2011 September Travel: Bangkok Day 1 – City Tour and River Cruise

We arrived in Bangkok Airport at 11pm. We exited at Gate A and our hotel service was in Gate C! It was a huge airport but big signs are all over the place so you won’t get lost.

airport guide

airport guide

After an hour and so, we arrived in Four Seasons Plaza. At first we were hesitant to go down since the look of the place is not the one we were expecting. In the website, you’ll see a sign that says “Four Seasons International House”. However, that night what we saw is way different from the picture displayed in the internet. Luckily, the guests who were riding with us on the same van were Filipinos and confirmed that the place was really the one we’re looking for. Well, it was confirmed once we checked in. Later we found out that the place is under renovation. They will be adding a Plaza beside the guest house’s lobby.

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Four Seasons International House

The hotel room was neat and tidy but there was a bad smell inside the restroom. We were guessing that the sewage was leaking or something. And since they were changing the whole house, their internet connection was not stable. I need to go down the lobby just to check my emails. They also have 2 complimentary drinks everyday.

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Free Buffet Breakfast in Four Seasons House

Anyway, we had our needed rest that dawn and off we start our adventure in the morning. Our call time was 8.30am and the girl in the reception was kind enough to offer us a wakeup call. We ate our breakfast at 8.00am and then we rode our van for the tour.

The half day City Tour was free when you book with Four Seasons House. By the way, remember that there is also a Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok and be careful when riding the taxi. So it’s better if you get a copy of the Guest House’s calling card.

First Stop: Hua Lum Phong

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First Temple: Hua Lum Phong

That was our first picture of the day taken by our guide Nim. We look so fresh there but as we finished all the temples, you would notice our haggard look. Anyway, I’m really not sure what to look for in this temple. Hahaha! But it was a good place to start.

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Inside the Temple

Second Stop: Wat Indarawihan (Temple of the Standing Buddha)

The gigantic golden Buddha called Luang Pho To is standing at the back! It is said to have a height of 32 meters tall and 11 meters wide. The yellowish covering the Buddha is a 24k gold.

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Standing Buddha

We asked Nim why the gold is still intact and she told us that the Buddhist people don’t steal from the temples. It means bad luck for them. She insisted that we would know more about it when we watch Siam Niramit. Well, good thing it was in our schedule to watch that famous Thai cultural show.

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with Nim, our tour guide

You’ll see other small worship places around the area. And that day I knew that Lotus flowers are also called as Buddha’s flowers.

5 standing buddha

other sites around the area

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Buddha Flowers = Lotus Flowers

Third Stop: The Gem’s Gallery

Photography is not allowed inside the gallery so no pictures were taken while we were inside. A wide range of gems as well as sterling silvers are available to everyone.

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Gem

One of the perks being in the Gem’s gallery is the free drink they give to the customers and a free gas voucher for the taxi drivers that brings a guest to the gallery. Finally, I think the customers are entitled for a free ride from the gallery to any place of destination in Bangkok. It was a blessing for us since we’re continuing our adventure to other must-see Temple attractions.

This ends our half day city tour. The next stops would be places we went to on our own.

Fourth Stop: The Grand Palace

The entrance fee was Bht 400. This includes the Temple entrance as well as the museums. However we weren’t able to visit the museums because we were already exhausted.

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This place served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand. However, their present King is not residing there but in a place called Chitralada Palace.

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Grand Palace grounds

10 angkor wat

model of Angkor Wat

Inside the Grand Palace are different temples and sites that you can’t finish in 2 hours. We just went to the major sites like the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew and the Chakri Mahaprasad Hall whose style was influenced by the Italian Renaissance.

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Temple of Emerald Buddha (at the back of the jump shot photo)

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Chakri Mahaprasad Hall

Also, during that day there was a funeral ceremony that’s why we were not able to see what’s inside that area.

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Temple at the Back (no entry!)

no entry

notice to public

Fifth Stop: Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Entrance fee costs Bht 50.

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I thought that the place was small but I was wrong! We were going in circles and every corner seems like the other. Good thing Reg found our way to the Reclining Buddha.

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18 buddha2

Finding our way to the Reclining Buddha, there was lots of Buddha inside the area. We noticed that one Buddha is different from the other and it intrigues us why such position differs. I did some research and each Buddha represents different states of their life moving on to Nirvana. I found this good link Thai Buddha Statues that discuss a number of Buddha positions.

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close up face of the Reclining Buddha

This humongous golden Buddha known as the Reclining Buddha measures 46 meters and has feet inlaid with mother-of pearl. Now, that’s the reason behind the signage. We thought that they were cursing us!

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The Reclining Buddha

Beside the Buddha, you’ll see antique bowls outlining the area. There were people placing coins as the exit the area. I’m not sure why they do this but I think this brings good luck.

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antique bowls

Outside, there was a lady selling a piece of brick/clay and then one would write his or her intentions. I think this served as a donation to the temple as they are continually enhancing the look of the place. (Maybe these are placed when they are making their roofs.)

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roof pieces?

This was the last stop for our temple tours. We were so tired because of long walks that day. We then hired a taxi for Bht 150 from the Temple back to our place. We need to get ready for our evening adventure.

 

Night Life in Bangkok

At last, our much awaited dinner, the River Cruise. We were lucky that night because originally, we paid for a cruise that cost Bht 1200. However, the operator informed Nim that the cruise ship had some problems so we were upgraded to The Grand Chaophraya Cruise that cost Bht 1700. Indeed, the experience was really grand!

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The Grand Chaophraya Cruise

Reg and I were so amazed with what’s happening. The lights, the sounds, the food, the crowd, everything! We just enjoyed our stay and our dinner.

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Reg and Kath

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Thai dance and complimentary snacks

First they had a traditional Thai dance and then dinner buffet was opened. They served a wide range of Thai and international food. And also, if you happen to see the dessert bar, you’ll be tempted to eat them first before the main meal. Since we started eating our appetizers and main course, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of those yummy cakes and pastries.

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After eating, we went to the dance floor to get in the groove! Hahaha! They had their own version of LA walk that’s why we kept on looking at their steps. We were laughing hard when we joined the crowd in dancing.

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Filipinos on the house! (with a crew)

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Dancing in action

band

The Cruise

The cruise started at 8.00pm and ended around 10.00pm. We arrived at the hotel 30minutes after. It was a night filled with smiles. We all had a great time. Even though we were tired during the day, we still enjoyed our time in the cruise.

*photo credits: Regireg Roque

Check out the summary of our September 2011 Travel: Bangkok, Thailand.

  • http://www.rah888.blogspot.com Rah

    ganda ng pics :) parang kasama narin ako sa trip niyo :D

  • http://twitter.com/misskimpe Kim

    naks pumartey kayo sa Thailand ha. hahahaha

  • http://chenmeicai.blogspot.com Chai Chen

    Nice one! Love the travel pics! Para na rin akong nag-tour! :p

  • http://kathmadula.com/ Kathleen

    Thank you! ^_^

  • http://kathmadula.com/ Kathleen

    Oo ganon talaga! Minsan lang eh.. hahaha.. sana next tym tayo tayo! Ang gulo non for sure.. :)

  • http://kathmadula.com/ Kathleen

    Yey! Thanks Thanks! :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZCZBNQKQWYRRKBVS67XHFUOFQ Jessa Era

    Hi! Can I ask how did you book for a tourguide?

  • http://kathmadula.com/ Kathleen

    Hi Jessa, I’ll send you an email. :)