Disqus for Avec Amber

Travel Log: Bangkok, Thailand Part 2

I apologize for my infrequent posts these last two weeks.  After we returned from our amazing Southeast Asia trip, I transitioned into a new role at my current company.  I am so excited about the opportunity to learn a new area of the business with a whole new set of responsibilities, but it means long days and little time to even think about blogging.  However, I will do my best to continue posting travel logs over the next couple of weeks and today I want to share our second day in Bangkok.  You can read about our first day in Bangkok here, when we visited the Golden Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and Wat Arun.  The second day we headed to Wat Pho to see the huge reclining Buddha, then rode the ferry down the river for drinks at the Mandarin Oriental hotel before heading to the airport to catch our next flight.  The weather was absolutely perfect: 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) and sunny with moderate humidity.  My outfit for this day consisted of a maxi skirt and long-sleeved shirt to be respectful visiting the temples, comfy lightweight flats, a crossbody bag, and aviator sunglasses.  Please read on for photos and more details of our day.

 Skirt: Caslon "Convertible Maxi Skirt" in black/white stripe (available in petite! I'm wearing a petite XS), $48 at Nordstrom here
Tee: "Long-Sleeved Jersey Top" in black (available in six other colors), $12.95 at H&M here
Shoes: Kendall & Kylie for Madden Girl "Poppyy Espadrille Flat" in gold/black (available in five other colors), $49.95 at Nordstrom here
Crossbody Bag:Vince Camuto "Robyn Crossbody Bag" in black, see available colors for $228 at Macys here
Sunglasses: Michael Michael Kors "Sicily" aviator in gold/dune, $69.50 at Amazon here

 

Entry into Wat Pho costs 100 baht, which gives you access to walk around the entire complex (approximately 20 acres).  The outer courtyards contain groups of structures called chedis or stupas with incredible ceramic and tile detail.  This close-up shot shows gives you an idea of the level of effort involved - there are so many tiny pieces!

Full view of the impressive chedis.

 Doorways in Wat Pho are flanked by stone guardians of varying sizes.  My favorites were these little lions that look like they are ready to play.
 
Wat Pho is said to have more Buddha statues than any other temple in Thailand.  I believe that statement, after seeing rows of these golden Buddhas on the grounds.

 The reclining Buddha is the largest Buddha in Thailand, measuring an impressive 46 meters long (~150 feet) and 15 meters high (~50 feet).  This Buddha is so large that the temple it lays in was built around it!  When you first walk in, you look up and this is the initial glimpse you get of the Reclining Buddha.  A massive, peaceful face and look at the detail on the pillow!

 Here is a full-length view of the Reclining Buddha from his feet.  Those feet have mother of pearl inlay and are decorated with 108 auspicious lák·sà·nà, or characteristics of a Buddha. 

Here is the other side of the buddha, showing more of the detail on his feet.  The fact that the building was constructed around this Buddha means that it's hard to get a good full photo - the room is pretty narrow on either side and you basically just walk around it and out the other side.

 Behind the Buddha you will find the 108 "auspicious bowls." You can "donate" 20 baht ($0.61 USD) to the temple for a cup of coins to join in this tradition.  The idea is that you walk along, dropping coins in each bowl and the goal is to run out of coins exactly at the last bowl.  That's ultimate good luck.

 After viewing the Reclining Buddha, we walked through the rest of the grounds before heading back out.  Wat Pho is also the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, with an on-site school.  You can book an appointment with one of the students, and it's quite a bit cheaper than other parts of the city.  This photos is of one of the ornate gates with large Chinese stone guardians.  Notice the sleeping pup on the right side?  What a cute little guy.

After our tour of Wat Pho, we walked to the river to catch the Chao Phraya Express Ferry down to the Mandarin Oriental.  This ferry is a fun and affordable way to see some Bangkok landmarks and life along the river, as the cost is roughly 10-15 baht for a one-way journey and boats arrive every 20 minutes or so.

There are ten stops along the river to choose from, including the Golden Palace where we jumped on board.  It can seem a little hectic, but you just need to read the pier signs as the boat pulls up in order to make sure you jump off at the right point.  We rode the ferry all the way down to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel stop.

Here you can see the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  We had to stop here because the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is often rated the best hotel in the world.  Not just Asia, number one in the world.  It certainly is beautifully designed.

We went outside to the terrace overlooking the river and enjoyed drinks as well as the lovely view.  Relaxing at the Mandarin Oriental was a wonderful way to spend our final few hours in Bangkok, but then we had to head back to our hotel (the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong - also lovely!)
  to check out and taxi to the airport for our next stop: Koh Samui! 

I hope you enjoyed these photos and learned a bit more about Bangkok.  Please stay tuned for details on Koh Samui, as well as the rest of our journey.  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me, On the Daily Express, and Rhea, Et Cetera.

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