Wat Pho reclining Buddha

Thailand 2009: Day 10 – Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and finally leaving Thailand

I had read that Wat Pho was close to the Grand Palace so after asking for a few directions from the local police, I began my 15-minute walk to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

Grand Palace to Wat Pho

Old Bangkok City street cafe

Walking through what some people refer to as ‘Old Bangkok,’ one comes across decades old remnants and descendants of  the Chinese community in Bangkok.  Old Bangkok Chinese medicine shop

Old Bangkok dried fish marketOld Bangkok dried fishAfter passing by shops selling traditional Chinese medicine and an assortment of dried fish, you reach the lane that leads to Wat Pho.

Old Bangkok Wat Pho signThere was no entrance fee, or at least I didn’t come across any, so I just went in and began clicking photos.

Wat Pho reclining Buddha statueWat Pho gate guardWat Pho prayer roomWat Pho reclining BuddhaWat Pho reclining BuddhaWat Pho reclining Buddha hallWat Pho reclining BuddhaWat Pho reclining Buddha hallWat Pho reclining Buddha statueAnd with that, ended the last of my sight-seeing in Thailand.

I took a taxi back to Sukhumvit but man, can the traffic in Bangkok get on your nerves. Coming from India, I’m used to bad traffic — and even though Bangkok traffic isn’t noisy or haphazard like in any major Indian city — it just moves at a snail’s pace.

I pity the taxi drivers who have to work through this every day. It isn’t calming I can assure you. It’s frustrating — and I’m an extremely patient guy.

Bangkok afternoon traffic Mini CooperBangkok city bridge Tuk TukAs it neared 3pm, I finally got fed up and got down near Siam Center. It’s not that I was getting late or anything, I just got irritated moving at snail pace and staring at the traffic in front me. I didn’t even bother asking the taxi driver for the change, instead, I told him to keep it. 90% of them will not fleece you so you can be extra nice to them if you wish.

BTS track Siam junctionBTS track Siam junctionBTS track Siam junctionSince I had some time to kill, I went to Siam Paragon and had lunch from KFC. Yeah, KFC… I know. But I didn’t have the usual. KFC Thailand had introduced a Hot’N’Spicy variant which I thought I’d try out. I went in for the combo meal which packed 2 pieces of chicken, mashed potato in gravy, salad and a drink. The mashed potato looked and tasted so artificial, it was scary to even look at. As for the Hot’N’Spicy chicken, it was essentially the KFC flavour with a lot of MSG thrown in. Tasted a lot like the flavouring that you get with a regular pack of Maggi noodles Masala. Just about okay.

After lunch, I took the BTS (for the last time) and went back to the Thai House Inn. Collected my bags, took a taxi and headed for Suvarnabhumi via the elevated highway (cost 400 baht/Rs. 560).

Taxi ride to Suvarnabhumi

Taxi ride to Suvarnabhumi airport
The sun setting on Bangkok… and on my holiday

I was at the airport by 5:30pm for my 8:35pm Thai Airways flight back to Bangalore. Got my VAT refund forms stamped, checked in my bags, and collected my VAT refund money from the counter after the security check. I had an hour and half to kill before my flight, so I got myself a Dairy Queen Blizzard with whatever change I had left that I didn’t want in my wallet and then sat by my gate thinking about the last 10 days.

Despite all the planning, things didn’t go the way I wanted to. I ended up taking more flights than I thought, a lot of mishaps, and couldn’t see everything I had hoped on seeing…

… but all I could really think about was how I wanted to quit my job and wanted to be back to do it right, a second time.

Other posts in this series:

Getting ready for my trip

The day I left for Thailand

Day 1 – Suvarnabhumi, Pantip Plaza, Fotofile & MBK

Day 2 – Bridge over the River Kwai and Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luangta Bua) in Kanchanaburi

Taking the bus to Chiang Mai from Bangkok

Day 3 – Maesa elephant camp, ‘long-neck’ tribe village near Chiang Mai

Day 3 (Part 2) – Chiang Mai Night Market

Day 4 – Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai… and back in town

Day 5 – Leaving Chiang Mai for Phuket

Day 5 (Part 2) – One night in Phuket

Day 6 – Leaving Phuket for Ao Nang by bus (via Phang Nga)

Day 7 – Touring Koh Phi Phi (Maya Bay, Monkey Island & Bamboo Island)

Day 7 (Part 2) – Exploring Railay, Krabi

Day 8 – Flying from Phuket to Bangkok

Day 8 (Part 2) – Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

Day 9 – MBK, Siam Paragon… and ‘little Arabia’?

Day 10 – Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha

Figures, lessons learned, and things I couldn’t do

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