After a fabulously colourful and comfortable flight with Thai Airways, Mr Silversmith and I stepped out into the heat and hustle of Bangkok! I was instantly overwhelmed by a feeling that I could so easily have missed out on the experience (see last post) and felt so grateful for the opportunity before us - about to experience so many new things. We had made it to Asia, a continent which neither of us had travelled to before. So, without further ado we set about making the most of our four nights in the chaotic colourful city.
We started out by dining at the prophylactically decorated, but nonetheless very pretty Cabbages & Condoms. Best way to follow up a long haul flight... G&T, obviously!
First day trip just had to be - the world's largest market - Chatuchak! Where one can obtain anything and everything from cheap flip flops through to pets and chandeliers. It was crazy, but well worth a visit. It also afforded us our first skytrain experience, which was air conditioned bliss.
|Chatuchak: One of my fave shops - pet clothing! If only I had the tiny dog... Maybe next time!|
Once I'd sated my initial shopping impulse with some market madness we were ready to get cultural and hit the temples! So beautiful and atmospheric, heavily gilded and sparkling, full of ritual and tradition. There are actually thousands of Buddhist temples in Bangkok alone, we travelled the well worn tourist tracks and headed to Wat Arun (the temple of the dawn), Wat Phra Kaew (temple of the most revered buddhist icon in Thailand - the emerald buddha) and Wat Po (temple of the golden reclining buddha and centre of learning for Thai massage).
Mr S was drawn like a fish to water, to the well, watery options available to us. He revelled in the opportunity to travel by boat to the temples and leapt at the chance to take a trip out of the city to Damnoen Saduak, one of the only active floating markets. So, one morning we got up very early indeed and were richly rewarded with a longtail boat trip flying down the canal and witnessing fantastic colourful waterways.
What more can I say for the charms of bangkok? I love a city and this was no exception. There were always gems hidden away on even the least promising of streets. It was where my full blown love affair with sticky rice and mango was founded (thanks to one of my colleagues and a tiny place near Wat Phra Kaew). For anyone considering embracing Bangkok madness I say jump right in with two feet and don't neglect a visit to the legendary backpacker haven that is KhaoSan road for the ultimate challenge - avoiding eager suitmakers and the ultimate reward - street food bliss in the shape of the world's finest Pad Thai (thanks to the beauteous Jen of 2itchy feet fame for this tip).
Just so y'all know, we didn't try any of these though:
Coming up next on SS travelogue - Cambodian culture shock, one of the wonders of the world, Khmer craftiness and more holiday food obsessions ;)