Originally booked for one night our morning ritual at the Shanti Lodge has been to extend our visit one more night; today was no different. A habit was starting to form and as we walked to our normal Thai coffee vendor and ordered the usual. The ever present tuk-tuk driver solicited us with the singular “tuk”.
In tuk-tuk manner we were dropped off at the Dusit Zoo, a bit down the street from our intended destination of the Dusit Palace. Our revenge was had when we did not have any small denominations to pay. Luckily for all his wife works at the guesthouse, and we would settle the bill later.
King Rama V (so many Rama’s) was the first King of Thailand to visit Europe and was inspired the city layout and architecture. Ordering the covering of many city canals to widen the sidewalks, he also commissioned the building of Dusit Palace.
Our trip to Dusit palace coincided with thousands of Chinese tourists. Not wanting to obscure the photo bananza we opted to enjoy the palace and grounds from the outside; afterwards catching a taxi back to Chatuchak Market. Unable to try anything on, Amanda went through much hemming and hawing around wrap skirts and the like. With time to sleep on the high pressure 100 baht ($3) decision we were ready! Writing this now, I actually don’t remember what she bought, but we did have “COCONUT ICE A CREEEAM!!!!!” Written as said by the numerous enthusiastic ice cream vendors!
Back at the non-air conditioned hot box we got a tip from Matt at NJPen.com that a must see in Bangkok was a floating market. Presenting a problem for us as many were 50-60km away from the actual city and it was getting later in the day. Google to the rescue: Taling Chan Floating Market. We had no idea what to expect except it was a 25 minute cab ride away and the name of the palace contained the words floating market.
We arrived to a pier surrounded by people boats cooking and preparing (mostly seafood), while people speed by on longtail boats, seems legit. Learning quickly that 99% of the advertisements were simply fabrications we were content with our close and mostly Thai version of a floating market. We ordered some kind of seafood salad.
Seemingly wandering in circles, we ended up back in the vicinity of the Grand Palace. One of the more iconic temples in the city is Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, is rumored to be lighted in a most spectacular manner. Our taxi ride was to the Grand Palace, we were dropped off somewhere else. Photos ensued.
Capitalizing on the sunset peepers the best views of the temple are occupied by high end restaurants with bold claims as “Rustic Urban Thai food”, errm that would be a street cart. But more worrisome than their crazy marketing was the prices 195 baht for pad thai, we chowed on much delicious pad thai for around 30 baht. Tourists can act so silly. Whilst wandering looking for a view we found ourselves walking down some of the less desirable alleys, eek that smell.
Knowing Bangkok would provide we eventually found a small thai owned shop, ordered a Chang and watched the boats float down the river in front of the beautiful, under construction Wat Arun.
Our walk back to the room was mostly uneventful, being in a daytime part of the city, with the exception of a tuk-tuk parade that nearly ran us over.