I enjoyed an early morning swim at the glorious Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – home for my first four nights in Thailand – as a cacophony of sounds from the birds harmonized above. The morning heat was still bearable and the water warm and inviting. This fascinating city is host to exquisite temples, a mesmerizing Grand Palace, and an amazing array of shopping that ranges from famous brand name stores to wonderful vendor stalls full of great buys.
Navigating the busy streets of Bangkok, I took a morning ride on a local “tuk tuk” with a police escort arranged by the hotel to make it easier and faster!
Arriving at our first temple, Wat Suthat, we found the crowds to be very thin at the start of the day and were able to just absorb the incredible history as well as exquisite murals and elegant designs. Sauntering through our next temple, Wat Pho, I was particularly fascinated by the many gilded Buddha images that provide sheer sensory delight.
Gliding along the water on a long-tailed boat down the canal was our next activity, and upon arrival, we walked along a tiny road full of a variety of food choices. A first for me was green tea waffles! We found our destination, which was the opportunity to experience a 200 year old artist’s house, (Baan Silapin), which houses a traditional Thai puppet show (the artists study for 6+ years before they can perform). Intricately made puppets capture your attention with a story that is acted out for your enchantment.
An opportunity to explore cultures and traditions of the past with a blend of modern amenities and lifestyles is what Bangkok offers the traveler. The smells, sights and sounds reverberate through your senses. It is a perfect opportunity to visit Asia as a start to a remarkable trip throughout the tantalizing country of Thailand.