Bangkok Stopover - Must Do No.4

Thai Temples

‘Fun’ might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of temples, but a tour of one, or more, of the many in Bangkok can certainly be interesting.

Bangkok was the destination of my first long-haul flight and I was somewhat apprehensive as to how jetlag would affect me. I’d read that adjusting your daily schedule to that of local time as soon as possible was a good way to adjust the body-clock quickly, so I thought I’d try it.

Arriving at Don Muang airport at six in the morning I noticed a ‘3 Temple Tour’ advertised at one of the booths in the exit area. This tour was arranged very simply and cheaply and a guide arrived at my hotel at one that afternoon to collect me.

I visited the enormous reclining Buddha at Wat Po (‘Wat’ is the Thai word for temple) and saw people learning and experiencing traditional Thai massage along a pillared passage. There is a dress code and female stopover visitors should wear longish skirts or trousers, males should wear long shorts or trousers and both sexes should cover their shoulders.

As it was a Public Holiday, the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple were closed so my guide took me on a tour of local jewellery and handicraft shops by way of compensation.

I sipped the cool drinks they offered me in the shops and viewed their wares with interest, but shopping wasn’t on my agenda that day, no matter how much they reduced the sale prices, and I was delivered back to my hotel at seven in time for dinner at a street vendor’s stall.

Stopover travellers should make their feelings about the ‘shopping option’ clear at the start of a tour.




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