Wake up and grab some coffees downstairs at Pannee Lodge. We take some time to put some laundry in with the front desk. It’s 70 baht per kilo, seems pretty good.
I meet an older lady in the cafe downstairs from England. She’s living in NZ now. Asks where I’m from, “Ahhh Canada, yes that is a great country.” She was here for the death of the king. Said it was crazy. Everything shut down instantly. Things were so quiet. “Enjoy your travels, stay safe.”
We don’t really have a plan for the day, per se. Just a list of highlights that we should probably make our way to somehow. Khaosan road is close to the Grand Palace so we might as well start there.
Round the first corner and a super nice guy on the street starts along with the questions, “Where are you from? How long are you in Bangkok? What would you like to see?” He describes that everything is free today. The Tuk Tuk drivers get free gas today. He takes us over to a nearby map and shows us what’s in the area. It covers a lot of what we’d want to get to for today. A tour of monuments, “Yes, yes do you have a pen.” I do. The guy takes a piece of paper off of the ground and writes out our itinerary for the day on the garbage. “Take this to a Tuk Tuk driver. Yellow plate. See Yellow. Free gas today. Take you all day.” Well, this sounds pretty good.
We show our garbage to a nearby Tuk Tuk driver and away we go!
Our first stop is Big Standing Buddha, or Wat Intharawihan. This is a 40 foot tall gold Buddha with a temple and shrine and various pork rib vendors next to it. Buddha and breakfast.
Off the Tuk Tuk again and we’re at another shrine. Chimes lining the roof shimmered in the wind. Our hangovers were cured.
In one area a local quiz master came up to us and started quizzing us on things that we would have no idea what the answers are, “Do you know what day it is today?”, “No”, “It is Buddha day. It is a holiday here in Bangkok. Do you know what else it is today?”, “No”, “It is also government day. These two days only happen together once every four years”, “Oh, that’s amazing”, “Yes, there is no tax today. Everything is duty free today. You should make sure you go to the Thai Factory today. Do you know these buildings?”, “No”, “These are the monks sleeping quarters. See here. And here. And this is where they go to school. Do you know the TiT?”, “The TiT?”, “Yes the TiT…”
We talked to Quiz Master for a few and then meandered around the buildings to catch a glimpse of Monk life.
Our Tuk Tuk driver then asks if we want to be taken to the Thai Factory. He describes this as a local Thai market that is full of deals today for the holiday. “Also, you can get suits made for you there.” A glimmer of mischief arrives in McBurger’s eyes. Maybe it was time to Miami Vice this trip up a little.
We get dropped off outside a swanky looking shop with sliding wooden doors