No, not this frightening image. A Wat is a Buddhist temple in this part of the world, and today, we visited three of them.
Since the metro doesn’t go to any of the main tourist sites, the best way to reach them is via boat along the Chao Phraya river. It’s between 15-40 baht depending on which boat you get for a one way, and can be a nice experience. We got chatting to some fellow #britsabroad, which was nice. The busy river sort of reminded me of the Grand Canal in Venice, only with more longboats.
The first Wat of the day was Wat Pho, which includes a giant statue of a Buddha lying down, chilling out. He’s almost 50 feet long, and here he is in all his relaxed glory.
The architecture was really amazing, but all wats I’ve seen thus far have amazing architecture. It’s the same feeling you get in the Vatican (or Watican if you’re feeling the below joke). You see so many amazing paintings that by the time you get to the Sistine Chapel it’s no longer impressive.
Next up was the Royal Palace, which included yet another wat in its grounds. This one was shinier, and had the famous bright gold pagoda, which is often used as a symbol for Bangkok.
What was unique about this wat was that it also had a model of the world’s most famous wat – Angkor Wat. Since it’s unlikely I’ll ever go to Cambodia, I appreciated this very much.
Wat Inception – Wat inside a Wat inside a Palace
Within the palace grounds, there were two palaces. The main one is a cool blend of Western and Thai building styles, but the “guest palace” looked very, very French. Both were closed, so we couldn’t look around either, but it was bizarre staring at something that looked a bit too much like Fontainebleu for comfort.
Last – and certainly least – was Wat Arun. Although I’m sure it’s impressive, it was completely covered in scaffolding, so we couldn’t really tell. Shame, but by this point we were both tired, so it was nice to retreat back to our comfortable and air-conditioned apartment. We made it home just in the nick of time, as moments after we got in, a monsoon hit Bangkok. So much so that we could only barely see the high-rises at the next junction.
Tomorrow, it’ll be time for lots of market shopping, so I hope I buy some awesome souvenirs. And eat my weight in Indian food, as per.