One night in Bangkok

April 24th, 2009 by scott and becky

Becky has had this song going through her head since we arrived in Bangkok:

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

Lyrics by Tim Rice, from the musical “Chess”

Scott is not sure what that says about Becky, but he’s keeping an eye out for any bar girls sidling up to her. Running through his head is the proto-rap about chess which surrounds the sung portion. An excerpt:

I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you

So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage parlours…

An amusing counterpoint, and very much still true in the bar districts of Bangkok. Becky noticed the girls behind glass holding numbers as we went looking for dinner with Jenny and Jay. Unfortunately Scott missed out – he was too busy keeping an eye out for “farang traps”; low awnings and wires at a perfect height for locals, but just the right height to hit a tall westerner right between the eyes when he isn’t paying attention.

On Friday, we decided to venture out to explore a couple of the famous temples of Bangkok before the weekend crowds. We took the Skytrain and a boat up the Chao Phraya River (the “old muddy river” from the song) and visited Wat Pho. Wat Pho is the oldest and largest Wat in Bangkok, and contains the largest reclining Buddha (also referenced in the song) and the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. By that point it was getting quite hot, and we decided to skip the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. Instead we crossed the river and wandered around Wat Arun. It is centered on an extremely large and impressive chedi/stupa. It has steep steps up much of the side so we climbed it and got a nice view of the city.

For pictures

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