After leaving Jim Thompson and Ban Krua, we went under the bridge to the Saen Saeb Canal commuter boat pier.
As the boat pulls along side the dock, you have to quickly step onto the wooden railing of the boat, then jump in while it takes off. It was quite a big step for my new knees! The trip cost only 10 baht/33 cents.
You are warned not to fall into the water of the canal, and in fact not to let it splash on you! In China the water may look murky, but plants grow in it. Here the water looked toxic and was full of trash:
Later we realized he was watching for arriving scam victims!
Our first stop was Wat Intharawihan, a temple dedicated to monk Luang Phaw Toh sitting up in a niche:
The "famous" Standing Buddha at 32m/105' tall:
Shaved ice vendor:
A friendly man offered us too much information, saying this was his first temple stop upon returning to Thailand. The larger Buddha was the "Black Buddha" because it once was painted black to hide the fact it was made of gold. It was the smaller "Lucky Buddha" to whom people prayed, and he had prayed here years ago for success when he sold everything including his wife's jewelry to go to the U.S. to make a living. He has done well, so they have returned to Thailand to spend their new wealth (replacing his wife's jewelry because it is cheaper in Thailand than at Tiffany's!) and to thank the Lucky Buddha.
The thing that threw us off here was that an employee asked where we were from. But she was looking at me and asking about our passports. I thought she was checking to make sure we (specifically Tamiko) were indeed foreigners who got the free admission today. Ha! There is always free admission at these temples!
Our next stop was to a Thai Export company, a Thai handicraft/souvenir shop where we were asked to go in while the driver got his "petrol voucher." Now we knew definitely we were scammed. Tuk tuk drivers will even offer free rides if they can get you to these shops.
Next, the Wat Benchamabophit/Marble Temple:
Ordination Hall eaves:
A Ficus religiosa/Bohdi tree:
This tree was brought from India in 1891. Buddha attained enlightenment under this type of tree.
A canal separating the temple from the monks' living quarters:
The device in the foreground is a water aerator.
An interesting fountain:
It is 5.32m/17.5' long.
Inside the Ordination Hall:
In the cloister, a couple nappers:
The cloister contains 53 images of Buddha showing all the mudras/gestures:
Red Shirt demonstrators:
Muay Thai boxing arena:
We were then returned to the spot where we were picked up. Kent liked being zipped around in the tuk tuk instead of walking. In the end it didn't save us any walking, but added three temples and three shops to our itinerary.
This is a tuk tuk:
Go to Bangkok 4 for more of the day's activities.