This is the only full day we have in Bangkok, and we are going to make the most of it! First thing we wanted to do is to see the infamous Grand Palace! We tried to go early so that it wouldn't be too crowded. Unfortunately, it's still packed when we got there at 9 am in the morning. It is a huge complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok. All the buildings in there, as the name suggests, are very grand! It took us 2 - 3 hours to walk through all the buildings inside.
Then, we found a very local place for lunch, and they have amazing noodles! I always prefer local dingy places over nice touristy restaurants. How else can you taste the real Thai food, right? And we tried one of those coconut ice cream for dessert! Perfect for the warm weather.
Next, we took the boat across the river to visit Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. Part of it is under construction unfortunately, but it's still very breathtaking. This is probably one of my favorite temples because it is not as ornate as other temples that we have been to. Instead, it is very unadorned, but still very detail-oriented. Every layer, every step, every tile, is beautiful.
I have searched and searched and searched for the best Pad Thai in Bangkok, and this is one of the places that came up in multiple sources, so we decided to check this out. This place is called Thip Samai and it opens at 5 pm. We arrived at 4:30 and there is already a line!! A very good sign! We ordered two different Pad Thai, and we saw all other people order this orange juice, so we decided to try that as well. The orange juice is definitely THEE BEST orange juice I have ever had. I didn't know that orange juice could taste this good. The pulp in it was not really pulp, they were not ground up. They are all individual little whole undamaged orange bulbs (I don't know how else to describe it....). When you drink the juice, it's like eating oranges, and the oranges were so fresh and sweet. God, I wish I could have one now. The Pad Thai was sooooo good! We ordered one "omelet Pad Thai" and one regular Pad Thai, they were both so good that we thought we could eat another 2 of them.
The very last Buddha visit! The four-faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine! It is right next to the Erawan Hotel and in the middle of a shopping mall district. We decided to walk there because we wanted to see Bangkok on foot instead of in a taxi or "tuk tuk", and as we walked there, we saw how horrible the traffic was, and we thought it probably wouldn't make a difference in terms of time if we did take a taxi. We have all heard about the unfortunate bomb incident that happened a while ago, but it's reopened, and it is very famous for its "wishes come true" deal. People pray to the Buddha and make their wishes. If the wishes come true, the people return to the Buddha and pay their respects with gifts.
I know we just ate, but Thai food is just too good. We have heard about the delicious street food on Sukhumvit Soi 38, so we had to go and eat again! The best Tom Yum Gong I have ever had, so much flavor! The ones we had in the US were mostly just spicy, but this one is phenomenal. I don't know how they did it, and what's in there, but the flavors, oh my, it's just sooooo good. I could tell that there were a lot of different spices and herbs in there, and everything was added in a perfect balance. I am definitely having a food orgasm! We also ordered some curry, and of course could not finish the meal without my favorite Thai dessert, mango sticky rice. This was also the best one I have had in Thailand! Street food is soooo damn good and cheap here! I would get soooo fat if I lived here.
Last stop before the night ends, we went to Patpong to experience the red light district. Photography is not really allowed, so I only got very limited pictures, but it was an interesting experience. A lot of people walking around with a list of apparently "appealing" performances to attract tourists/men to go in. All of them were trying to sell us this "ping pong show" that I have no idea what it is (not until I went home and google about it). There's one bar we walked past that features S & M, and outside there was a man holding a whip and telling us how we should really go in there because this is something you have never seen and would regret missing it. We thought about going into one of those places just for the experience, but we were worried about getting ripped off because we did not read too much about how it works inside, so we decided we would just walk around and peek (creepy huh? lol). One thing you got to careful about in the red light district is that you never know if they are real women or she-male, and it often shocks some guys who found out later. Just a warning.