Yesterday I had my first real introduction to Bangkok, taking a relaxing klong (canal) tour and visiting Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. This place is incredible, the intricacies impressively grand and yet rough and messy at the same time. The stone is a chalky white, sculpted into a large tower with many layers and sides, and along them are decorations and sculptures brought to life by varying fragments of colourful porcelain and ceramics.
We reached this most iconic of landmarks by longboat across the Chao Phraya River, and spent a long while exploring the area. The sheer size of this structure is impressive alone, without considering all the work that must have gone into it. The Temple of Dawn is named after the Hindu God Aruna, who was said to often be personified as the radiations of the rising sun, and it is just the latest restoration of this wonderful creation.
From there, it was mainly a case of waiting to meet the rest of the group for the real beginning of my travels through Northern Thailand. Though I’d met four other girls already, I was about to meet a whole lot more. It was time to really kick off my third Contiki adventure.
Instead of the usual meal and drinks I’ve come to expect from a Contiki meetup, we were instead hit immediately with a list of tasks to try and accomplish in random teams, all of which could be discovered around the backpacker hub of Bangkok’s Kao San Road. It was called a scavenger hunt, designed to make us really engage with the culture and explore the lay of the land, and wow was it fun. I gladly let someone else on the team tick off the insect eating though!
As well as snacking on bugs, our challenges included things like bartering for something dumb, getting a photo with a tuk tuk, finding a certain statue, and so much more. This was actually a great ice-breaking activity, and an educational one too, and the setting was just perfect for such wild antics.
I already have high hopes for the week ahead, and I can’t wait to see what more is to come once we leave the city in pursuit of more rural adventures, after an obligatory visit to The Grand Palace this morning, of course.
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