Today was a pretty full on day, and we spent about 12 hours in total getting to and wandering around three of the main attractions in Bangkok, Wat Pho, The Grand Palace (with the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Arun.
Our first stop of the day was Wat Pho, and unfortunately we didn’t quite beat all of the tourists. Even with plenty of other tourists, I enjoyed our visit to Wat Pho. The Buddha was rather spectacular, and the architecture of the buildings within the complex with the Buddha was beautiful. It’s definitely worth wandering around and seeing some of the other buildings after visiting the giant Buddha. Admission was only 100 baht for an adult (about $3.5 AUD).
After Wat Pho, we moved onto the Grand Palace. Although the entry includes a number of attractions, at 500 baht for an adult (about $17.5 AUD) it’s pretty expensive in comparison to other attractions and costs in Thailand, and would have to say I don’t think it’s worth the extra cost. I much preferred the other temples we visited during the day, and found the Grand Palace to be very crowded with all the tourists and also lacking in something. It almost felt like the area didn’t really have it’s ‘soul’ left (if that makes sense), and I think this might be to do with how restored the buildings are. For me personally, I much prefer palaces like Nijo-jo in Japan which still retain that feeling of an old historic building that was used a long time ago. Once we escaped the crowds, it was across the river for our final stop for the day – Wat Arun.
I debated about whether we should go to Wat Arun, as was a bit disappointed after our visit in the Grand Palace but was incredibly glad we did go. Out of all the temples we visited during the day, Wat Arun was by far the best in my opinion and has a lot of character with all of the decorations (which look like broken crockery attached to the walls). Being able to climb up the temple and enjoy the view of the Chao Phraya River as well as look across to the Grand Palace across the river was definitely worth the 50 baht entry (about $1.75 AUD). Just goes to show that the more expensive something is, doesn’t always mean it’s better!