first stop, bangkok!
we arrived at 3am thai time after traveling and virtually no sleep for 32 hours. on our uber ride from the airport to the hotel, it was POURING rain and the streets were flooded to the point that i worried the car would get stuck. thai rain is no joke!
obviously we crashed hard that night, and hit the grand palace the next morning. as we arrived outside the walls, a tuk tuk driver approached us and said the palace was closed until 2pm for a ceremony (which does happen sometimes) and would we like to ride to some other sights while we waited? we waved him off (those drivers are notoriously dishonest) but the next three drivers that tried to sell us told us the exact same thing - it would reopen at 2pm. we hopped in and hit a few other temples. we checked online during our ride - yep, we got duped and the palace was actually open. blast! those dang drivers coordinated with each other! but, for one dollar, we weren't too mad about being duped. the marble temple was our favorite stop off the beaten path.
the grand palace was intensely stunning, the architecture was intricate and colorful and the grounds seem to go on forever. i am glad we went, but i would never repeat this activity. the crowds are pretty unbelievable and with limited shade, the sun is unrelenting.
i feel like i need to take a moment and explain how sweaty thailand is - nobody warned me, and if anyone reading this is planning on going, i would want to know. you will sweat like you have never sweat before. have you ever done hot yoga? where you sweat to the point that someone could push your body along a wooden floor and you would slide all over the place? imagine that, all day. i am not a naturally sweaty person, but i sweat through my g's, through an undershirt, and a white dress. nice. it was dripping down my calves and making my sandals wet. we had a good attitude about it, laughed it off, and drank water like it was our job - but if we had been in complaining mode, surely the day would have been miserable. okay, sweat details over.
we hit wat pho next - it is next door to the palace. wat pho was cheaper, less crowded, had more shade AND they even had some fans going. praise! the grounds were not nearly as extensive or beautiful as the palace, but as a whole, the experience was better. the giant reclining buddha, which represents the process of going into nirvana, was epic!
on our second day in bangok we walked to lumphini park, a big lush green park in the middle of the city. the park itself was beautiful and boasts a lot of charming bridges and mini temples. however, monitor lizards (think, komodo dragons, just a little smaller) roam the grounds. i was 100% not pleased with this, but jordan thought it was cool. they actually don't get too close to you unless you approach them. still HELLA creepy though!
we headed over to terminal 21 after, a giant mall in which each floor is themed after a different city. london, paris, tokyo, rome and the top floor was.... san francisco! (the floor just below represents pier 39 too, we loved the representation of our city!) we window shopped and tried a few cute treats before we headed to the airport for an evening flight out.
although i loved our quick stop in bangkok, i don't know that it has much to offer other than the temples. the city is dirty, poor, smelly, crowded, and the traffic is CRAZY. since jordan and i are both blonde and obviously american, it felt like people were endlessly mobbing us, trying to sell us taxi rides, souvenirs, tattoos (wtf that was weird) and clothes. it was worth the quick stop on our way south, but thailand luckily has much more to offer than this city!