I try to bypass Bangkok as much as possible these days, although I did discover some interesting places on a 2022 stopover (those pics are on the way). There is plenty to see in Krung Thep, as Bangkok is known in Thai, but the traffic can make it too much bother. Things have improved with the rail systems making getting around easier.
Bangkok is famous for a few things, one of them being its street food.
Another thing Bangkok is famous for is its temples. They are active places of worship, and must be treated with respect by visitors.
Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), one of the most famous in Bangkok, houses a 45 metre long reclining Buddha.
A Buddhist soldier or guard protects Wat Arun, Bangkok.
In many parts of Bangkok, footpaths are so full of vendors, walking is a challenge. Most people accept this as part of life in a vibrant city, although Bangkok City has begun to tightened up on vendors.
I'm not sure if she is making this bed to sell, or if that is where she is sleeping tonight. Or maybe it's just for resting on while she mans her stall?
A row of long tail boats, Bangkok. The rivers and canals are a better way to see the city than road.
Approaching a ferry stop on the Chao Pray express. River taxis and ferries are still vital for Bangkok commuters. Closing of many of the famous klong (canals) has contributed to flooding.
Not long ago I took a ferry down the Chao Praya, past Wat Arun for the first time in maybe 25 years or more. It is still magical.
The prang (spire) dates from the late 1800s, although a temple has been here since the mid 1600s at least.
Gold doors picture guardians in the wai (greeting) pose, possibly Wat Pho.
In 2022, I had a look at 3 lesser known temples, Wat Ratchabophit....
.....Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan....
....and the hill temple in the centre of the city, Wat Saket.
Thais are overwhelmingly Buddhists, although Islam dominates parts of the south, and Christianity is common around the northern border regions.
Buddhism remains forever part of the Thai identity.
Despite its many faults and drawbacks, Bangkok can still turn on the charm.
Always better to arrive at the graceful old Hua Lamphung railway station. However, in 2022, its operations moved to Bang Sue.
I'd probably sped (crawled) past Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan a dozen times on bus or taxi to Kao Sanh Rd. I'd never taken the time to look inside.
A short walk to the opposite side of the klong, Wat Saket sits high upon on small mount.
One of the oldest temples in Bangkok, dating from 1467, it too is usually overlooked by tourists.
300 steps and 100 baht take you to the gold stupa on the top, with 360 degree views of the capital.
Tastes of old Bangkok are all around, in the old market shops.......
and tiled monastery buildings around the area.
Wat Saket is best viewed at dusk, as the stupa takes on the soft light, and distant temple spires glow.
Monks tie a sacred orange cloth around the stupa.
The present temple building dates from the 1900s.
I'd hoped to finally (after 30+ years) make it to the Grand Palace, but the one night window of opportunity didn't allow it.
Instead, we visited an unusual temple I'd never heard of before, Wat Ratchabophit.
From the very entrance, this temple stands out from the crowd.
The most obvious and remarked upon feature is the unique round temple hall.
The tile colours also struck us as having a strong central Asian influence in the blues and yellows.
Combined with the more typical lavish displays of gold, Wat Ratchabophit is truly like no other.
While my brief stay hasn't got me aching to get back, it was enough for me to again see some better sides of Bangkok.