After next to nothing yesterday I was determined to see more of Bangkok today. The Holiday Inn is quite near the river which makes it convenient to catch a ferry to some of the main sights. One of these is the Wat Pho temple, currently the number one attraction in Bangkok according to TripAdvisor. This is a really nice Buddhist complex. Wat Pho is most famous for its Temple of the Reclining Buddha but there’s plenty of other interesting structures to see. The reclining Buddha itself is spectacular. It’s another one of those things that you have to see with your own eyes. A photo doesn’t capture the sheer scale of the Buddha, which stands at 15 metres high and 46 metres in length (or almost half the length of a football pitch). It was actually difficult to fit everything into a photograph from inside the temple.
A short distance along the road from Wat Pho is the Grand Palace. I’m not a huge royal palace fan so was in two minds about whether to go in. However my mind was made up when I realised that I may not even be allowed in. Outside the palace were a lot of people dressed in black, presumably to commemorate the death of the King. It may not have been appropriate for me to go inside wearing my yellow t-shirt and green shorts so I decided to give it a miss.
Another temple that I liked the look of in the guidebook was Wat Saket or the Golden Mount Temple. This one is slightly of the beaten track as it’s not really near the Skytrain, underground or ferry. On a positive note though it also wasn’t very crowded. Wat Saket has a really nice hilltop location. There’s a fair few steps to walk up but you are then rewarded with decent views of the city.
On the way back into the city centre I passed the Giant Swing. Now it’s just a bit of a landmark on a traffic junction but back in the day it was used for some sort of Brahmin religious swing ceremony. This activity was abolished in 1935 for health and safety reasons. Judging by some of the things that I’ve seen in 2017 Thailand, for something to have been deemed dangerous back then, it must have been fairly treacherous!