Day 4. Linen Cap For Sale in Bangkok

Nearly every trip I manage to lose a hat, today I was successful again. Today was a designated temple and history day, so we plan to see the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Krae (the Emerald Buddha)and the Golden Mount before reassessing the rest of the day as we’re both a bit weary. After leaving the Wat Phra Krae ( Temple of the Emeral Buddha) and the Grand Palace we negotiated a tuk tuk ride with a young female tuk tuk driver for a ride to the Temple of the Golden Mount right near our hotel. It was too hot and too far to walk back in the sweltering moist heat, could only beat her down from 200 baht to 150 baht, but it was cheap. Just after we took off into the Bangkok traffic, the wind blew up and a gust blew through the steaming tuk tuk and took took my linen cap, depositing it in about 4 lanes of traffic. Goodbye cap, it was one I bought in Kilkenny a few years ago.

At Wat Phra Krae in the cap that I dont have any more.

Back to the start, today is Monday so the traffic is back tooting and buzzing down the main road near our hotel. Another nutricious maccas, today TMM flies solo and does the order on the screens, a quick learner he is. The morning is pleasant but has the feel that its going to be really hot and steamy, prophetic forecaster that I am sitting in a sweat soaked shirt.

As we approach the Grand Palace another one of the loitering lurking touts tries to tell us that only Thai people can go in today and we should take take a tuk tuk to some shopping centre he reccommends. You feel that you can never take any help from anyone because there always seems to be some scammer trying to take you away from what you want to do. We thank him kindly for his advice and join the early lineup with a mixed crowd of Thai’s and foreigners, funny that. There are police, sock police, mask police, fan police, uniformed people of all sorts of service, temperature screens, sanitiser stations, all very clean and organised.

The Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha are spectacular, cost to get in is 500 baht ($20) but well worth it. The Emerald Buddha is actually jade and is small compared most Buddhas. We had what we thought was a bottle water but it was actually a Japanese electrolye replacement drink called Pocari Sweat, with a slight grapefruit taste, very nice. We wander for quite a while before getting the earlier mentioned tuk tuk to The Golden Mount.

Outside the Emerald Buddha

Entrance to the Golden Mount is 50 baht, its a high point with a spiral stairway. There are bells everywhere, needless to say TMM is impressed and rings a few including a giant gong about half way up. Theres also an impressive belfrey that he likes the look of, maybe a version of this coming to you soon in Brough Sreet Cobar.

The walk down the Golden Mount is slow and sweaty, its got hotter and hotter, they have misters on everywhere trying to cool visitors down but it just increases the humidity. A short rest at the bottom before TMM thinks he has a route planned to Phanfa Bridge Pier, we are close but he’s got the wrong track, Dr Google tells me so. The Navigator has a competitor for the title of Master of the Wrong Way. But we do make it to the pier.

The next bit is to catch the ferry up to Siam and then retire to the exquisite aircon at the MBK Centre. I love the ferry rides. And, MBK is cool. A KFC lunch with about 3 cups of Fanta to rehydrate, I reckon ive drunk 2 + litres of fluid but pee’d very little, the sweat is running into my eyes, down my arms, everywhere.

A little MBK shopping then, the ferry back and a well earned rest at the hotel before dinner.

We’ve moved from Khao San Road to a street with more and better restaurants, its a little tricky to find but you go down Susie Walking Street off Khao San Road and turn left when you hit the T piece. Dinner is Thi food and then I have a hour foot massage and Dale has a proper massage. I cant stay awake and so at about 10 pm we’re back at the hotel.

We’ve been pretty flat out, my feet and back are killing me, its hot and humid, and I think tomorrow is an easy day, we’ll see.

Ciao from Bangkok – Pauolo.

The Little bells that tingle in the wind at Wat Phra Krae
Gardens and gold
Lighting candle for Tim

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