A Travellerspoint blog

Bangkok-temples, skyscrapers, trash and street food

The Bangkok Skywalk is atop the country's tallest skyscraper and offers views over the incredibly sprawling city; it's an innovative, modern tourist attraction which gave us a rest from temples

The Bangkok Skywalk is atop the country's tallest skyscraper and offers views over the incredibly sprawling city; it's an innovative, modern tourist attraction which gave us a rest from temples

Wat Traimit features the world's largest solid gold buddha (3 m tall and weighing 5.5 tons); for scale, notice the door frame in the lower left corner

Wat Traimit features the world's largest solid gold buddha (3 m tall and weighing 5.5 tons); for scale, notice the door frame in the lower left corner

The 17th century Wat Arun was my favorite Buddhist temple in Bangkok with its Gaudi-like design; the 80 meter spire used to be the tallest structure in the city until the advent of the modern skyscraper

The 17th century Wat Arun was my favorite Buddhist temple in Bangkok with its Gaudi-like design; the 80 meter spire used to be the tallest structure in the city until the advent of the modern skyscraper

Loha Prasat, aka the Metal Castle, is a Buddhist temple with 37 metal spires representing the 37 Buddhist virtues built in 1846; it was very peaceful without many tourists and the view from the top was impressive

Loha Prasat, aka the Metal Castle, is a Buddhist temple with 37 metal spires representing the 37 Buddhist virtues built in 1846; it was very peaceful without many tourists and the view from the top was impressive

The last night of our month-long tour; this was the best tour group I've ever traveled with!

The last night of our month-long tour; this was the best tour group I've ever traveled with!

More than one hundred thousand people use the longboats to travel around the city's canals daily; we had an eye-opening journey seeing all sorts of buildings along the way

More than one hundred thousand people use the longboats to travel around the city's canals daily; we had an eye-opening journey seeing all sorts of buildings along the way

Wat Traimit at sunset from the roof of our hotel; the air pollution contributes to some sensational sunsets

Wat Traimit at sunset from the roof of our hotel; the air pollution contributes to some sensational sunsets

The best time to visit Bangkok is the cool season (Nov-Feb) which is also the dry season; cool is used relatively though since highs are only in the lower 90s!

The best time to visit Bangkok is the cool season (Nov-Feb) which is also the dry season; cool is used relatively though since highs are only in the lower 90s!

The 78 story King Power building reminds me of Jenga; the building is named for the Thai company which runs the duty free stores at airports

The 78 story King Power building reminds me of Jenga; the building is named for the Thai company which runs the duty free stores at airports

The house of Jim Thompson, an American entrepreneur credited with reviving the silk textile industry in Thailand, is now a museum showcasing his art collection; Thompson disappeared without a clue in 1967

The house of Jim Thompson, an American entrepreneur credited with reviving the silk textile industry in Thailand, is now a museum showcasing his art collection; Thompson disappeared without a clue in 1967

The 19th century Temple of the Golden Mount, on a man-made hill, has become a symbol of Bangkok; we found the taxi drivers here consistently trying to rip-off tourists so we walked everywhere

The 19th century Temple of the Golden Mount, on a man-made hill, has become a symbol of Bangkok; we found the taxi drivers here consistently trying to rip-off tourists so we walked everywhere

Hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil; Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure

Hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil; Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure

An annual ceremony used to take place on this Great Swing whereby young men would try to swing high enough to get a sack of gold tied to a pole about 75 feet in the air; the ceremony was banned in the 1930s after many deaths

An annual ceremony used to take place on this Great Swing whereby young men would try to swing high enough to get a sack of gold tied to a pole about 75 feet in the air; the ceremony was banned in the 1930s after many deaths

Loha Prasat was erected in a very unusual way with multiple concentric square levels built on geometrically aligned pillars; it is one of three such structures ever built and the only one remaining

Loha Prasat was erected in a very unusual way with multiple concentric square levels built on geometrically aligned pillars; it is one of three such structures ever built and the only one remaining

The colored mosaic pieces at Wat Arun are Chinese porcelain and create a gorgeous work of art; the temple was a popular place for photographers and just across the river from the Royal Palace

The colored mosaic pieces at Wat Arun are Chinese porcelain and create a gorgeous work of art; the temple was a popular place for photographers and just across the river from the Royal Palace

Bangkok in 1960 had 193 days at or above 90 degrees yet in 2018, Bangkok had 276 days at or above 90 degrees; that's way too hot for me and doesn't even add in the Houston-like humidity

Bangkok in 1960 had 193 days at or above 90 degrees yet in 2018, Bangkok had 276 days at or above 90 degrees; that's way too hot for me and doesn't even add in the Houston-like humidity

