8 Aug 2014

Night Markets and Temples

After getting up at 2pm on Wednesday morning and discovering Tierney had been ill for most of the night, we decided to have a relaxed day but to explore the night markets that evening. We discovered our hostel is in a pretty ideal location as the night markets were only a 10 minute walk away.

The hustle and bustle of the markets swallowed us up as we mixed in with the locals and tourists. Everyone was in search of the best fake designer handbags, souvenirs and spices. We weaved in and out of the market stalls taking in the vivid colours of lanterns, fabrics and eccentrically decorated trousers. I resisted the devil on my shoulder and returned to the hostel with just one pair of sunglasses. 

On the way back to the hostel we deliberated what to do the next day. This is when we discovered our new best friend's travel agency. TingLee (the travel agent) had an overflowing book offering a variety of day tours and activities. After an hour we came out with booked buses to Chiang Mai and a half day tour to some of the most famous temples in Thailand. TingLee was very helpful and when we didn't have enough money to pay for our tour he allowed us to come back the next day to pay the full amount.

The rest of the evening was relatively relaxed and after a quick bite we headed to bed in preparation of our 7am start the next morning. Unfortunately due to our 2pm lie in, as soon as we got into bed we discovered that we were wide awake. We managed to get a soul crushing total of one hours sleep. Talk about nightmare... 

With bleary eyes and weary heads we jumped into the minibus at 8am, fully prepared for our day of temples. We started with the Golden Buddha Temple...

Followed by Wat Pho (The Reclining Buddha)...

And finally my personal favourite; The Marble Temple.

T and I had decided that we would get dropped off at The Grand Palace rather than the hostel as this wasn't included in the tour we had paid for. On arrival we noticed there was a strict dress code for entering; no skinny jeans, no distressed denim, no shorts and shoulders must be covered. Luckily we had taken this into consideration that morning and had dressed appropriately although there were cover ups available for those that weren't.

The Grand Palace is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It's an entirely different world and a magpie's dream. Everything sparkles, the colours clash in wonderful ways and tourists run around with no idea where to look or where to start but still frantically pointing their cameras at everything in sight trying to capture as much of a place impossible to do justice in a photograph. I think you just have to live in the moment and absorb as much of it as you can.

We explored for as long as we could but it was hot, sticky and the humidity was becoming intolerable, with just an hour of sleep and empty stomachs we were starting to become like angry children so we headed through the markets to catch the boat back to Silom Road.

An hour and a half later we were back in TingLee's office with the money we owed him, ready to book another tour and our flights to Kuala Lumpur.

We then headed back to our hostel to freshen up before heading to Silom Village for dinner, where we indulged in traditional Thai food whilst watching a show of music and dancers.

And now, after a decent nights sleep we are on yet another bumpy mini bus for another day of Thai culture and exploring. I'll let you know what happens soon ;)

- S

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