I believe it was Simon and Garfunkel who sang, “Hello Procrastination my old friend.” and indeed that just about sums things up. I’ve always thought the word procrastination sounds a lot like constipation. I’ve certainly been sitting on this one for ages with nothing coming out. It’s definitely a pain in the booty. But finally “Bangkok Temple Hopping, Cat and Noodles” is finally ready for publication.
Has it really been 10 months since I last posted? OMG!!! It’s been a long journey but it wasn’t just procrastination – a lot of life happened too but that, as they say, is another kettle of mongoose. Another story for another time. I’ve taken so long to write this damn thing that I’m already planning to go back to Thailand again!!
I’ve put a lot of hard work into this ( between the
constipation ) It’s taken me such a long time but I never gave up. I’ve poured my love, and passion, and time. I’ve researched and rewritten. Edited and doubted.
Finally, it’s here and I really hope you enjoy it because this blog has always been about taking you by the hand and showing you places and experiences. So come with me now, to Thailand and we’ll go Bangkok temple hopping for a day. See some cats. Eat some noodles. Let’s go!
The Bangkok Temple Hopping adventure begins… Wat Nang Chi Chotikaram
First on my Bangkok temple hopping adventure list is Wat Nang Chi..Stepping out of the Bang Wa BTS station, I find myself on a busy road. Cars rush and roar in the dusty hot sun. But it’s not long till I find myself in a silent soi with only the morning birds and a few lazy dogs. A bridge leads me across to a courtyard of trees – shadow and sunlight. As I get closer I can hear the monks chanting morning prayer and blessings.
I love this wonderful wooden door. It’s rich red, so striking set against the white temple walls. It urges you to enter. The wood is warm. The grains run like a river.
This wat isn’t especially special compared to many but its small size and deserted feel gave it such a serene and sacred feel. I am happy in the sea of shadows listening to the monks mantras.
I stayed quite awhile in this place that seems lost out of time. I strolled by the river and in and out of the shadows of the trees. But there is so much to see so I say goodbye and head on to the next temple.
How to get to Wat Nang Chi
Wat Nak Prok
The next wat on my Bangkok temple hopping day out is just a short stroll from Wat Nang Chi, I wander through quiet white washed and tree lined streets until I find the snake themed temple Wat Nak Prok. The colourful wat guarded by snakes both inside and out.
A little busier than the previous temple but still, it’s very peaceful here..Families sit and pay respect, palms clasped, in incense scented air. The temple is much larger than Wat Nang Chi. It’s stuffed with interesting things to see. Every corner, nook and cranny seems to hold some treasure to behold and of course there are lots of snakes. This is such an amazing temple.
There’s something special about an open door. Just like an endless ocean, a painting, or a path. All these are special because they promise stories. They’re a void to be filled with our imagination of what ifs and wonder and ask us to explore. So, full of curiosity I peeked in to find this wonder. I don’t think my imagination could have done justice to what my eyes found.
A golden Buddha, cross legged on a gigantic coiled snake. 7 snakes rise behind his back and stare at me open mouthed. Every inch of the wall is covered in painting. I can’t help but just stand there – taking it all in.
How to get to Wat Pak Nak Prok
Wooden houses on stilts sit in the emerald water. A long tail boat cuts calmly through the water leaving a frothy wake behind it.
Flowers and palm trees cast shadows along the edge. Here is a ribbon of calm and a connection to homes and lives and business. I’ve seen Bangkok called the Venice of the East. It’s easy to see why.
I’ve always been drawn to bodies of water: lakes, and rivers, puddles and ponds, oceans and canals, I love them all. So it’s something I really enjoy about Bangkok. The mighty Chao Phraya runs through the heart of of Bangkok but there are so many klongs too.
Wat Paknam and the Cat
The last wat on this Bangkok temple hopping adventure is Wat Paknam. This temple is vast and majestic. Rivers of people flow into its cavernous arms. The space is a song of echoed voices. I join the flow of bodies and soon encounter a fluffy friend.
She loops around my leg and curls her tail as I stroke her soft fur. Her eyes are like two emeralds. Deciding she likes the attention she climbs into my lap. If only people were this easy to get along with. Maybe in the future I will dispense with small talk and try a friendly scratch behind the ears or a stroke along the back.
Wat Paknam Stupa
In the temple grounds you’ll find a white stupa nicknamed Maharatchamongkhon. Its many floors are stuffed to bursting with treasures but the incredible jade domed roof is the must see here. It reminds me somewhat of a UFO.
Wat Pak Nam Buddha
Beyond lays the Giant Buddha – the biggest in Bangkok. I stroll into his cloud crowned gaze. He sits magnificently golden in the sun. I feel like a child, an ant. Insignificant before his benevolent gaze. Beyond the temple the Buddha dominates the skyline. In my mind there is nothing else, no room, in this heat hazed courtyard, this golden God occupies all of my mind space.
But time and heat have taken its toll. Even giants, even golden ones, even gods, eventually have to make way for food… and oh god ( no offence, giant ) but an ice cold drink of water. It’s time to leave. Time for food. There’s always time for food but now more than ever. I’ll go now before I get hangry.
How to get to Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen
I’m strolling, hot and hungry, even my phone is hot and hangry. I have to turn it off because it is overheated. My phone noped out. Just like I will shut down and nope out if I don’t find some food and a cold drink soon. Even the shadows bake and sizzle in the noon sun. I dive into an ubiquitous 7-11. Oh the air-con is glorious! I cool my head and my phone with a bottle of frosty water!
I let me feet do the walking and my eyes do the hunting. Cables hang listless and low in the humid air. Cars rush and roar. The dream of air-con and 7-11 are far away now. My hunger is growing and my phone is planning strike action with my feet. I need to sit down, cool down and eat. Finally, like an oasis in the heat haze I spot ( what I hope ) is the perfect place.
The Unexpected Wonderful Noodle Shop
I finally find what I am looking for. It ticks my boxes. While many of the other restaurants are empty this one is filled with people both eating in and lining up for food to take away. Surely a good sign? It also has photos of the menu items which I can simply point to! Easy ordering!
I order a steamed bun and the crab noodles. What a find! The food is sensational. The thin egg noodles are starchy chewy strands of munchable joy. The bowl is loaded with goodies: dumplings, pork slices, fish balls, and of course crab. The prawn dumpling is my favourite, a bursting soft ball of prawn flavour hugged by the wrapping. The fish balls are bouncy and juicy and the pork flavourful. Everything is a delight dancing on my taste buds.
The pork bun is actually my favourite thing. Cloud soft bread gives way to a tsunami of juices. Bursting with pork and egg flavour and insanely juicy. This is an absolute joy in every bite. It’s so good, that even full already, I order a second one to devour!!! If you are even in the area then I highly recommend this place.
It’s called Tong Leng Noodles. It’s about 13 minutes walk from, Wat Paknam, and well worth it I can tell you! Some of the best food I had in Bangkok. There are menus on the wall. It’s not in English but there are some photos. I recommend using Google Translate or similar. This is the authentic real deal Bangkok. No English written or spoken here.
How to get to Tong Leng Noodles
I hope you enjoyed this Bangkok temple hopping adventure. We got to share some wonderful moments. If you enjoyed this then please share to social medias of your choice because this will really help me grow the blog. Tell your friends. Inform your pets. Notify the president. Get to the choppa! Let me know your thoughts down in the comment box. I always love to read them.
You may also enjoy some of my posts about Thailand:
Let’s hope this keeps you going until the next blog… hopefully coming a bit sooner than 10 months… subscribe to keep notified of the drop.