The Democracy Monument was built in 1939 to celebrate the 1932 coup that ended the 150 year absolute monarchy; it was a challenge to consume enough liquids to make up for the sweat constantly dripping off me

The Democracy Monument was built in 1939 to celebrate the 1932 coup that ended the 150 year absolute monarchy; it was a challenge to consume enough liquids to make up for the sweat constantly dripping off me

The Rama VIII Bridge has a main span of 980 ft, and was one of the world's largest asymmetrical cable-stayed bridges at the time of its completion in 2002; traffic congestion is severe trying to cross the Chao Phraya River

The Rama VIII Bridge has a main span of 980 ft, and was one of the world's largest asymmetrical cable-stayed bridges at the time of its completion in 2002; traffic congestion is severe trying to cross the Chao Phraya River

This city of more than 10 million people has little mass transit so most people get around by walking or motorcycle; the city does not smell good with way too much trash, both in town and in the waters

This city of more than 10 million people has little mass transit so most people get around by walking or motorcycle; the city does not smell good with way too much trash, both in town and in the waters

This stock photo was the best I could find to show the enormity of the Grand Palace complex; it is Bangkok's most popular tourist attraction and a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists

This stock photo was the best I could find to show the enormity of the Grand Palace complex; it is Bangkok's most popular tourist attraction and a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists

The Royal Pantheon was built in 1855 to house the Emerald Buddha by Rama IV; Rama V decided it was wasn't big enough for a royal congregation and built the current Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Royal Pantheon was built in 1855 to house the Emerald Buddha by Rama IV; Rama V decided it was wasn't big enough for a royal congregation and built the current Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The world's largest reclining Buddha is the highlight of Wat Pho; this temple also has the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand (no easy feat!)

The world's largest reclining Buddha is the highlight of Wat Pho; this temple also has the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand (no easy feat!)

Monitor lizards are a common sight in Bangkok; they can grow to 10 feet and have become a significant problem in parts of the city

Monitor lizards are a common sight in Bangkok; they can grow to 10 feet and have become a significant problem in parts of the city

The temple grounds at Wat Pho contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum

The temple grounds at Wat Pho contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum

Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand; the 234 acre complex has more than 100 buildings with 200 years of royal history

Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand; the 234 acre complex has more than 100 buildings with 200 years of royal history

The view from our hotel room  shows Central Station at the left where our train left from; at night, the city is beautiful and the station lit with rotating neon colors

The view from our hotel room shows Central Station at the left where our train left from; at night, the city is beautiful and the station lit with rotating neon colors

The feet of the 46 meter long reclining Buddha at Wat Pho are amazingly ornate featuring inlaid mother-of-pearl; Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple

The feet of the 46 meter long reclining Buddha at Wat Pho are amazingly ornate featuring inlaid mother-of-pearl; Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple

Wat Pho was intended to serve as a place of education for the general public; the murals on the walls of the buildings tell important Buddhist stories

Wat Pho was intended to serve as a place of education for the general public; the murals on the walls of the buildings tell important Buddhist stories

Jonathan and I were joined by 2 Canadian couples, a woman from London, a man from Cologne, a woman from the Sierra foothills in California and our tour guide from Cambodia

Jonathan and I were joined by 2 Canadian couples, a woman from London, a man from Cologne, a woman from the Sierra foothills in California and our tour guide from Cambodia

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is generally believed to have been crafted in 14th-century Thailand; men must wear long pants and sleeved shirts while women must wear long skirts and have their shoulders covered

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is generally believed to have been crafted in 14th-century Thailand; men must wear long pants and sleeved shirts while women must wear long skirts and have their shoulders covered

While the Thai king no longer lives in the Grand Palace, a large part of the complex is reserved for royal residences and ceremonies and is off-limits to tourists

While the Thai king no longer lives in the Grand Palace, a large part of the complex is reserved for royal residences and ceremonies and is off-limits to tourists

The Temple of Emerald Buddha was completed in 1784, but like most other Thai temples, looks as if it could have been built yesterday

The Temple of Emerald Buddha was completed in 1784, but like most other Thai temples, looks as if it could have been built yesterday

Lumphini Park is the largest park in the city and was named for the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal; one of the most disturbing elements of the city is the huge number of stray dogs (estimated at 300,000 )

Lumphini Park is the largest park in the city and was named for the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal; one of the most disturbing elements of the city is the huge number of stray dogs (estimated at 300,000+)

Despite hundreds of buildings in the Grand Palace complex there are only 2 that tourists can enter; with hordes of tourists everywhere, it feels like a zoo or Disneyworld and kind of ruins the experience

Despite hundreds of buildings in the Grand Palace complex there are only 2 that tourists can enter; with hordes of tourists everywhere, it feels like a zoo or Disneyworld and kind of ruins the experience

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:43

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