Wat Intharawihan (Standing Buddha) Bangkok
The first temple we visited featured a massive standing Buddha. It was about a fifteen minute walk from our hostel. On the way there we were using google maps, when a man approached us and told us he knew the way and would show us. We lost him fairly quickly as we had heard about how tourists are often roped into scams and end up having to pay for a service that they didn’t want in the first place.
We had to pay 40Baht as a donation on entry to the Temple, but heard afterward that there is another entrance where you do not have to pay. We didn’t really mind though as 40Baht is the equivalent to one euro. Another requirement upon entrance to the grounds of the Buddha was that we had our shoulders covered and were also covered to our knees. We were well aware of this before leaving our hostel, so we were adequately prepared. You then need to take your shoes off when walking around certain parts of the grounds.
Many Thai locals and Buddhists knelt in front of the Buddha in prayer and thanks. I did not do this as I was unsure if it would be seen as ‘blasphemous’ as I am not a practising Buddhist. I did go into some of the small rooms which were adorned with gold ornaments and Buddhas. You could light incense and candles as offerings to Buddha for a donation, then take a moment of reflection in front of shrines of Buddhas.
I found the experience to be extremely peaceful and serene. I loved the peace and quiet of the grounds after experiencing the hussle and bussle of Bangkok’s streets.
On our way back to the hostel from the standing Buddha, the sky opened and we had to take cover in whatever shelter we could. We were close to a massage centre so decided we would all get half-hour massages to take some shelter from the rain. It was this kind of weather that I was dreading when thinking about travelling Thailand in rainy season. Although, this was short-lived and didn’t affect our exploring badly.
Looking back, I wish I had of taken advantage of the extremely cheap prices of massage in Thailand more. You could get an hour long massage for less than ten euro! I did visit one of the cheap nail salons in Bangkok though. A pedicure was exactly what I needed after all that travelling. I looked up reviews on different salons first though, as some places will take advantage of tourists and charge you much more than they advertise on signs outside.