It’s been one week since I packed my backpack and left Norway. This is the first time I’ve travelled with a friend to Thailand. Since this is Camilla’s first time as well, we set out to explore this grand city together. As with any major life changes, it can take it’s toll on the body and the mind. Combine that with fatigue and lack of sleep, we spent the first two days on this continent sleeping. When you are traveling long term, you can afford yourself two days of rest.
I finally have my laptop back. Let the blogging begin! Here’s what I’ve been up to this first week in Bangkok.
The Grand Palace was a nice experience, the architecture and the design was beautiful. It’s a-must see for anyone coming here, but with most places recommended, the crowd will be huge. Be prepared to come before the temple opens, as it will just get more hectic throughout the day. Combine the heat with all the visitors, add a little bit of claustrophobia, the experience can get stressful. At least for me it was a struggle, therefore paying 500 bath was not worth it. Maybe if it was closed off for a day without all the people, I would enjoy it more. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful palace.
(There were a hoard of Chinese tourists trying to squeeze in for a group photo, and the Chinese guy taking our picture is trying to hold them off. Me and Camilla couldn’t stop laughing)
This golden hilltop is a 5 minute drive from The Grand Palace. To reach the top of the temple there are some stairs to climb. We expected it would take one hour. Being Norwegians, we are used to hikes in the mountains. It only took 10 minutes to reach the top. The start of the stairs felt like a tropical garden. Decorated with waterfalls and buddha sculptures, giving a nice tranquility to the mind. The 360 degree view over the city was amazing. Everyone should come here, not just for the view but for the experience of giving prayer.
In the Grand Palace, the prayer area in the temple is closed off for non-thais. Therefore I was thrilled when I could do it here. With a incense, a candle and a flower in my hand, I was ready to say my prayer.
PS: remember to take off your shoes, never point your toes toward the buddha, and dress appropriately. If in doubt just do what the locals do.
Before stepping out of the temple, we bought each a golden leaf to hang in the trees. The leafs are only 40 bath each, and you write whatever you feel like on them. Remember to “wai” after you hang it up. “Wai” means to fold your hand.
The museum didn’t feel like a typical museum, as you had to walk from one building to the next. Walking through gardens with lush green plants, it felt more like a palace. Filled with beautiful sculptures and stone carvings of buddha statues. It was really cool to see the influence from other asian countries.
In Norway we don’t learn about Thai history in school, or much of asia for that matter. Ever since I decided to pursue my dream, I’ve had this urge to rediscover my asian heritage. There is a lot of buddhist pilgrimage sites around in Asia, and I can’t wait to explore.
The great thing about traveling with someone else, is that you get to do stuff you normally wouldn’t. Camilla’s favourite thing when visiting a city, is hitting up the museum of contemporary art. “Museums are great, but the contemporary ones are easier to identify with.”
Everyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with unicorns. When I first saw the video on Facebook about this café, my inner child screamed. It looked so amazing! Located in Sukhumvit 10, not far from the BTS. The concept is any unicorn lovers dream. But in the midst of all the pink, it felt kinda childish. There were just a little too much going on. Also it felt a bit dirty, like the place hadn’t been cleaned in a while. Maybe if they focused more on the food, and less on filling the place with different toys, it would be more enjoyable. All in all, if you love unicorns and have some time to kill in Bangkok, you should take the trip.
We arrived the city of Ayutthaya today. Ayutthaya is the old town of Thailand, with lots of beautiful temples from the Khmer Empire. This weekend will be spent soaking in buddhist history, temples and relaxing by the pool. Now I’m gonna drag my friend out for some food hunting! Have a great weekend everyone.