After such a whirlwind first day in Bangkok, my new friend Ellie and I decided it was time to visit The Grand Palace – which is rated the number 1 thing to do in Thailand.
Let me start by saying this. The Grand Palace is mesmerizing to view. It’s the former home to the Thai King, royal court, and administrative seat of government for roughly 150 years – and it certainly reflects that in both size and grandeur. It’s not just the Grand Palace on the grounds, but also a temple called Wat Phra Kaew ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddah’. I know that this temple is the holiest site in Thailand, yes, the structures and temples are gorgeous – but the throngs upon throngs of tourists make the entire experience absolutely horrendous.
The pushing, shoving, and throng of umbrellas that bump you in the face was just overwhelming. Pair that with the heat and hustle of The Grand Palace, and the entire affair seems more like a Disney attraction than a holy shrine. I wouldn’t ever attempt to go back (unlike the two temples from yesterday), and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else either.
Luckily, our adventure after the Grand Palace was rather pleasant. Ellie had to get her phone fixed, so we ventured to the MBK shopping mall. I know a mall sounds a bit cliche as well, but I was blown away. It was a mix of an indoor flea market, a grocery store, and designer stores all balled together in a six story building. Definitely fun to walk around, to bargain, and to go to their food court that takes up an entire floor.
I was really tired and jet lagged by the end of the day, so just hung out at our hostel – they had a beer pong tournament…and I lost in the first round. 5 years ago, I’d be pissed. Now I was happy to have an excuse to sneak off for some sleep!
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my two friends from college, Megan and Bridgette, joining me in Thailand and heading to Chiang Mai!