May 22, 2016

#TRAVEL - Bigger, better, Bangkok [Part 3]

Going away from all these huge tourist areas is difficult because Bangkok itself is the attraction. Every street, every corner, every building is in some way famous for something. So after we saw the temples and got our first glimpse into what Bangkok is really made of, we wanted to see more. More in a very different kind of way. We tried to find places without so many people around, where we could just walk without accidentally hitting someone in their face while snapping a picture (been there, done that!).
So, a great way to get around and "be cultural" is to take the Tuk-Tuk. Don't know what that is? Let me help you with a couple of hints: its got three tires, it is loud, it stinks and all the fumes from the other cars are blowing right into your face because it doesn't have windows but it still is a lot of fun, when you have a cool driver.


Our nice driver took us to a lot of different temples and sights that aren't on the regular menu of a stop-over tourist. We were really glad to finally escape the mass of people howering around at the bigger temples and attractions. The wind while driving the Tuk-Tuk actually felt good because of the heat. We tried the taxi once but we realized pretty quickly that it's a bad idea. For one, it's much more expensive than the Tuk-Tuk and second, those cars are cooled down to like 17-20 degrees. So when you get into the car it feels great but when you get out, it's like you run against a wall of heat and the difference in the temperature gives you an awesome headache right away. In the Tuk-Tuk you can feel that it is really hot outside but you still have some kind of "fresh wind" while driving which makes the heat somewhat endurable.
The driver took us to a lot of small temples around Bangkok and it was really great because we were basically alone at the temples. There were only a couple of other people but that was it. We kinda felt like intruders because compared to the Wat Pho or Wat Phra Kaeo it was so silent and quiet there. We didn't even dare to speak out loud.


That was a really great experience. I didn't take a lot of pictures because at some temples there were monks who kneeled in front of a Buddha statue or an altar and were praying so I didn't want to take pictures of those people, because it felt wrong to me. I have learned a lot about the buddism and about thai traditions but not enough to really understand everything they do. And if I don't understand a certain tradition or why someone is praying I won't try to interfere by taking a picture of them. I know that there are people trying to immitate the gestures and actions of a monk but I think it is wrong, if you don't have a reason to do so and you just do it for a picture. But that is just my point of view.
One of my highlights in Bangkok was the Wat Arun, which is on the other side of the river. For me it was a really special place. I still don't know why, but I felt really happy and blessed to be there. It was under construction while we were there so from the outside some people thought it didn't look great or as fascinating as the other temples which are directly on the opposite site of the Chao Praya but I thought it looked just as beautiful.


After seeing the Wat Arun I felt energized and really happy. This temple is really beautiful and you wouldn't want to miss it on your journey to Bangkok. It may not look as impressive from the outside as the other temples but once your in the temple area, you'll be blown away by its beauty.




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