807. Bangkok Part 12 | Wat Pho and Wat Arun

leftbanked despacito Wat Arun
Happy Songkran!! Today (April 13) marks the Thai New Year/"Water Festival". It's a 3-day holiday for them and celebrated by going out on the streets and spraying each other with water (mainly by water guns). I guess it would be super refreshing in this hot humid weather. I've seen some videos of it and it looks like a lot of fun. These celebrations are not permitted this year due to COVID however some people probably still celebrated..we didn't go out to check though. I wish we could have experienced it though!

We didn't plan it this way but we depart Bangkok the day after the holiday. So it would have been perfect if we were allowed to celebrate it here. I'm so sad we only have 2 more full days left in Bangkok..I forgot if I mentioned it already but our next destination will be Koh Samui! Back to island life. Koh Samui is a very touristy destination so I expect it will be completely dead there. It will be nice and relaxing for us though, as we can enjoy some nice beaches without the crowds (or anyone else at all). I will miss Bangkok and our neighbourhood a lot. Our area/building is so convenient. I will make a post on it in the future. I will miss the routine we've created. I feel this way every time we leave a city though hahah (I mean I was even sad to leave our quarantine hotel!). Bangkok is different though..there are still some places we never got the chance to visit yet and I really loved everything we did and visited.

I realized again how far behind I am on my posts. I think the only way to keep up was if I made one post every day or every other day. That was impossible here so maybe I will catch up in Koh Samui during the slower paced lifestyle.

So this post is about Wat Pho and Wat Arun, two famous temples in Bangkok right across the Chao Phraya river from each other. Wat Pho is the site of the famous "Temple of the Reclining Buddha". It was really cool to see it and it is HUGE. I saw some photos and videos before visiting and in person it ended up being a lot larger than I expected. Besides that, I didn't find these two temples all that interesting. I still enjoyed them but I loved Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) a lot more.

Wat Pho Wat Pho Wat Pho reclining buddha
The Reclining Buddha! This is the main point of interest for Wat Pho and normally it is packaged with tourists. When we arrived there was literally only one other person there. It was really nice to have it to ourselves as taking photos with tons of crowds would have been difficult. I don't think my photos really show the size of it..I personally love giant statues and structures like this.

Wat Pho reclining buddha Wat Pho reclining buddha templeBeautifully painted walls

Wat Pho reclining buddha Wat Pho BangkokRetouching the interior paintings. Her job seems so relaxing. I wouldn't mind doing that.

Wat Pho Bangkok Wat Pho Bangkok Wat Pho Bangkok Wat Pho BangkokThis one was also large but mini compared to the reclining one lol

Wat Pho Wat Arun rulesRules of the temples

Wat Arun Wat Arun Bangkok Wat Pho Wat Arun details Wat Arun Wat ArunI love these guardian statues. My favourite features of the temples

Wat Arun Wat Arun Wat Pho Wat Arun black catA super sweet black cat! There's some cats that live at the temples. This one was so friendly and kept rubbing against us.



806. Bangkok Part 11 | Khao San Road + COVID in Thailand

The One Khao San Road
A couple weekends ago we visited Bangkok's famous nightlife street known as Khao San Road. It's a short street lined with bars and clubs, usually filled with backpackers and tourists (mixed with locals). Of course now during COVID, it was mainly all locals. We went there to check it out and I fully expected it to be dead with most places closed. However that wasn't the case. It ended up being quite packed the later it got and probably almost as busy as it is in normal times.

Thailand has been keeping the virus under control, with very low case numbers throughout the pandemic (although these days, as I'm typing this, unfortunately the rates have been increasing). Businesses and restaurants remain open and nightlife continues. It was a bit weird to me when I first saw and experienced this..since back in Toronto (where I am from..in case you are new to my blog), life is pretty much at a halt. The city and province is under full lockdown, though not as strict as it should be..making it a frustrating endless cycle.

I do feel lucky to be where I am now so I don't have to experience that, and to be fairly shielded from the pandemic. I know most other countries around the world are also in lockdown and struggling to contain the spread. Here, people still live their day to day lives as businesses are still open. The biggest impact was to their tourism industry, and Thailand relies on that a lot. It's very sad to see a lot of businesses that shut down or places empty yet still open. Everyone wears masks here (in fact, the only ones who don't are foreigners!) and there are temperature checks everywhere but those things aren't a big deal to me anymore. I've learned to get used to wearing a mask at all times outdoors, even in 35-40 degrees celcius with humidity. Last night we went to a movie theatre to watch "Nobody". It was really good and I loved it a lot! Then it occurred to me that most theatres around the world are still closed and I wondered how many other theatres the movie was released at.

Here are some photos of our night at Khao San Road. We went to this bar called The One (pic above) which looked to be the nicest one on the street. It was completely packed. Luckily we got there a bit earlier so we had a table without having to wait. These next few photos were taken when we first arrived, before the crowds poured in. The street is very loud. Every place blasts their own music (even when the street was empty). It was a very fun experience!

Khao San Road Khao San Road Khao San Road Khao San Road The One Khao San Road Khao San Road Blue Hawaii The One Khao San Road DJ Khao San Road club Khao San Road Bangkok Khao San Road Khao San Road



805. Bangkok Part 11 | Birthday at Vertigo / Banyan Tree Hotel

leftbanked despacito Vertigo Bangkok
A few weeks ago was my 31st (!!) birthday. Fun fact: this blog was started when I was a mere 18 years old and I've realized recently that I've been updating consistently ever since lol. So this birthday I was able to celebrate it here in Bangkok. A year ago, we were a few weeks into the first lockdown in Toronto so I don't think I did anything besides staying home. I would have never imagined back then that a year later, we would be in Bangkok. I've never made a big deal out of my birthdays but it was nice to spend this year's here - at the Banyan Tree Hotel. If you've been a follower of my blog since the beginning, maybe you remember I used to have a photo of the Moon Bar at this hotel as my blog header. It was on my bucket list of hotels/bars to visit.

For my birthday, my boyfriend booked us a night at the hotel and also dinner at their rooftop restaurant (Vertigo). It was a really enjoyable experience and definitely a birthday I'll remember forever!

Banyan Tree Bangkok birthday Banyan Tree Bangkok view Banyan Tree Bangkok view View from our room on the 57th floor!

Banyan Tree Bangkok bathroom Loved the bathtub

Banyan Tree Bangkok leftbanked despacito Vertigo Bangkok Vertigo Bangkok Vertigo Restaurant Bangkok Bangkok moon bar Bangkok moon bar Bangkok moon bar Vertigo Bangkok Vertigo birthday dinner Vertigo Banyan Tree Bangkok Moon Bar Banyan TreeUnfortunately the actual Moon Bar was closed due to COVID

leftbanked despacito birthday bangkok

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