Day 2 of our Bangkok & Pattaya Trip brought out the Architect in me and my friends. After all, when you’ve studied Architecture for 5 years and more – there are just some places you NEED to visit after spending hours and days studying about them.
Our first stop – apparently, The Grand Palace. It was just a short walk from Khao San Road so we braved the sun. This was a special day (New Year) so the walk was quite peaceful because the main roads were saved off cars to give way to the passengers.
Saw this on our way and immediately noticed the typos. It’s supposed to be “Kumusta” and “Luksong Tinik”. Haha! Thanks for featuring the Philippines though.
Approaching and impressed by the view!
So this is what’s it like upon entering. And a word of caution to future visitors: wear modestly. Sleeveless and shorts / mini skirts are strictly not allowed. These apply to both ladies and gents. For ladies, it’s not necessary to wear long skirts and long sleeves; I wore a sporty ensemble of T-shirt and jeans and they let me in quite easily. There are no restrictions on footwear. Just to be sure, bring along a shawl which is also quite handy to protect your skin from the scorching sun.
Me after successfully passing the outfit and bags checkpoint.
Korean and Chinese tour groups are common here. Found this group particularly outstanding because of the raised stuffed bears instead of the more common flags on sticks.
To enter the Palace itself, you need to pay 500 Baht each adult. There were additional tickets / discounts given for other places but it was too late for us to have actually noticed them.
Upon entering, there’s two things that really stood out in my memory: the golden stupa and the huge crowd! Get a free map so you will get acquainted with the buildings inside the complex.
Pictures speak a thousand words so I’ll leave the space below for some of the images and details:
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, regarded as the most important structure within the Palace.
Shoes off when entering the Temple and there is a secluded area inside where you can sit and pray but no photos are allowed.
We spotted an artist in the act of repainting.
Locals offering and praying.
Guards are on their places in some of the palace’s not-open-to-public areas.
The trip to The Grand Palace is a must to everyone travelling to Bangkok, especially those who know a lot about Asian Architecture. But it would not be the reason why I would return here. it’s just too touristy hence once is good enough…
So off to our next stop – Jim Thompson Museum, as recommended by my friend’s friend.
A Wikipedia entry reads:
James Harrison Wilson “Jim” Thompson, (born 21 March 1906 — disappeared 26 March 1967) was an American businessman who helped revitalise the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. At the time of his disappearance he was one of the most famous Americans living in Asia. Time magazine claimed he “almost singlehanded(ly) saved Thailand’s vital silk industry from extinction”. His disappearance from the Cameron Highlands generated one of the largest land searches in Southeast Asian history, and is one of the most famous mysteries in the region.
Entrance fee was 100 – 15- Baht / adult (not exactly sure as I wasn’t able to keep the receipt but should be around there).
Photos are not allowed inside the house. So I’ll treat you to some overview instead. For design enthusiasts, the tour is nice for you to have ideas on designing homes in tropical countries like Thailand.
After the tour inside the house, we were then allowed to roam around the garden and other public areas.
The making of silk threads from silkworms!
We then went on to watch a disturbing yet meaningful short film about the implications of the rubber industry to the environment as well as showcasing how the spirits guarding the trees were affected.
There’s also an air conditioned souvenir shop below but it’s more on the high-end market so nope!
It was still quite early, and we don’t have any plans anymore. Seeing the sign “free shuttle service to Skytrain station”, we hopped on the free service and learned that the popular MBK mall is just around the corner!
Cool urban art we spotted on our way to MBK.
Arrived to witness a local mini concert / show. Pretty much like what you see in the Philippines.
At MBK, we ate, shopped and bought some groceries. After a quick stroll inside the mall, we headed to their taxi stand to go back to our hotel. The metered taxi is so much cheaper than the tuk tuk! And our word of advise for those travelling in Khao San Road, do not tell them you’re heading to Khao San Road otherwise the drivers will drop you off far from the road itself. Mention a specific landmark so you can save more money and more distance!
Now back at Khao San Road and excited for our Pattaya trip the next day!
We spent the rest of the day in our hotel, and swimming in the pool.
For more of our our Bangkok and Pattaya trip, you may refer to the following posts: