Phra Pathom Chedi in Nathon Pathom, the tallest Buddhist tower in the world. Taken in Thailand on the 17th of February with a Nikon D200 and a 18-200mm lens. Part of the Thailand Chronicles Series.
In retrospect, it was almost comical. Phra Pathom Chedi does not have a 127m tall Buddha, but a structure, which is the tallest Buddhist monument in the world.
Ah well, what can you do?
We woke up at around 9AM and started to get ready. We hopped into the shower and I took the time to blog a bit before we left for the monument. We took a cab, which cost us 143BHT to the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. Ironically, the bus to Nathon Pathom only cost us 35BHT each. We were the only foreigners on board.
The name air-con bus is a bit deceptive. It was still hot on board, but not that hot that you sweated like a pig. Still, it was a nice cheap way of getting to our destination. We took the #78 bus, but we could have taken the #997 or #83 bus as well.
The trek went by pretty quickly. I was amazed to see how the Thai take pleasure in their jobs. On each bus, there is always a driver and a helper who makes the people pay who haven’t got their tickets and helps them put the baggage away.
At first,we were a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a giant Buddha, but then, the tower was impressive and impossible tall. We went around and took pictures. It was very calm compared to Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok; no giant crowds, not a lot of foreigners.
A motorcycle parked right in front of the internet cafe from which I am blogging right now.
After we went around for a few hours, it was time to find some grub. Now that was a pickle. We went around and tried to find a taxi, only to find motorcycle taxis near the train station. After much discussion, they understood where we needed to go and we hopped on. We arrived at the restaurant and it was… Closed of course. Most of the restaurants were closed, mainly because it was around 2PM.
We then decided to head back to Bangkok ASAP. The motorcycle taxi driver tried to scam us by asking double the normal fare, and I told him he was lucky to get 40BHT. We knew the real prices. (between 10 to 20 BHT per ride)
We got on a bus and headed to Bangkok. When we arrived, we took another taxi to the nearest Skytrain stop. He had to drive a bit around to avoid traffic, but I had noticed and witnessed that traffic was murder in Bangkok. In the end, it costed us about 123BHT.
We went to find the restaurant that I had found in the Lonely Planet only to discover that it was… Closed.
That was the last time that I relied on the Lonely Planet for eateries. It is OK for some, but most of the small places listed were not accurate. It’s a good thing to know before heading out and trying to find that great place to eat.
We found another restaurant a bit further down on Sukhumvit Soi 36. It was a Japanese fusion restaurant and the food was pretty good. I got some shrimp tempura, some chicken steaks and some chicken teriyaki on a stick, with miso soup and salad. It was pretty good and almost the same price as the MBK mall food we ate the day before.
A trendy bar in the Sukhumvit quarter in Bangkok.
After that, my wife had spotted a hair salon that looked funky enough for us. We went there and both got our hair cut. My wife had to equalize and layer her long red hair and I got rid of the dishelved look and went back to my little David Bekham mohawk.
I have to say that this haircut almost made the whole day melt away. I got shampooed and a scalp massage. My haircutter then proceeded to meticulously cut my hair. It was an elaborate process that took over an hour. He did a great job. After cutting my hair, doing the back, I got another shampoo to get rid of all the hair in my hair. Then, I got blowdried and mousse.
All in all, the best haircutting experiences I have ever had, all for 300BHT.
Tonight, we might head back to MBK to watch a movie, but we aren’t sure, since tomorrow we are checking out of our guesthouse to make our way to Ayathaya in the north by boat. We will take the Chao Praya River Express tourist ride to Ayathaya.
I just noticed that the River Express does day tours to Bang Pa-in and Bang Sai as well as Wat Phailom but not Ayathaya. We might have to take the bus instead. In Thailand, buses are more convenient and safer than trains. It’s really affordable as well.
After Ayathaya, which we don’t expect to take more than a day, we will head back to our guesthouse and sleep before we leave for Phuket on the 20th of February. We will probably not do a lot on Monday, since we both need rest and relaxation. Maybe we will try and find an indoor pool or spa that we can use for the day, that doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg.
Also, it might be worth it to take night photos of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace as well as Wat Arun before we leave Bangkok. It is supposed to be pretty cool at night.