Day 2 of How to Spend a Week in Bangkok.
After a quick breakfast at our hotel, Hilton Sukhumvit, we set off for the Grand Palace, and the GrabCar driver (we hadn’t learnt our GrabCar lesson yet) let us off at a small mall (whose name I can’t remember for the life of me) close to the Grand Palace. At the entrance, you’ll see a lot of decorative bikes hanging off of a green creeper-covered wall.
He said cars couldn’t go beyond that point. Said Tiny Mall was right by the riverside, so we decided to take some pictures. Said Tiny Mall was also very hipsteresque, and boasted some cute eateries, including After You and a little ice-cream place where we got Thai Milk Tea shakes from.
Adjacent to this hipsteresque (that’s a word now) lane of cafes, was the biggest amulet street I have ever seen. Buddahs of all sizes, Hindu Idols of all shapes sizes and colors, stones, rings…you name it and they had it. To be quite honest, I was a little freaked out by this place.
We then walked over to the Grand Palace, and on our way we saw some very old (read awesome) cafes.
To this day I’m still confused about whether or not we were supposed to buy the 500 baht (each) ticket that we got, because all we really wanted to see was the palace itself. We didn’t go see any of the more “exclusive” temples or the Emerald Buddah, and a tourist we randomly sat with at a food court a few days later told us he got in for free.
So I’m feeling some resentment towards the ticketing guy for selling the whole package without giving us the full information or asking us what we want to see. I also felt very frustrated by how all signs were in English and absolutely no one spoke even a word of English.
It’s worth mentioning, that you’re not allowed to enter the Grand Palace properties in sleeveless or short clothes. This is why, you’ll see almost everyone donning “elephant” pants, most of which were most definitely purchased from the several stalls around the area.
At the Grand Palace, you’ll see several stone-eyed guards, with his hand on a very really and very scary dagger.
It was hard to get a decent picture without at least a hundred other people in the frame, but the pagodas we passed by on the way to the actual Grand Palace were strikingly beautiful.
I was most fascinated by the little details most people were walking right by, such as this little Chinese garden….
…..and this lone chinoiserie plant pot.
We also saw hundreds and hundreds of mourners, on their way to pay their respects to the late king of Thailand.
After taking some pictures outside the spectacular Grand Palace, we went to MBK shopping mall, because research revealed that they have halal Thai food there- which is ridiculously elusive in Bangkok. I wasn’t even particularly looking for halal certifications, but I underestimated how hard it would be to even find pork-free food. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat something cooked in the same wok pork was cooked in just before.
The research was correct, the halal Thai food at MBK was delicious, and we also ended up finding a bunch of other random/awesome things there, like elephant pants, Bangkok T-shirts, and beautiful, hand-painted porcelain decoration pieces which we got for my mom.
When our legs could hold us up no more, we cabbed back to Lek Massage Parlour, got manicures, pedicures, foot massages, caught up on our social media, dropped our shopping off at the hotel and decided that since it’s only 8.pm, lets walk to our dinner destination: Usman’s Thai.
According to the map, it was only a couple of soi and a 15 minutes walk away. Oh how wrong we were. By 9:30, we were lost, hungry, and feeling a little scared too. By “we”, I mean me. When we saw Nana Shopping Center, we knew it’s time to cut our losses short, hail a cab, and just grab something from 7 Eleven on our way back to the hotel. And so we did. So. We. Did.
To read about our first day in Bangkok, click here.
How to spend a week in Bangkok Day 3, here
How to spend a week in Bangkok Day 4, here
How to spend a week in Bangkok Day 5, here.
How to spend a week in Bangkok Day 6, here.
How to spend a week in Bangkok Day 7, here.