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First Day in Bangkok

May 2, 2023

After a terrific night’s sleep, I am totally acclimated to the time change. But adjusting to the enervating heat is something else entirely. When Barbara and I set out this morning, the air temperature was 85, but the “feels like“ temp was 95!

We managed a short trip on the metro with the intent to visit the Royal Palace, but were persuaded by an enterprising local to get there by tuktuk and see some other sites along the way. We breezed quickly through the Wat Indharaviharn with its enormous Standing Buddha — 32 meters tall. This is only a third class wat, but the Marble Temple, our next stop, is one of the city’s most beautiful and popular with visitors. Its steeply pitched layered roof lines are intricately tiled, with graceful finials reaching heavenward. Smaller outbuildings are covered with intricately carved Carrara marble trimmed in gold.

(I can’t seem to upload the Standing Buddha image, but he’s not that handsome anyway.)

Wat Saket, home to the Lucky Buddha, is some 700 years old; people leave tributes asking him to fulfill their wishes. I asked the attendant there how many wats (temples) there are in Bangkok, and was surprised to learn there are 800; but even more astonishingly, there are 28,000 in all of Thailand!

The heat was really getting to Barbara, so we asked our driver to take us to the Royal Palace, which was where we wanted to go in the first place, so we could wrap up our tour. We learned to our dismay that this final stop was where he would leave us — not back to where we started our tour. We were able to cool off in a sort of underground auditorium that seemed to be where tour groups gathered. Once we headed for the entry, however, I was busted for wearing cropped pants, so that was that. (The guidebooks caution not to wear shorts, sleeveless shirts or sandals, nothing about crops.) We caught a different tuktuk back to the Banyan Tree Hotel, our little oasis away from the frenetic city streets, and enjoyed a lovely lunch.

The rest of our traveling companions are arriving late tonight; hopefully we’ll have better sightseeing luck tomorrow, and I’ll figure out why I’m having trouble uploading images.

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  1. The temple is beautiful and the symmetry makes it so pleasing to the eye. I did google the Standing Buddha to satisfy my curiosity and to see the size. I’m looking forward to you figuring out the tech to upload more of your fabulous photos.

  2. John permalink

    Aren’t cropped pants just above the ankle? What’s wrong with exposed ankles?

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