Ricardo and I had less than two days to kill in Bangkok. So, we decided to spend the time in the Old City district.
Our destination, known to the locals as Rattanakosin, is an island flanked by the Chao Phraya and man-made waterways. In the 1780s, when Thai's capital was moved from Thonburi to Bangkok, Rattanakosin became the country's primary seat of administration.
Our day started on foot from The Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel (a pretty good place to stay I must add). Our destination - the Grand Palace complex - which is the heart of the Old City district.
Following the direction provided by the concierge, we walked past markets, a memorial building, several places of worship and maybe, a monk quarters. It took us a good one hour or so to get to the Grand Palace because we were just taking our time, doing the typical touristy activity of taking photos - of everything!
Due to Rattanakosin's historical past, the Grand Palace complex, is filled with symbolic monuments, and grand architectural designs ranging from pavilions to temples. So if you're like me - one who is more interested in history and architecture than shopping (well, most of the time, anyway) - the Old City was an apt layover solution.
Note: If you're exploring the Old City on foot, you will have no problem identifying the Grand Palace complex - be it night or day. Located next to the Sanam Luang public square, it is all grandeur, with the shimmering Wat Phra Keaw (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and majestic Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha and is also Thai's leading massage university). On a bright sunny day, the whole complex area just sparkles and glitters under the sun.
5 things to do at the Old City:
I guess it is kind of ironic really - the craving for Chinese food when you're on a trip in India.
Once upon a time in Mumbai, my friends and I decided that we needed to eat something Chinese-sy.
After 3 days of continuous feast of authentic and delicious biryani, dosa, samosa, tandoori chicken, as well as vegetarian Maharani burgers and varieties of vegetarian omelette sandwiches - we craved to eat something less spicy and more soupy, for a change.
I guess such cravings were expected of Malaysians. The side-effect of growing in a plural society and brought up on assorted meals of Malay, Indian, Chinese and occasionally Western origins.
The taxi took us to a fancy Chinese restaurant. We ended up ordering noodles that tasted very much like the instant noodles that we have back home. To be more specific - Maggi's Instant Noodles (Ayam* flavor). I blamed it all on being "lost in translation".
But I do appreciate what my fortune cookie said - "Financial hardship in your life is coming to an end" - and the smileys were not bad too.
*Ayam is the Malay word for chicken
Safiza is a Travel Blogger, Common Reader, Book Hoarder, Art and Nescafe Tarik Lover.