Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 104 - Wat Pho and Churches

In a country known for its heavy presence of the Buddhist religion and numerous temples sprawling throughout its cities, it was nice to step away from it and see something else – a church! Maco had to go to church today, so we found one along the Chao Phraya river – the beautiful Holy Rosary Church right next to a schoolyard. It makes me wonder how these students and their families came to Christianity. Were they converted amongst all the Buddhists in the city, or was it already their religion to begin with?

We stayed for a short while, before heading along the Chao Phraya river again to Wat Pho. This would be another day spent almost entirely getting from one place to another on the river. The roof of the structure housing the reclining Buddha was being renovated, and with a donation, tourists could write their wishes on a roof tile, which would then be included in the new roof.

Wat Pho is not only a famous temple, but is also known for its massage school. I got a dose of the massage skills on my first visit here with family, but this time around, I went to a massage place just outside of the temple grounds with graduates from the school. It was probably the most painful, but also the best massage I'd ever received. These women really know how to apply pressure on your tense muscles to relax them. I think I was on the brink of tears a couple of moments during the hour long session from the pain. If you could only get one massage while in Bangkok, I'd really recommend getting a Wat Pho massage, as it is the best value – only 250 baht for one hour.

Refreshed and ready to explore some more, we took a tuk-tuk to Khao San Road so that Maco could get a dose of the backpacker scene. Still crowded like the other times I visited, and still full of foreigners, I sought out a Lonely Planet – India guidebook for my future travels. I managed to find a used 2007 version for a very good discount. I was reluctant to purchase it because it's literally bigger than the size of a brick, but thought I would really need it to navigate such a huge country.

The sun set soon after and we quickly headed back to the commuter boats to get a ride back to our hotel, since I didn't know when the boats stopped operating at night each day.

Holy Rosary Church

Plinking Coins into the Alms Bowls at Wat Pho

Grilled Pork

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