Continuing my earlier report with Part 2
Day 2 > Wat goes up, must come down
After a good night's sleep, we woke up all fresh and re-energised. It also helped that the hotel breakfast had a sumptuous buffet spread to fuel us up. We planned to visit at least two temples and Yaowarat Road to stock up on Bangkok's famous pork floss sticks. The latter, though humble, is a high-demand item in S'pore, and it is absolutely critical for anyone returning from Bangkok to come back with those. We took the BTS from Ratchadamri to Sapan Taksin, and proceeded to the public pier, and there were several boats coming and going. We had some initial difficulty locating the public pier as there were 3 there, and there weren't any signs. Through local help, we eventually found out and were able to join the queue for the public boat, which flies the orange flag. We boarded the very crowded boat, and it was an absolute thrill for the children who were riding so close to the water. We stopped at pier N8 and took the interchange boat to Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, on the opposite bank. Once there, we entered the monastery to pray to Buddha, and sought blessings from a monk. Thereafter, we headed to climb the tower, or prang. Do note that the stairs are steep and narrow, so at certain points, you need to climb sideways. But not to worry, the railings at the side will keep you steady. Those who made it to the top level will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the Chao Phraya river, and the surrounding areas. The walkways at the top of tower are very narrow, so it's important to walk in single file. We soaked up as much of the scenery as possible before heading back to ground. We took the interchange boat back to the N8 pier. Although our original plan included Wat Po, unfortunately, the Bangkok heat was taking its toll on the children, and they started to whine. As it was getting to lunch, we took a taxi to Yaowarat Road. Lunch was in a Chinese restaurant, and the children were intrigued to find coca-cola in glass bottles. The wife again took charge after lunch, so we marched along Yaowarat looking for the Lin Zhen Xiang. We found one near the restaurant (thank goodness!), so we loaded up on the pork floss sticks. Once that was done, we hiked to Wat Trimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. There are two temples at Wat Trimit, and the Golden Buddha statue is found on the fourth level of the newer building, which also houses the Yaowarat Heritage Centre on the second level. We again paid our respects to the Golden Buddha, made our donations, and threw coins into the giant wishing urn. The new temple complex boasts amazing architecture, and you must remember to take as many photos of the exterior. There was one more place to visit, which was the historic Hua Lamphong Railway Station, which is now nearly a century old. The building had not changed a bit since I last visited 10 years ago. From Hua Lamphong, we took the MRT to Silom, then hopped over to the BTS ride back to Ratchadamri. Then it was off to the pool once more to cool off. Dinner was the CentralWorld food court, followed by more shopping, then it was back to the hotel. After the children were tucked in, I made my way on foot to the Baiyoke Sky for my "must-do" of the trip, a visit to revolving viewing gallery at the top of Baiyoke Sky. One thing I observed was that the same bustling streets which I walked at 8pm suddenly become sedate once it was past 10pm, as most street vendors have packed up, leaving only the few hardy ones. The nearer I got to Baiyoke Tower, the quieter the streets became. Eventually, I made my way to the lobby, and paid THB300 for my entry ticket to the revolving viewing gallery on the 88th floor. The entry also includes one drink at the Sky Bar. Despite an exhausting walk from my hotel to Baiyoke, the glorious view of the Bangkok nightscape more than makes up for the effort. And when I say revolving, it's really revolving, as the platform underneath rotates you round and round, ie, you don't need to walk. Needless to say, I took as many pictures as I could. Then, it was off for a drink at the Sky Bar, and more photos. Before I left, it was one more visit to the viewing gallery, by which then, it has stopped revolving. Again, I took as many photos as I could before the security guys ushered me out, which was then midnight. The Baiyoke concierge advised that taxis running at this time operates on a negotiated rate. I could hike back to my hotel or spend a bit more on a taxi. I opted for the latter as I wasn't in the mood for another long walk in the Bangkok humidity or take a chance in a new city. I managed to get a taxi to take me back to my hotel for THB150. Unlike Hong Kong which still hums past midnight, most of Bangkok is eerily quiet. I made my way back, so after a good bath, it was off to bed, tired but satisfied.
That's all for now. I'll be back with others soon :)