It’s the kings birthday

Which means that entrance into all the temples is free, Tuk Tuk rides anywhere in the Old City are 20 baht (about 80 cents), the army marches down the street in full regalia (including 2-foot high furry hats), and everyone is walking around in pink polo shirts – apparently the color of royalty, resembling his good health.

I know I just posted a blog, but after being dropped off at 5:30 this morning and not being able to get into my room until 12 at the earliest, I decided to explore a bit. My plan was to go to Wat Pho, a temple that is also home to a massage school. I did make it to the temple eventually, but is was a circuitous route. Let me explain. About ten minute after leaving the hotel, I stopped on a street corner to consult my map and determine the best way to get to Wat Pho (which I knew included hazardous street crossings, traffic fumes, littered sidewalks, and hot, sticky air). I must have looked lost because a young Thai man came up to me and asked me where I wanted to go. He promptly took my worn map and circled several temples in the area and told me I should visit them because it’s the kings birthday, and they’re free to get into. Then he hailed a Tuk Tuk and told the driver to take me to the sites for 20 baht – no more. I spent the morning riding from one temple to the next (with several souvenir and tailor shops in between because the companies have a deal with the Tuk Tuk drivers if they bring tourists – we “only have to look – no buy”). After four different temples, I finally found myself at Wat Pho and said goodbye to my Tuk Tuk driver – giving him a generous tip that amounted to $3.50. The Wat is quite big and impressive and I was surprised that there weren’t many tourists. I spent about an hour walking around, but decided against the massage since I was hot and tired and wanted a shower more than a massage. So I walked back to the hotel and thankfully was shown to my room.

I’m already going through yoga withdrawal, so I’m meeting two friends tomorrow for a Mysore class at 9 and possibly for dinner as well, depending on what my Gap Adventures itinerary look like. I guess I’m back to my busy life!