Thailand : Erawan Shrine & Wat Traimit, Chinatown, Bangkok 11 Nov 2012

_MG_3901-pressThe next item on the agenda was to Visit Erawan Shrine and possibly head to Wat Traimit on our way to Chinatown. After an hour of rest and a nice refreshing shower, we headed to BTS Chit Lom.

It was time for lunch. We did have ‘lunch’ at Chatuchak but that was more like the first meal of the day. It was already 3pm Bangkok time. It was time to try out something I tried in 2007. McDonalds’ Pork Burger.

The total cost for these two set meals costed 240 baht. Pretty standard price. The pork burger was sweet and the sauces mixed very well.

Erawan Shrine

Walking further down, you will spot an open plaza opposite Centralworld. At the intersection of Thanon Rama I and Thanon Ratchadamri, you will see a large multitude of people offering their prayers and chants. This is Erawan Shrine which houses the four-faced Brahma (Phra Phrom).  It is believed that if you get what you wish for, you need to come back to give thanks. You also need to make good on your promises lest bad luck befalls you.

Erawan Shrine taken from the overheard walkway along Thanon Rama I

Chanting and offering prayers.

Many come from Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

From BTS Siam, take the Skytrain down to BTS Silom. From BTS Silom, take the train to Hau Lamphong. That is the closest you can get to Chinatown area. Hau Lamphong is also where the trains from Malaysia arrive. Hau Lamphong is a typical old railway stations. You have trains to other parts of Thailand. Hau Lamphong to the westerly direction towards the Chao Phraya River is probably the start of the older city of Bangkok. From the MRT Hau Lamphong, a 10 minute walk will bring you to Wat Traimit.

Wat Traimit.

Located in the vicinity of Chinatown, Wat Traimit houses the golden Buddha . The surroundings at Wat Traimit will make you feel like you walked thru a portal into Hong Kong. The stores and sign boards have Chinese characters but the additional Thai writings will bring you back to reality. You are still in Thailand.

The Golden Buddha was missed in the midst of the rush to avoid the rain. I’ll have to make a personal visit to get this photograph. Another reason to return to Bangkok.

Chinatown.

Every corner of the world you go to, you will spot a Chinatown. The Chinese community seems to thrive everywhere. Bangkok’s Chinatown is known for the street foods and dusk shopping. Do prepare for an assault on the senses. Along every lane, there are many street vendors, selling old coins, pickled food, fruits, questionable herbal ointments, stuff toys to even lingerie. It seems, every market , bazaar or shopping location of any variety, you will be greeted by the same things you can buy.

For those who are shopping, you tend to have seen it all if you’ve been to one. What I mean by this is to have seen most of what you can buy. Of course, seeing a store sell pomegranates in Chinatown and a store selling pomegranates in Chatuchak are basically different in terms of location. But if you are looking for pomegranates, and have been to both, choose the most convenient.

Somewhere in Chinatown, a table is missing its table cloth.

The day was threatening to pour cats and dogs on us. It was decided that the best way to escape was to head back to the train stations. We were sutck in Chinatown. We had no choice but to take a tuk tuk. For 60 baht ( the driver said), this was a nice quick ride to escape the rain. My only regret was not paying the driver first. He scammed us by saying 60 for each of us at the end of the journey and ended up paying 120 baht. Next time, I am paying first.

Check out the ride here . [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pQDbAp4uRI]

Hau Lamphong.

If you are taking the trains from Malaysia via Butterworth, you are bound to end up here. This train station seems to be the nucleus of the train network of Thailand. You can hop on a train and be on your way north south east west to various parts of Thailand and even beyond. All aboard!!!

All aboard!!!!

If you noticed, Thai’s love the color purple.

Many travelers and explorers await their trains

Dinner at Siam Paragon.

Dinner time was around the corner. The day was ending and Siam Paragon beckoned. Siam Paragon seems to be the must place to go and see on your visit to Bangkok. It is a posh mall with designer boutiques. If you’ve seen them, you’ve seen them all. Coach in Seattle will be the same as Coach in Bangkok. The Samsung store in Singapore is going to be the Samsung store in Bangkok. Go for the view but don’t waste your time. Siam Paragon does have Uniqlo and H&M and the common brands you see in every mall.

Do head down to the food court and try Peppery Thai. The food is pretty good and I’d love to eat here again.

Cool mango smoothie

Morning glory a.k.a kangkung

River Prawns a.k.a Udang Galah

Eating at the odd times have made this meal simple and short. The cost came to 907 baht. A bit pricey but the prawns were worth it.

These remind me of my times fishing with my Dad and brother in the rivers of Rompin. That was some 12 years ago.

Good Night Bangkok.

Day 1 is at an end. It was tiring, hot and a mad dash. The photos below will put you in the mood.

A quick train ride back to Ratchathewi and Siam Swana ‘s king bed is the most welcomed place on earth after a jetspray shower.

Good night in Thai : ราตรีสวัสดิ์ ( ra-tee-sa-was).

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