Saturday, 15 December 2012

Bangkok Day 3 - Grand Palace Tour with Absolute Bangkok Tour and Asiatique

We woke up bright and early on Day 3 as we had arranged for a land tour with Absolute Bangkok Tours. We chose the package AB 1 + AB 2 which took us to Wat Trimit, Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho. It was a very hot day and we were thankful our tour included our own mini van, cold water and wet towels. 

First stop was to Wat Trimit with the Golden Buddha. The buddha statue was initially made of plaster and it was only when they were moving it and the plaster cracked did people realize that it was made of pure solid gold. 

The Grand Palace was next. There was virtually no shade at all in the Grand Palace and we were sweating buckets. But look at the glorious architecture! So detailed and elaborate.

Wat Pho was the last stop and the Reclining Buddha was amazingly beautiful. The statue is really impressive and fits exactly into the temple because the temple was built after placing the Buddha within.

Our guide is Fon from Absolute Bangkok Tours and she is bubbly cheerful and very friendly. She speaks fluent English and describes every little thing in detail so that you would have a better understanding of the Thai culture and architecture. Absolute Bangkok Tours may not be the cheapest around but they definitely provide the best service with your own private mini van, cold water and wet towels. The tour really allows you to explore fully in comfort and learn more about the place. Will definitely recommend people to take up tours with them.

After lunch at Chinatown (which was such a rip-off, I swear), we decided to go back to the hotel to rest before heading out at night for Asiatique. Asiatique is the new riverfront night market accessible from Saphan Taksin BTS station via ferry. There is a free shuttle ferry to Asiatique from the BTS station. When you exit at Saphan Taksin simply follow the signs to the pier and join the queue. Each ferry comes in 15 minutes interval so the wait was not too long but the crowd was pretty scary. We almost gave up queuing!

Glad we did not. Asiatique was really interesting albeit a bit touristy. The place used to be a warehouse and was newly converted into a night market. The lights, live band in the central area and general bustling crowd gave this place a very festive vibe.

We had dinner at Kacha Kacha which serves fabulous teppanyaki dishes and yakitori. The food is really awesome, I love it so much. Be sure to order their teppanyaki and yakitori because those are the gems in the shop!

As for shopping in Asiatique, the prices are not super competitive but you can find pretty nice local designer clothes there as well. Oh and snacks. I was so happy stumbling into the snack shop, I bought so many rows of spicy cuttlefish which happened to taste awesome with beer. My brother bought some t-shirts at a small shop selling funky shirts and that was about it. But the food made the trip really worth while.

We took the shuttle ferry back to hotel and had a good rest!

Read about Day 1 and Day 2 in Bangkok!

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