Wat Pho & Reclining Buddha Day

I had such a good morning!  Since I am up at 4, I decided to visit Wat Pho because they are open at 8.  I grabbed a tuk-tuk (I’m an expert now), and arrive just on time.  Wat Pho opens at 8:00, but the reclining Buddha isn’t up until 8:30.  This meant that there were hardly any guests and I could explore the grounds pretty much on my own.  And at 8:00 the temperature is perfect.  Wat Pho was quiet and serene.  I loved it!

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Chinese Stone Doll

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The other thing I enjoyed about Wat Pho was the guests who weren’t tourists.  In the early morning, most guests were there to pray.  There were many older people (mostly ladies) dressed completely in white.  Later, I saw boys in their school uniforms (on a Sunday) and these girls in dance rehearsal.

Dance Rehearsal at Wat Pho
Dance Rehearsal at Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha

I could tell you that this Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, but it’s a concept that you just can’t grasp until you are there.  His toenails are bigger than my hand!

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Thai Massage

Wat Pho is also famous for their Thai massage.  How could I pass that up?  My feet have been taking a beating over the last few days and my ol’ hip has been complaining.  An hour long body massage is 420 THB ($17).  Thai massage is a sort of acupressure/manual stretching massage.  The massage room is filled with hard beds, usually two or three right next to each other.  My masseuse gave me a tunic (like something Oma would sew as a pj top) and tie pants.  I was glad to change out of my sweaty clothes.  Then, I just relaxed.  She pressed my muscles and manipulated my limbs into all sorts of stretches.  She even used her feet on my thigh to leverage a traction-like stretch of my leg.  It sounds weirder than it felt.  I thought it was great.  I started to get cold in the A/C and within seconds she covered me up with a sheet.  (How does she know?).  I would highly recommend this; I felt wonderful!

Shopping

Next, I decide to check out one of these world famous malls.  Mostly because they promised to be air-conditioned.  I hopped in a cab (remember, I’m an expert now).  I showed the cabby my map and he said “200 Baht.”  What?  “No, turn on your meter”, I replied, tapping his meter.  “No 200 Baht!”  No thanks.  I hopped out and got into another cab.  90 THB for the ride.

I went to Platinum Mall.  It’s famous for it’s 6 stories of fashion wholesale.  Some Thais buy here to sell in their own shops, so there is a retail and a wholesale price.  There’s three stories of just ladies fashion.  It goes for miles and miles kilometers and kilometers.  Despite not needing to buy anything, not wanting to lug around anything more, and not really liking clothing shopping in the first place, I had to look at every stall until my feet figuratively bled.  I was there for hours.  I bought a t-shirt.

Methavalai Sorndaeng Restaurant

At dinnertime I decided to let the internet choose my destination.  I wanted something nearby and recommended.  I typed it into my maps so I wouldn’t get lost again, hit “start” and it said “you’ve reached your destination”.  It’s literally next door.  The reviews promised cheap prices, but it’s out of date.  It’s quite a fancy restaurant, with a live band.  The waiters appeared to be dressed as marines.  Like Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men.  I order the Pad Thai with Shrimps, and it cost me about $12.  Very yummy.  The only thing different was the tiny little pink shrimp still in their shell.  They were salty!

Pad Thai with Shrimps
Pad Thai with Shrimps

Today’s bonus success.  No naps!  Stayed awake for 18 hours straight!  Take that jet lag!

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