Writer: Prabneet Doowa
Photographer: Prabneet Doowa & Jaspreet Narang
Editor & Publisher: Jaspreet Narang
When I think of being a true Bangkokian, I immediately think about being acquainted with Bangkok’s typical lifestyle – getting stuck in traffic, being part of the congestion on the BTS, taking in the smell of fish-sauce, enjoying the night-life and more – don’t get me wrong, these aspects are too part of Bangkok but what I was missing out on was the culture and beauty that is Bangkok.
There’s more to just taking the bike down sois to visit the malls; there’s more to shopping during the day, and there’s an alternate way to spend a Saturday. A few weeks ago, I became accustomed to a different side of Bangkok; a side that made me feel a little bit closer to Bangkok. As we reached Old Town, one of Bangkok’s many neighbourhoods, I had a flashback to an obligated high-school field-trip that I did not want to attend. It was strange because what seemed boring at the time was now so beautiful and somewhat soothing.
We decided to take the boat to visit the temples as we barely ever get the chance to use this form of transportation, which to be honest is a great way to beat traffic if you’re willing to get splashed by klong (dirty canal) water in the process. After five stops, we reached the temples. We bought some local Thai fruits along the footpath and gobbled down a much needed bowl of fresh coconut ice cream. As we walked into Wat Pho, the temple with the reclining Buddha, we saw number Thais saying their prayers while holding lotus flowers and candle sticks. To Thais, Buddhism is very sacred, and they give a lot of respect to the Buddha statues. We decided to be a part of the ritual as well. We got us each a lotus flower and pair of candle sticks. As we lit the candle sticks and bowed down, we made a wish – at that point in time I was just wondering why I had never done this before. After, we walked further into the temple where there was the giant Buddha statue. That’s when I remembered my high-school field trip. I wanted to get it over with back then so I just walked and barely looked around. This time, not only did I look around but also listened to the clicking sounds of the coins that people were putting into little bowls as they passed the giant Buddha. It was interesting but very loud – but that is part of the experience and the Thai customs.
If you have never been beyond your comfort zone in Bangkok, you should step out once in a while and hop on a 15 baht boat and see what Bangkok has to offer. It could someday be an alternate way you spend your Saturday as a local as well!
Here’s a little photo documentary of our journey…
The view on our way to the temple
Getting splashed by some dirty river water… !
My coconut ice-cream in a coconut, mmm!
Finally arrived at Wat Pho, the reclining Buddha temple
Time to pray and ask for blessings
108 bronze bowls indicating 108 auspicious characters of Buddha.