Day 7: On the seventh day we went to the mall

As our taxi was navigating through the streets of Bangkok, it reminded me so much of home – the hustle and bustle of people, the traffic jams, roads that are under construction, life and limb-risking jaywalkers, and vendors that, you are very certain, shouldn’t be hanging out where you saw them. Even though the driver was having difficulties conversing with us in English and he would often speak in his native tongue, I didn’t feel out of place. So when we got to MBK Center it was just like going to any mall in the Philippines on a typical day. It may resemble home, but I know it’s not. And that’s okay. It’s nice though that I don’t feel too “foreign” in another country. It helps ease the usual worries and fears that go along with traveling. Even for just a bit.

The siblings go to the mall
Sis and I are at the mall because we have nothing better to do. Seriously. We were supposed to do a day tour of Ayutthaya but scratched it off from our itinerary a month before this Indochina Adventure started. So we’re basically lazy bums today. Good thing we left out Wat Pho from our Grand Palace visit yesterday. Otherwise we will be the ones closing the malls tonight.
We just strolled around MBK Center and checked out every establishment that caught our fancy. Since the 6th floor had souvenir shops, we decided to check those out, too. We ended up buying a few shirts for ourselves and our brother, and a few knickknacks for close friends. It was past three when my sister and I went to the mall’s taxi bay and hailed a cab to take us to Wat Pho.
Good thing this statue didn’t decide to recline on me.
Wat Pho and the effin’ humongous Buddha statue
The admission fee when we visited the temple was BHT100 and thankfully we did not forget to pay this time around. Wat Pho is well known for its gigantic reclining Buddha. As with any sacred Buddhist site, you are required to take off your footwear before entering the building where they house the statue. It’s supposed to represent calm and serenity but the reclining Buddha’s size and its gold plated exterior made it look very imposing and flashy for me. It is beautiful, I have to admit. However, I found the chedis with flower motifs more interesting. How gay, I know.
Was about to say they’re cute when I remembered they keep the dead inside those chedis.
Because of its size and the way it is positioned, it’s a challenge taking pictures of the reclining Buddha especially for someone like me who doesn’t know anything about proper photography techniques. Add to that the influx of tourists wanting to go inside the building and taking decent pictures of the reclining Buddha is a really difficult task. I think I got shoved a helluva lot of times just to take the damn picture below.
A snapshot of the reclining Buddha statue from its foot part.
Wat Pho was pretty much over after I saw the reclining Buddha, but we still wandered around the temple grounds just to see what else it has to offer. Aside from the “flowery” chedis and other beautiful structures, we soon found out that Wat Pho has soooo many Buddha statues. I was kinda freaked out by that. It’s like Buddha is watching every move you make. CCTV lang ang peg?
Have I told you there were Buddha statues…
…Buddha statues…
…And more Buddha statues?
I was pretty sure I didn’t want to see anymore Buddha statues in the next few days after that visit to Wat Pho. It was Buddha saturation to the highest level.  We got out, crossed the street, and went to the pier. It’s time to go and see Wat Arun.
Money dilemma at Wat Arun
The boat ride took only a few minutes to get to the other side of the river. We took pictures of Wat Arun from afar and headed to the benches. Sis and I decided to check how much baht we have left and we came to the conclusion that we cannot pay anymore for the temple’s entrance fee. We’ll be crossing borders again tomorrow and we both have to make sure we have enough useable currency on our pockets. Next time then.
Approaching Wat Arun.Couldn’t stay long enough for the beautiful night shot.
Instead of getting bummed about it, we bought sodas, sat on the benches, lounged and sipped our drinks with Wat Arun as our backdrop. I still enjoyed it even if I didn’t get to go inside the temple. As they say, you can never choose the circumstances life throws at your way but you can always choose how you will react to them. Char.
Epic mistake and epic kindness
On our way back to the guesthouse, we decided to skip the taxi ride and hop on a bus instead. We needed to save our bahts, after all. Epic decision. Very, very epic and WRONG decision. Because no one spoke English. From the driver and bus conductor to all the passengers, nobody understood what the hell I was saying. But that bus ride made me realize that there are still many kind souls walking here on earth.
I was particularly thankful to the bus conductor. She could’ve just left us to figure out on our own where the hell we were supposed to get off, but she really went around looking for someone who can talk to us. Even some of the locals who clearly didn’t speak English asked those beside, in front, and at the back of them if they can help the two foreigners who oddly looked like fellow Thais. In the end, nobody spoke to us in comprehensible English, but a lady understood that we wanted to be dropped off at Khao San Road. She tugged the sleeve of my shirt pointed somewhere outside and said, “There. Khao San Road.” We stood up from where we were seated and thanked all of the people inside the bus (who had big smiles on their faces) before getting our butts out. And so we meet again, Khao San Road.