who don’t know, Khao San Road is the stereotypical party hub for drunk westerners. Bangkok has so much more to offer, including amazing temples, palaces, markets, food, and culture!

Thailand takes Buddhism very seriously, and has many beautiful temples for pilgrims and visitors. Check out the photos below! Even if you’re not Buddhist, the monks and pilgrims are very welcoming to visitors. To be respectful, here are a few tips:

  1. Take off your shoes whenever you see a pile of sandals
  2. Don’t wear clothing that is excessively revealing
  3. Don’t point you feet towards any statues of Buddha or shrines
  4. Use common sense

I loved the fact that many Buddhist people and monks are really nice and welcoming. Do note, however, that scams still do exist. Don’t agree to a tuk-tuk ride that is 40 baht (+/- $2), as you will be taken to a fake jewelry shop to buy “gems.” If this happens, just keep smiling, keep walking, and you’ll be fine!

Make sure that you’re in Bangkok on a weekend to check out the massive Chatuchak market. You MUST check out this 35 acre market just north of Bangkok. You can easily get here by skytrain or metro. The market is massive and has almost everything that you can think of, including amazing food, pets, art, furniture, Thai massages, books, etc. Plan to spend a whole day in this array of activity and craft. Oh, and watch your step around the little bags of fish by the sidewalk (photo below).

I could go on and on about Bangkok, but I don’t want to bore you. I’ll mention one other interesting fact I noticed while in Bangkok. We were at a park in the city, and at 6pm sharp, the Thai King’s national anthem started playing. I looked around and everyone was standing. Respect for the Thai monarch is taken very seriously – so do stand if you find everyone else is. You’ll notice the anthem before any movie in a Thai cinema too.

From Bangkok we ventured to the Thai coast towards the Cambodian border. Onward and forward!

Cheers, Shawn

P.S. This posting is about our Asian trip that started back in November 2015. At the bottom of each Asia trip post, I’ll mention the year of the trip so you don’t get confused with the new travels. Enjoy!

Photos taken by Jon Lang

Asia Trip – 2015

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