thailand photos, pt. 6: bangkok

classic sightseeing, annoying tuk-tuk drivers, impressive temples, crowds, sushi, and more – here’s the final part of my thailand trip report.

when we arrived at the hotel (one of two that we had booked ahead from austria), stefan and lisa had already checked in. as mentioned before, we couldn’t get more overlap-time for our “thailand trip of 5”, so we decided to meet up in bangkok for a few days.

for the typical sightseeing part, we decided to experience what the travel guides warn of: just around the corner of the entrance to wat phra kaew (the biggest and most popular complex of buddhist temples in thailand), there was an unusually friendly man who told us that the temple was closed for another two hours (which was of course just a big lie).
he was also “friendly” enough to mark four or five popular sights on our city map AND get two tuk-tuk drivers to drive us there for nothing (i’m talking a few cents).
we had read about this, and decided to “try for ourselves”.
the strategy behind this is that between the sights, the drivers ask you to go into an affiliate shop (tailor, jeweler, …) and look at the things they have to offer. you don’t need to buy anything, but the fact that they supply the shops with lots of potential customers earns them gas coupons.
if you’re already expecting this, there are no other surprises – except that they might leave you at the last but one sight, and go search for new victims instead.

one of twelve giant demons (yaksha) that guard the gates of wat phra kaew (at hor phra naga)

wat phra khaew, by the way, is the most impressive complex i’ve seen. the entrance fee is so high that no thai would likely be able to pay for it (locals enjoy free entrance), but it’s no doubt worth it.
another sightseeing highlight was wat saket, the “golden mount” (free entrance).

there were also lots of malls, which from the inside you can’t really tell apart at all. except one mall which had only two elevators – one going to levels 1 and even numbers, and the other one going to levels with uneven numbers.

as usual, the few obligatory postcards that i absolutely had to send (to family) were dropped off at the airport, right before boarding the plane.

[view photos: bangkok (thailand pt. 6)]

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