We decided to head to the Grand Palace, the number one thing to see in Bangkok, according to TripAdvisor. The trains here, whilst not complicated, are not as simple or cheap as China. Here the lines are owned by different companies so changing lines often involves a long walk to a nearby station and a second ticket machine.
We emerged onto a street where a ‘helpful’ taxi driver insisted we listen to his advice. He tells us that the Palace is closed for prayers for the next hour but he would kindly take us to the pier for a boat ride instead, bringing us back to the Palace at a more aroriate time. In all our travels, taxi drivers tend to be the least honourable people when you’re a tourist. I don’t mind when they are actually offering you something in return for your money, sometimes getting in a tuk tuk will result in an awesome adenture that ony local knowledge can provide. However, once in Ho Chi Minh City, we had one switch out a 200000 dong note for a 20000 note. That’s just outright robbery, but I learned to always count out money when you pay. In the Caribbean they show you a picture of a tranquil, empty beach and promise take you there. They actually take you to a large resort where you have to pay for a sun lounger, and the driver gets a kick back for delivering you. A guys got to make a living but at least be upfront about it.
Around Wat Pho there are a host of other things going on. We saw one guy getting a hot oil massage on his back, provided by another guys feet. There were regular massages and the slightly more bizarre hammer and chisel massages that look horrendous. The whole site is worth a look rom the statues with top hats to the beautiful reclining Buddha itself. Inside that hall you can purchase coins to drop into a series of pots. I believe it is considered lucky to do so. It must provide a great deal of donated money to the temple as people were lining up to parcipitate, that can only be a good thing.
We were still tired and catching up with ourselves so we called it a day and sauntered back to the hotel, stopping off for a katsu curry on the way, continuing our trend of sampling different interprepatations of foods that belong to a different nation to the one we are in. Also, we love Japanese food.