After four days of strolling through shopping centers, markets, appointments with tailors, we thought it was time for some sightseeing in Bangkok. Not that we were not interested in seeing various Wats or more outdoor markets, but it was simply too hot!
The only place we mastered was the Grand Palace and temple of with the famous Emerald Buddha. Unfortunately, the place only opens at 08:30 am and even then, it was already hot, hot, hot. Gilles had to borrow pants because his were only 3/4 lengths. Luckily, Heidi had brought a T-shirt, since sleeveless shirts also keep you outside. But “decent” clothes can be borrowed for free and nobody was sent away.
Heidi, who had visited the Grand Palace 22 years ago, was surprised how new and shiny it looked, a lot flashier than what she remembered. Considering it was built in 1782, the golden Stupa sparkled in the sun and the glass mosaic glittered. Incredible! Well, a tour guide finally confided that the whole place had undergone intensive renovation which only finished last summer. The reason for the makeup was the king’s 80th birthday and another event we do not remember. So aren’t we lucky? No ugly scaffoldings hampered our view of these glistening buildings. On top of that, a perfectly blue sky helped us to produce photos that are almost unreal.
Who scheduled the opening hours should be tarred and feathered, 08:30am to 03:30 pm. Your only chance to get a bit of an unobstructed view is to arrive before 08:30 am and properly dressed so you do not waste time filling out forms and changing.
We never made it to Wat Arun, which is a shame! The temple itself is very spectacular but the view from the top is unbeatable. All other views from high up are usually expensive hotel bars, which have a strict dress code.