What to visit in Bangkok
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We arrive at the train station of Bangkok on February 27th at 8.30 pm. The train from Ayutthaya to Bangkok costs us 15 Baths or about 40 cents. Virtually nothing. Duration of the trip: 1 hour and 40 min.
From the station, we can reach our hostel "Khaosan Lovers Hostel" by negotiating the price with a tuk-tuk: 140 Baths - 20 min.
We pay for the hostel 140 Baths per night in a female 8-bed dormitory with breakfast included. It is very clean, quiet and perfectly located because it is near the main temples, night market and nightlife of Khaosan road.
Here is a list of the fascinating temples to visit in Bangkok:
Grand Palace: a complex that occupies an area of 1.5 square kilometres and includes buildings that date back to the foundation of Bangkok. Other buildings, on the other hand, are of more recent construction although respecting the rules of classical Thai architecture. Moreover, these constructions are at the same time symbols of both temporal and spiritual power. Currently the complex is no longer the residence of the King's family, which has moved to the Palace of Chitralada, but in it still, take place the most important political and institutional events.
In the area of the Royal Palace stands the Wat Phra Kaew better known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was the first building built in Bangkok by Rama I in 1782 as an imitation of the homonymous royal temple of Ayutthaya. It is the only temple among the almost 30,000 existing in Thailand where no monks live. Nowadays this building is visited by many tourists, especially for the Emerald Buddha, about 75 cm tall, made from a single block of jade and called "emerald" simply for its colour. The origin is not well known: the first origins date back to 1434 when he was in Chiang Rai; subsequently, it passed into the hands of Laos and in 1784 it was placed where it is today. The statue wears clothes and jewels according to the seasons; the change takes place 3 times a year with an important ceremony where the King and the royal family are also present. The entrance fee for the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is 500 Baths or 13 €. Surely fantastic work that is different from the structures seen so far, but the cost of admission compared to last year is duplicated and it seems a bit 'too much.
Near the Royal Palace stands the Wat Phra Cettuphon, better known as Wat Poh or as a Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It is an older temple in Bangkok: the original building dates back to the sixteenth century and is therefore prior to the foundation of the city (1782). This building houses the statue of the Lying Buddha (erected in 1832): all covered with golden leaves, 46 m long and 15 m high. The soles of the feet are of mother-of-pearl and the 108 auspicious signs are engraved on it. In the courtyard, you can also admire 1000 Buddha statues from Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.
On the other side of the Chao Phraya River is another beautiful temple: the Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). This temple lost importance when the royal residence was taken to the other side of the river until it was noticed by Rama II who decided to enlarge it and raise the central tower from 15 m to 104 m. However, the project did not go well because the ground was too soft. Subsequently, during the reign of Rama III, inverted vessels were placed as a base that became a kind of floating platform. The great stupa is covered with pieces of Chinese porcelain. At the base of the temple, there are instead 4 niches in which the Buddha is represented in the essential moments of his earthly existence: birth, meditation, preaching and death. In order to reach this last temple, we take a small boat for only 4 Baths while the entrance to the temple is 50 Baths.
We recommend visiting these three temples in at least 2 days, especially if you decide to do so by walking from one side to the other. You will notice that the heat and the strong humidity will slow you down a bit. Moreover, if you decide to use public transportation to move around the city, remember to arm yourself with a lot of patience since there are no fixed schedules nor will there be someone able to give information consistent with each other. So it is convenient to rely on google maps and people's help. The price of the regular bus without air conditioning varies from 7 to 9 Baths, while the one with air conditioning varies from 15 to 18 Baths.
To find out what else we saw in Bangkok, we invite you to read the following article https://www.marsontheroad.com/en/destinazioni/65/bangkok-and-the-charm-of-its-markets